Why would you do voluntary work and what if you add it to your modern cv?

Before we answer this question about voluntary work and adding it to your modern CV. Let me introduce you to Bjorn van Vlokhoven. This article has originally been written by Bjorn van Vlokhoven, founder of Vlokhoven Trainingen & Workshops. In this topic, we from Employ-IT made some little changes by translating it into English, because the original article is in Dutch.

Bjorn found out after graduation that it was difficult to find a job. Difficult? In that phase, for him, it felt like it was impossible to get a job. The fact that he started networking more and started writing the book “Aan de slag als psychology”, he also made the move to becoming a volunteer. He came up with the idea of doing voluntary work after one of his networking discussions. Bjorn was asked “What signal do you send with your resume? What would a potential employer think if he or she saw your CV?”.

Voluntary Work for your Modern CV by Bjorn

With doing voluntary work you will find out what gives you pleasure and satisfaction

Bjorn wanted to work for the elderly, but did he send this message? He tried to look through the eyes of the employer but concluded that his work and activities didn’t have much in common with elderly care. The first step was made: Bjorn registered as a volunteer for the foundation of Alzheimer Nederland and became a volunteer at the Alzheimer Café. During his voluntary work, he discovered that he didn’t only make his modern CV more interesting, but that there were more several reasons for volunteering.

Personal and professional development

By doing voluntary work you can learn more about a specific target group, or another sector or industry. Think of things such as how do you deal with a client who is psychotic or for example demented? How do you deal with a client who has a personality disorder? You can also come into contact with family members of clients, how do you deal with that? You come across yourself and learn how you react in certain situations. During your voluntary work, you can come into contact with clients for the first time so that you can come across yourself. A good way to deal with this is to reflect well and set specific targets or goals you want to achieve. What would you like to learn? It’s like going to a school, college or a university where you have the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally.

Do some research and find out what suits you the most

If you don’t know what your interests and qualities are, then volunteering is a good way to find out what will. In a low-threshold way, you come into contact with different target groups during voluntary work. That way you can find out which target group, fields, sectors or industries you like and which absolutely not.


If you’re going to work as a volunteer for a large institution, you may come across various professionals. Make use of this. This is the time to show your enthusiasm and to light people up with it. An extra pair of eyes that look at vacancies is always nice. Of course, you can add the professionals that you encounter during your volunteer work to your network. LinkedIn! You could always fall back on that in the future.

Apply internally

Do you have an institution in mind where you would like to work in the future? If you’re doing voluntary work at that institution, you’ve done already half of it. You get the opportunity to apply internally and can be one of the first people to know that there is a new vacancy. In addition, you can well argue why you want to work at that institution. You’re already on a voluntary basis and have been able to see how the organization works. Use this in your letter and when you’re having the job interview.

Positive vibes and energy

Positivity and energy is something that shouldn’t be missed in your job search. By applying and only receiving rejections can lead to a negative spiral. By having regular contact with different professionals and your target group, you won’t lose sight of your goal.

In short, you shouldn’t do voluntary work primarily to make your modern CV more attractive. You can see that volunteering looks good on your resume as a nice side effect. You show that you have an affinity with a certain field, sector or industry. It also shows that you are not standing still and that you are socially involved.

Vlokhoven Trainingen & Workshops was established in 2017 with the aim of ‘affordable education for everyone’. Today they focus on the basic course cognitive behavioral therapy with the lowest price in the Netherlands, but there are plans to set up multiple courses, workshops, and masterclasses. Not only for psychologists but also for other disciplines in healthcare. If you have any questions, inquiries or suggestions, send an email to info@aandeslagalspsycholoog.nl