The recession and slow economic recovery has led many Americans to volunteerism to help boost their resumes and open new doors. Individuals who have donated their time to a nonprofit organization can better publicize this work on their LinkedIn profile. Last week, the professional networking site announced the addition of a Volunteer Experiences & Causes section to user profiles.
LinkedIn conducted a survey of about 2,000 people and found that 89 percent had volunteer experience but only 45 percent included this volunteer experience on their resumes. However, 41 percent of those surveyed consider volunteer experience when evaluating a possible job candidate and 20 percent of hiring managers used volunteer work when making a hiring decision.
Obviously volunteer experience can help you land a new job. With many people turning to online sites to help in their job search, the addition of a volunteering section to LinkedIn just makes sense.
Nicole Williams, connection director at LinkedIn, comments on the addition of the new section. “Given the current economic climate and the hypercompetitive job market, it's essential to include your volunteer work on your profile. Even if you're currently unemployed, you can still actively volunteer and begin to accrue new skill sets. When hiring managers or business partners are comparing two people side by side, volunteer experience makes you a more multifaceted professional and can set you apart from the competition.”
If you’re on LinkedIn, adding this new section to your profile is simple. Log on to the site, click on “Add Sections”, select “Volunteer Experience & Causes” and then click the “Add to Profile” button. Fill out your volunteer experience and it will be added to your LinkedIn profile.