Volunteering is getting new visibility on social networks such as LinkedIn, a site designed to help people exchange information about their jobs and careers. LinkedIn said today that it’s adding a way for people to list unpaid volunteer work when they create online résumés through the site.
“Even if you’re currently unemployed, you can still actively volunteer and begin to accrue new skill sets,” said Nicole Williams, an official at LinkedIn.
While nearly 9 in 10 people who use LinkedIn say they volunteer, only 45 percent include that experience on their résumés, says Ms. Williams. That information came from a survey of 2,000 of people who use the site either to list their professional skills or to find people to hire.
LinkedIn said it also found that 41 percent of people who make hiring decisions consider volunteer work as valuable as paid work when evaluating job candidates, and 20 percent made a hiring decision based on volunteer experience.
Greg Baldwin, president of the nonprofit VolunteerMatch, which helps people find ways to donate their time, says he is glad to see volunteer skills getting so much visibility on the popular career-networking site.
“People want to share their volunteer experiences,” he says, “and this gives people an opportunity to do that in a way that’s beneficial not only for their career but for volunteering and service.”