Communicate Your Service Experience
Explore resources to better explain your AmeriCorps service experience
Developing Your Elevator Speech
It is important to effectively explain your service experience as you network with potential employers. Craft a brief description of what you accomplished during your term of service. Focus on the results of your service.
Example: My role at Volunteer Houston was to recruit volunteers and agencies to use our Volunteer Connection Platform to stay engaged. I analyzed how we could improve the Platform’s performance, and over the course of my AmeriCorps VISTA term, we revamped our website, launched a Google AdWords campaign and became the first Volunteer Center in the country to develop a mobile app for finding volunteer opportunities. I’m proud to say we increased our registrations by over 50%.
Example: As an AmeriCorps NCCC member, I was part of a 10 person team that spent 10 months traveling the country, living in communities and addressing their most pressing needs. We engaged in various projects, including providing crucial support to towns devastated by natural disasters and helping rebuild communities throughout the South and the Midwest. I am proud to say that we assisted more than 150 people impacted by flooding and distributed more than 1,000 pounds of food and other supplies.
Writing your Resume
Here are brief descriptions you can include on your resume – or use during an interview – to explain each AmeriCorps program.
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a full-time, 12 month program, whose members help build the capacity of nonprofit organizations and local government agencies that alleviate poverty.
AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a full-time, residential, team-based program for young adults ages 18-24 whose members strengthen communities and develops leadership skills by completing service projects across the country.
AmeriCorps (State/National) consists of local, regional, and national organizations who are committed to using national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. More than 80,000 men and women commit to service each year at more than 21,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country.
Your resume should include short, concise bullets that accurately describe your accomplishments as an AmeriCorps member. Try to quantify your experience whenever possible. Here are examples of how you can capture your service experience on a resume:
AmeriCorps VISTA Example:
AmeriCorps VISTA Outreach Coordinator June 2016 - June 2017
New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities, Concord, NH
Spent one year working full-time toward improving the lives of low-income New Hampshire citizens with developmental disabilities through AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)
- Created and edited over 15 flyers/brochures used for educational and promotional purposes
- Managed email marketing, website updates, and social media channels
- Trained three staff on how to generate and schedule social media content
- Revitilized the volunteer program by creating instruction manuals and orientation materials, increasing the number of active volunteers for the organization by 50%
- Established five new local business partnerships
AmeriCorps VISTA Leader Example:
Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families, Charleston, SC August 2016 - Present
AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
- Committed one year of full-time national service to support and coordinate the projects of the 23 VISTA members of the Charleston Area Service Collaborative.
- Fostered greater communication between VISTA members, their sponsoring organizations, and the Charleston community by organizing gatherings and creating a monthly newsletter.
- Facilitated a learning community among VISTA members that included enhanced trainings, professional development opportunities, and service learning.
- Assisted with the evaluation of the 23 VISTA sites and the overall VISTA program by collecting and analyzing data.
- Supported site selection and VISTA recruitment for the 2017-2018 service year.
Notre Dame Mission AmeriCorps Member - Tutor and Mentor August 2016 – July 2017
Tallahassee Public Schools, Tallahassee, FL
- Taught 165 PreK-8th grade students mathematics and language arts through one-on-one and small group tutoring during and after school
- Researched and prepared grade level appropriate STEM lesson plans for teachers and students
- Led weekly self-esteem and empowerment mentorship club for 15 female, 6th grade students
- Mentored 20 8th grade junior camp counselors on leadership during annual summer camp program
- Attended the 2016 Central Florida Leadership Academy to become a certified Youth Coach
AmeriCorps NCCC Example:
Corps Member February 2012 – November 2012
AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), Sacramento, CA
Completed 10-month, team-based service program dedicated to strengthening communities and developing leaders.
- Served on construction, wildland fire management and youth development projects which met designated urban and rural development and environmental stewardship service areas
- Compiled project portfolios and delivered eight project presentations
- Delivered project speeches to AmeriCorps NCCC staff and final speech at Corps Graduation
- Managed 10-20 volunteers on two projects sites
- Coordinated independent service projects with local organizations and completed assigned team chores in addition to 1,700 required service hours necessary to graduate the program
AmeriCorps NCCC Leader Example:
AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader February 2015 - November 2015
- Led 9 individuals aged 18-24 through a variety of community service projects for 10 months
- Supported member development through team building exercises and service learning reflections to help identify skills gained from service projects
- Enforced behavioral standards and supported in conflict resolution amongst team members in order to maintain a cohesive team dynamic
- Managed travel logistics, project completion reports, and weekly budget of team finances
- Served as a liaison between project supervisor and team members, and program supervisors and team members
Preparing for an Interview
When asked, “Why should I hire you?”explain how you gained any of the following attributes through serving with AmeriCorps. These are qualities that employers value:
- Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Having served as an AmeriCorps member, I have developed the ability to adapt, collaborate, and take initiative to get the job done. I believe I would be a good fit for your organization because of the skills and experiences I gained through national service.
Updating Your LinkedIn Profile
Here are some suggestions and examples to enhancing your LinkedIn profile to reflect your AmeriCorps experience:
Include AmeriCorps in the “Experience” section of your profile
Add 3-5 bullets that describe your accomplishments – these can be the same or similar to your resume bullets
As with resume bullets, remember to quantify whenever possible
Consider including a one sentence description of the AmeriCorps program in which you served
Here are examples of how you can capture your service experience in your LinkedIn profile:
- List AmeriCorps as the employer and include the sponsor in your title, This will display the AmeriCorps logo.
- List your sponsor as the employer and include “AmeriCorps VISTA” in your title. Your sponsor’s logo will auto-populate in the image field. If the sponsor gave you a title, you can combine them, for example, “AmeriCorps VISTA Communications Coordinator.”