We Take Sides Blog

LinkedIn recognizes the importance of causes and volunteerism

October
18 2011

Recently LinkedIn introduced a new section to personal profiles: “Volunteer Experience and Causes”. Now in addition to work experience, individuals can add in volunteer positions, issues they’re interested in, and specific organizations they support.

What does this mean for you?

If your organization still isn’t on LinkedIn, it should be. Then reach out to your most passionate volunteers and supporters, and encourage them to add you to their profiles.

Volunteers

Often, people choose to volunteer for personal issues; they want to make a difference. Yet according to a survey of hiring managers conducted by LinkedIn, “Twenty percent [said] they have made a hiring decision based on a candidate’s volunteer work experience.” You appreciate the work your volunteers do for you, so help them advance in their career by letting them know this experience can be recognized elsewhere as well.

Similar to standard work experience, volunteers can list the position title, dates served and a description of what they did. Unfortunately, there is not yet a way to ask for recommendations related to volunteer work.

Supporters

We all have a broader network of supporters than those who directly volunteer for the organization. Now those individuals can also help promote your organization by simply listing it on their profile. People viewing their profile can learn about your organization through their mention.

Convinced? Great!

Adding your organization to LinkedIn

If your organization is not already listed on LinkedIn, the first step is for an authorized user to create a company page. This needs to be done by someone who has an email address associated with the organization’s domain (i.e. yourname@yourcompany.org, not yourname@gmail.com). Company pages can include information on your mission, location, job opportunities and more. See the American Red Cross company page at http://www.linkedin.com/company/157239 for more information.

More information on Company Pages is available at: http://learn.linkedin.com/company-pages/.

Adding “Volunteer Experience and Causes” to a profile

Once the company page has been created, you can start asking individuals to add it to their profile. Because this is a new feature, it’s not very well known as of yet.

  1. Go to “Edit profile”.
  2. Below the summary box and above the Work Summary section, select “add section” in the light blue box.
  3. Select “Volunteer Experience and Causes” from the list of possible sections.
  4. Volunteer Experience can be added just like standard paid work experience
  5. Causes and organizations can be added by selecting the type of causes from a list provided, and typing in the names of specific organizations. If the organization has a company page (see above), it will show up as you start typing in the name.
  6. Select the appropriate organization, and it will be displayed on your profile.

Some of us have already found creative ways to add our volunteer experience onto our profiles (as work experience), but others may not have taken the initiative to do so. Let your supporters know that this is a great way for them to showcase their passion and talents., and help further promote your organization.

LinkedIn can also serve as a valuable collaboration platform to engage with like-minded individuals. Interested in how you can use LinkedIn to further your business? Contact us!

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