…And For Extra Credit: LinkedIn and Volunteer Experience

Remember when you or the young people around you were getting ready to chew the insides of their cheeks raw with worry as they thought about applying to college (or a competitive private high school or similar institution) and the main focus of their/our days and sleepless nights was extracurricular activities? What will look good on the resume? What club can I join, service project can I participate in, team can I get onto, office can I run for to make me stand out from the competition? Of course the cycle repeats when we are on the job hunt. I’m facing it now as I relocated across the country to Southern California with no actual job–and will need to belly up to the bar of gainful employment right quick (hint hint…if you hear of anything…)

A nice evolution of the often dry, and even more often, overwrought, resume/CV is the departure from the once classic dates-employer-position-job description listing of past work as the entire meat and potatoes of the job hunter’s calling card (or one sheet…or now, perhaps several electronic sheets with emoticons and animations and photos and links and attachments and background music and graphics and a $50 gift certificate to Starbucks embedded within). LinkedIn (the “World’s Largest Professional Network”) has seen the writing on the wall, and now makes it possible to include your volunteer experiences in your profile. A “Volunteer Experience and Causes” field has been added so potential employers and network friends can see what is truly important to you beyond a steady paycheck. Just because it is unpaid, it does not mean that volunteering is not viable work experience (and likely responsible for personal growth far beyond that gained in a cubicle). 41% of hiring professionals in a recent poll stated that volunteer experience was as important as paid job history when evaluating potential candidates for positions.

So the next time you’re weighing the pros and cons of taking some time for a volunteer vacation–consider it career enrichment, and sign up!

One response to this post.

  1. Love this post Andrew, thank YOU! It’s so important to continue giving back and these new avenues are so great so the whole world knows the good you are doing! Cheers!


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