Dual Passions: Volunteer Work & Social Networking

 I've recently read two articles that lay out the case for why it's important that you include your volunteer work in your resume/CV or LinkedIn profile, regardless of whether or not you're currently looking for a job.

In an article from Fortune/CNN, Still not putting volunteer work on your resume?, the author says, "According to a new survey from LinkedIn, 89% of U.S. businesspeople have significant volunteer experience. Yet only 45% include it in their resumes. The same report tells why leaving it out is a mistake."

And "41% of hiring managers say they consider free labor for a good cause to be "equally valuable" as other experience, and one in five has hired someone for a paying job because of his or her volunteer work."

In the second article that caught my eye recently, Volunteer work helps Boost your resume strength, Nicole Williams, the author of the book "Girl on Top" and a spokeswoman for networking site LinkedIn, said, "...job seekers should make sure they include their volunteer jobs on their resumes and their online profiles to differentiate themselves from other job seekers."

"The majority of people volunteer, and nobody's putting it on their resume," Williams said.

I'm assuming (hoping?) you have a LinkedIn profile. Even if you love your job, couldn't be happier, you still need to take ownership of your personal brand and show up in search results when someone Googles your name. You owe it to yourself to keep your skills and your online profile up-to-date at all times. (Keep an eye out for my soon-to-published blog post on Personal Branding.)

Updating the new volunteer experience & causes section in LinkedIn shouldn't take you more than a moment or two, and will look like this on your public LinkedIn profile:

 And if you're not out there volunteering, here's my personal plug for that: Get out there and do it! Volunteering is an amazing way to help your community, network, and truly realize your blessings. I find that when I volunteer, the benefits definitely go both ways. :-)