The Volunteer Career Portfolio
A VOLUNTEER CAREER PORTFOLIO IS A PERSONAL RECORD OF AN individual's experiences as a volunteer. Information is compiled for each assignment. This data bank can then be used as the basis for writing a resume or preparing for a job interview.
Two important types of documents included in this portfolio are the Surnmary of Volunteer Experience and the Evaluation of Volunteer Experience. You may wish to consider using the samples as models for forms to give to your youth volunteers to simplify their process of record-keeping.
A sample of a letter of reference that focuses on skills is also included.
Summary of Volunteer Experience
Name of volunteer
Dates of Service
Major functions of the position
Skills developed (see skills profile for position if available)
Specific training (if applicable)
Evaluation of Volunteer Experience
Name of volunteer
I would rate the quality of the experience:
[ ] excellent [ ] good [ ] fair [ ] poor
What I found most rewarding about this experience:
What I found difficult and why:
Strengths I brought to the position:
Skills I used:
New skills and knowledge I gained:
Skills I enjoyed using:
How this experience benefitted me:
Skills I'd like to develop further:
Other volunteer roles I'd like to try:
Sample of a letter of reference
Anytown General Hospital
December 10, 1994
To whom it may concern:
Alyssa Lapointe managed the hospital's gift shop from June 1993 until November 1994. In addition to supervising a staff of 15 volunteers, she was responsible for recommending new sales items and for controlling the inventory.
During her 18 months at the gift shop, Ms Lapointe demonstrated her potential in many areas. Her interpersonal and communication skills allowed her to build a team of dedicated volunteer workers. She assigned tasks in an appropriate way, and was always flexible enough to accommodate the needs of her fellow volunteers. Using her excellent analytical and organizational skills, she streamlined the purchasing process and designed a new system for inventory control .
Ms Lapointe has been a definite asset to our organization. I am confident that she would do well in a wide variety of jobs .
Manager of Volunteers
I The Overview: Studies and Reports
American Society for Training and Development. The Learning Enterprise. Washington, DC: United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 1989.
Beck, Nuala. Shifting Gears: Thriving in the New Economy. Toronto: Harper Collins, 1992.
Bibby, Reginald W and Donald C Posterski. Teen Trends: A Nation in Motion. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1992.
Business Advisory Commission. Reconnecting Youth: The Next Stage of Reform. Education Commission of the States, 1985.
Canadian Labour Force Development Board. Putting the Pieces Together: Towards a Coherent Transition System for Canada's Labour Force. Ottawa: 1994.
Canadian Youth Foundation. Youth Action: A Report of the Canada 125 Community Workshops. Ottawa: 1993.
Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century. New York: Carnegie Corporation, 1989.
Carnevale, Anthony P, Leila J Gainer and Ann S. Meltzer. Workplace Basics: The Essential Skills Employers Want. ASTD Best Practices Training for a Changing Work Force Series. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.
Commission on Work, Family and Citizenship. The Forgotten Half: Pathways to Success for America's Youth and Young Families. The William T Grant Foundation, 1988.
Fine, Sydney. Dictionary of Occupational Titles, 4th edition. Washington, DC: US Department of Labor, Employment and Training, 1977.
Human Resources Development Canada. Social Security in Canada: Background Facts. (Sections on Youth and Employability in the 90's). Ottawa: 1994
Jones, Lawrence K. The Encyclopedia of Career Change and Work Issues. Oryx Press, 1992.
Lindsay, Colin, Mary Sue Devereaux, and Michael Bergob. Youth in Canada, 2nd edition. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1994 (Catalogue No. 89-511E).
McLaughlin, MaryAnn. Employability Skills: What are Employers Looking For? Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada, 1992.
National Crime Prevention Council. Changing Perspectives: Youth as Resources. Washington, DC: 1990.
National Governors' Association. Enhancing Skills for a Competitive World: Report of the Action Team on Lifelong Learning. Washington, DC: 1992.
Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth. Young Voices. Toronto: 1994 (Available in French.)
Premier's Council on the New Global Economy. People and Skills in the New Economy. Toronto: Queen's Printer, 1990. (Available in French)
Premier's Council on Health, Well-being and Social Justice. Yours, Mine and Ours: Ontario's Children and Youth. Toronto: Queen's Printer, 1994. (Available in French.)
Scans (The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills). Learning a Living: A Blueprint for High Performance. US Department of Labor, 1992.
Scales, Peter C. A Portrait of Young Adolescents in the 1990s: Implications for Promoting Healthy Growth and Development. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina, 1991.
Smith, Paul. A Taxonomy of Life Skills Required to Become a Balanced, Self Determined Person. Ottawa: Canada Employment and Immigration Commission and The Guidance Centre of the University of Toronto, 1982. (Available in French.)
Task Force on Education for Young Adolescents. Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century. New York: Carnegie Corporation, Council on Adolescent Development, 1989.
II Youth Volunteers & Volunteer Management: Studies and Manuals
Action National Student Volunteer Program. It's Your Move: Working with Student Volunteers. Washington, DC: 1976.
Action National Student Volunteer Program. Training Student Volunteers. Washington, DC: 1973.
Adolph, Val & Valerie Ahwee. Making a Difference A Guide to Volunteering for Canadian Youth. Toronto: Summerhill Press, 1990.
Conrad, Daniel and Diane Hedin. Youth Service: A Guidebook for Developing and Operating Effective Programs. Independent Sector, 1987.
Council of National Organizations for Adult Education. I Can: A Tool for Assessing Skills Acquired Through Volunteer Service. New York: 1979.
Cumyn, Peter. Youth as Volunteers: A Profile of Volunteers based on the 1987 National Survey of Volunteer Activity in Canada. Voluntary Action Directorate, Department of the Secretary of State (now the Department of Canadian Heritage), 1989.
