Have you thought to use LinkedIn’s Volunteer Experience Section to showcase your community involvement?
Earlier this year, LinkedIn made major changes in the format of LinkedIn profiles. One was to consolidate many sections under the Accomplishments, which is located toward the bottom of your profile. It can include certifications, courses completed, organization memberships, projects, honors and awards, languages spoken, test scores, publications, patents, and more.
While it still makes sense to populate the sections under Accomplishments, it is also important to complete the Volunteer Experience section.
Which Organizations Should You Include in Your Volunteer Experience Section?
When you think of volunteering, you might initially consider only the charitable organizations you support. Broaden your scope to include other types of organizations, being sure to include both current affiliations as well as those from your past.
- Professional Organizations – Associations, Trade or Professional organizations from your current and past careers or experiences. Include references to leadership roles on committees or boards of these groups.
- Business Organizations – for all these use the same approach as mentioned under professional organizations. Also, if you were a founding member of any of these groups, be sure to include that information.
- Chambers of commerce
- Business networking organizations
- Groups focused on entrepreneurs or startups
- Specialized groups related to a certain aspect of doing business. An example could be digital networking
- Community Organizations –
- Service clubs, e.g. Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimist, Sertoma, etc. Tell about your involvement in raising money for charitable projects and as a volunteer with the projects.
- Toastmasters clubs. Give examples of your leadership roles and other volunteer contributions. Reference that the organization focuses on helping members improve their communication and leadership skills.
- Places of worship, e.g. churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious organizations. Focus on ongoing volunteer commitments and positions of leadership.
- Charitable organizations, e.g. United Way, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA, health-related organizations. Focus on leadership and increasing membership involvement and/or engagement
- Children and family organizations, e.g. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H Clubs. Focus on leadership and increasing engagement
- School-related organizations, e.g. PTA, band boosters. Focus on raising money, awareness, membership, and community awareness
- Sports teams, e.g. coaching youth and adult sports teams: Focus on leadership and raising money
What Should be in the Volunteer Experience Section?
Volunteer Experience is still its own separate section, right after Education. This section has become more important because it displays more prominently than Accomplishments section which is further down the page.
Under Volunteer Experience, be sure to include the following:
- Name of the organization where you volunteer
- Your position(s) as a volunteer
- When you volunteered there, including those where you are currently a volunteer
- Description of the nature of your contributions, especially any titled or leadership roles you held. Include your involvement at local, state, national, and/or international levels as applicable
How About You?
What kinds of organizations and volunteer contributions do you include in your Volunteer Experience section? Have you made any valuable business connections because someone noticed these activities?
Joyce Feustel helps people, especially those ages 45 and older, to become more comfortable using social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.
She works with business owners, business development professionals, leaders of nonprofit organizations, job seekers, consultants, and many others. Find her at www.boomerssocialmediatutor.com.