Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

Try KIVA! For Free!

40,000.

That’s how many FREE loans KIVA is providing through the generosity of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. If you join KIVA right now, you can make your first loan to a small business owner for free. I have, if memory serves, eleven active business loans right now, and love investing and re-investing over and over again to change lives across the globe. I call them my business partners–I have helped fund an arts collective in Peru, a grocery store in Ivory Coast, clothing shop in Sierra Leone, tortilla-making business, beauty supply shop, shoe sales, car service, and more, in many many countries. I love randomly searching the website for profiles that tug at me heart and inspire me. It’s so affordable, so do-able, and so fulfilling (and a great gift as well).

If you haven’t yet experienced the power of microfinance–go explore.

…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!