Ellis, Susan J, Anne Weisbord and Katherine Noyes. Children as Volunteers: Preparing for Community Service, revised edition. Energize, 1991.
Graff, Linda L. By Definition: Policies for Volunteer Programs. Etobicoke, Ontario: Volunteer Ontario, 1992.
Graff, Linda L. Volunteer for the Health of It. Etobicoke, Ontario: Volunteer Ontario, 1991.
Greater Pittsburgh Camp Fire Council. Vytal (Volunteer Youth Training & Leadership) Manual. Pittsburgh, PA: 1993.
Groff, Judy M. Empowering Adults to Value Teenage Youth as Volunteer Resources for Delivering Educational Programs. Paper presented to the 1987 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education in Washington, DC. United States Department of Education (Eric document), 1987.
Hamilton, Stephen F, and L Mickey Fenzel. The Impact of Volunteer Experience on Adolescent Social Development: Evidence of Program Effects in Journal of Adolescent Research, vol 3, no 1 (pp 65-80), 1988.
Hofman, Peter. Selecting the Leader for Effective Teen Programs. Santa Cruz, California: The Salvation Army, 1984.
Human Resources Development Canada (Stay in School Initiative). Enter Mentor: A Program Guide. Ottawa: 1992
Ilsley, Paul. Enhancing the Volunteer Experience: New Insights on Strengthening Volunteer Participation, Learning and Commitment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1990.
Lautenschlager, Janet. Bridges to the Future: Supported Programs for Volunteers with Special Needs. Ottawa: Voluntary Action Program, Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada (now Department of Canadian Heritage), 1992.
Lloyd, Claire. Teen Power: How to Develop a Teen Volunteer Program. Toronto: Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto, 1988.
Moore, Gail. Building Motivation in Partners in Print, (pp 8-9). Richmond Hill, Ontario: Partners Plus, May/June 1994.
Ontario Association for Volunteer Administration. Youth Volunteer issue of The Journal of Volunteer Resources Management, vol 3, no 2, Spring 1994.
Popowski, Karen J. Youth Views on Volunteering and Service in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, vol III, no 4 (pp 34-41). Summer 1985.
Sauer, Joyce. Volunteerism by Students at Risk in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, vol X, no 1 (pp 33-38), Fall 1991.
Schram, Vicki R. Job Skills Developed in Volunteer Work: Transferability to Salaried Employment in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, vol III, no 4, Summer 1985.
Street, Lorraine. Volunteering for Work Experience. Ottawa: Voluntary Action Program, Department of Canadian Heritage, 1994.
The Salvation Army. Selecting the Leader for Effective Teen Programs. Santa Cruz, CA: 1984.
United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. An Introductory Manual on Youth Participation for Program Administrators. Washington, DC: Office of Youth Development, 1976.
Volunteer Centre of Calgary. Campus Volunteerism: a Handbook and Case Studies. Calgary: 1994. (Available in French.)
Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto. Generations Together: a Mentoring Partnership Manual. Toronto: 1994.
Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto. Youth Volunteer Opportunities Directory. Toronto: 1994.
Volunteer Centre of Ottawa-Carleton. Student Volunteer Handbook. Ottawa: 1994.
Victoria Volunteer Bureau. Youth Volunteer Directory, 4th edition. Victoria: 1992.
III Youth Volunteerism in the School Context
Barbeau, Joseph E and William A Stull. Learning from Working: A Guide for Cooperative Education and Internship Students. Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western Publishing, 1990.
Beale, Andrew V. Exploring Careers through Volunteerism in School Counsellor, vol 23, no 1 (pp 68-71), September 1984.
Cairn, Rich Willits and James C Kielsmeier, eds. Growing Hope: A Sourcebook on Integrating Youth Services into the School Curriculum. Roseville, Minnesota: National Youth Leadership Council, 1991.
Conrad, Daniel and Diane Hedin, eds. Youth Participation and Experiential Education. Child and Youth Services Series, vol 4, no 3/4. New York: The Haworth Press, 1982.
Conrad, Dan and Diane Hedin. School-based Community Service: What we know from research and theory in Phi Delta Kappan. June 1991 (pp 743-749).
Conrad, Dan and Diane Hedin. Service: Pathway to Knowledge in Community Service Education, October 1987 (pp 10-14).
Delve, Cecilia et al, eds. Community Service as Values Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1990.
Duley, John. Basic Skills for Experiential Learning: What Skills Do Students Need to Make the Most of Experiential Learning Opportunities?. MSU Paper no 75, 1978. Unpublished paper available through the Educational Resources Information Centre (Eric).
Evans, Karen, Alan Brown and Tim Oats. Developing Work-Based Learning: an Evaluative Review of the YTS Core Skills Project. Sheffield, UK: Manpower Services Commission.
Kelley, Elizabeth. Toward a Tradition of Caring in American Education. United States Department of Education. August/September 1993.
Kendall, Jane C, and Associates, ed. Combining Service and Learning: a Resource Book for Community and Public Service, vols I, II, and III. Raleigh, NC: National Society for Internships and Experiential Education, 1990.
McPherson, Kate. Learning Through Service. Seattle, WA: Project Service Leadership, 1989.
Raupp, Carol D and David C Cohen. Volunteering as Learning Experience in Teaching Psychology, vol 19, no 1, February 1992 (pp 25-30).
Silcox, Harry C. A How-to-Guide on Reflection: Adding Cognitive Learning to Community Service Program. Philadelphia, PA: Brighton Press, 1993.
Volunteer Kamloops. Education and Volunteering: Course Planning Success. Kamloops, BC: 1990.
IV Career Planning and Job Searching:
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