A recent survey has convinced LinkedIn to add a new field to online profiles: "Volunteer Experiences & Causes." According to the survey of 2,000 professionals, 41% of hiring managers believe that volunteer experience is just as valuable as paid experience, and 20% of hiring managers have made hiring decisions based on a candidate's volunteer work. Eighty-nine percent of the survey respondents had performed volunteer work, yet only 45% of them included this on their resumes, feeling that they didn't want to exploit the community group -- or because they didn't think about including the experience.
Volunteer work could give you skills and experience that employers want: teamwork, interpersonal skills, sales and marketing, and more. So why not include this on your resume, particularly in a tight, competitive labor market?
- Do you currently list volunteer work on your resume? Why or why not? Will you add it now that you see how much it is valued by employers?
- What are the downsides of including volunteer experience on your resume?
- Looking back on your volunteer work, what competencies (skills, knowledge, or abilities) do you believe the experience developed that might be useful in your career?