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Volunteer Experience on your Linkedin profile

9 September 2011 | View comments
Damien Austin-Walker

This week Linkedin.com launched a much awaited new feature - the ability to add a “Volunteer Experience & Causes” field to your LinkedIn Profile. This allows LinkedIn members to add “volunteer positions, causes they care about, and organizations they support”

linkedin

The benefits of showing your volunteering on your CV are widely recognised. So it’s no surprise that Linkedin have introduced this feature for their users. You can read more about the Linkedin Volunteer Experience section on the linkedin blog

I have had many conversations on Twitter with people who ask how best to add their volunteering experience to Linkedin. I have always suggested simply adding any volunteering roles within the paid experience section, but clearly indicate in the role description or title that it’s volunteering. Experience got from volunteering is just as, and sometimes more, valuable than paid experience.

I was happy doing it this way, and a little bemused by people who struggled with how to add their voluntary experience. So I was a bit dismissive when I heard Linkedin had introduced a specific section. However after giving it a go for myself I think I like it:

  • It’s now clear where you can add volunteering experience
  • Having the feature gives the message that volunteering experience is valuable to potential employers
  • You can click and drag the section to reposition it - so you can put it before your paid experience if it’s more relevant

The benefits of having a separate dedicated section outweigh my initial concern that it may get glossed over as potential employers concentrate on the main paid employment section. Once employers get used to seeing a volunteering section on a CV or Linkedin profile it will become something they look for.

Overall I think this is a great and welcome move from Linkedin. I’d like them to allow volunteer experience to be listed chronologically within the section. Currently is seems it’s ordered in the order you entered stuff. I’m sure this is something they can improve easily.

Have you added your volunteering to your Linkedin profile yet?



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