A new report by the professional networking site LinkedIn has found that adding volunteer work experience to a resume can be beneficial to job seekers, with the website recently adding a new profile section to highlight community service work.
The company surveyed 2,000 professionals in the U.S and found that while 89 percent of them had volunteer experience, only 45 percent had added it on their resume.
According to Nicole Williams, connection director at LinkedIn, the company’s new “Volunteer Experience and Causes” section can help potential candidates underscore potentially marketable skills.
Professionals often have the misconception that volunteer work doesn’t qualify as real work experience, Williams told CIO magazine. “You may be a sales person by trade, but if you organized your nonprofit’s fundraising event, you can add skills like event planning or event marketing to your profile. Having those additional skills can potentially make you a more attractive employee and business partner.”
The report also found that one out of every five mangers surveyed said that they made a hiring decision based on a job seeker’s volunteer work experience.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were approximately 3.2 million job openings in the U.S. as of August 2011.