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The purpose of a resume is to give a potential employer a snapshot of your work experience, skills, education and other relevant information in the hopes of gaining employment. While it's a no-brainer to include prior job experience on a resume, whether or not to include volunteer work or extracurricular activities -- especially of a religious nature -- is not as clear cut. Because religious affiliation is protected by law, some hiring managers might worry that the job seeker will sue for discrimination if she is interviewed but not hired. In some cases, the hiring manager might be afraid to call you in for an interview at all if you include church references in your resume, according to the Business Insider website. That's why it's important to consider carefully whether your church activities are relevant to the job you are seeking.
Volunteer Work and Other Church Activities
Include any relevant volunteer work on your resume in a section underneath the work experience section and title it "Volunteer Work" or "Volunteer Experience." List each volunteer job separately, the same as you would for a paid job. Include the dates that you worked; the name of the church organization; your job title, such as "Youth Mentor" or "Sunday School Teacher;" and your job duties. Activities such as youth mission trips, singing in the choir or going with a church group to feed the homeless should only be included if they are directly relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a position in a church or other religious organization, it is fine to include this type of experience. Otherwise, it's best to leave it off.
Based in Lake Mary, Fla., Charity Tober writes mainly on finance, career, interior decorating, parenting and weddings. Tober has also self-published two children's picture books. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of Florida.