Do you know how to list your volunteer activity
on LinkedIn and fill a gap?
Do you know how to list your volunteer activity on LinkedIn and fill a gap? You can add it to your experience section to fill a career break.
There may be reasons for listing it elsewhere than the volunteer section.
The topic of dealing with gaps came up at a recent LinkedIn training I did when attendees wanted to discuss options for filling gaps on their resumes and LinkedIn profile.
In March of 2022, LinkedIn announced a new feature called Career Breaks. It’s a great feature, but you may or may not want to use it to fill a void on your profile if you do not have a current job.
Prior to the release of that Career Break feature, I had recommended that individuals use the term “Sabbatical” when there was a significant gap between jobs.
In the gap article noted above are links to two other articles stating that it is better to show you have a “to present” job on LinkedIn than not have a current job listed.
This situation is where it might be helpful to include a “to present” role as a nonprofit volunteer, especially if the nonprofit has a company page on LinkedIn and you can display their logo.
You don’t have to list your job title solely as “Volunteer” at the organization. You can embellish your job titles up to 100 characters.
If you are using your skillset, list what you are doing for the organization and add “volunteer” at the end.
Example: Social Media | Graphic Design | Branding | Marketing | Communications | Fundraising | Volunteer
This job title is an example of someone volunteering for a nonprofit but showcases what they do for the organization, totaling 95 characters.
Placing this volunteer role in the Experience section not only fills the employment gap but lists keywords in one of the important places to include keywords on LinkedIn.
If you wonder about listing the volunteer role twice (Volunteering section and Experience), it’s absolutely fine. There are no written rules anywhere that state you cannot do this.
As the Executive Director of a nonprofit, I have the nonprofit listed on my LinkedIn profile in the Experience section, the Volunteering section, and the Professional Organizations section because we are a networking organization.
Do what makes sense and works best for your situation, and just know that you can “color outside the box” on this one. Volunteering your time and talent can be showcased in more than the Volunteering section.
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Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career education and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management. She is also the President of ChemPharma.net and runs a Clubhouse session on Fridays at 11 AM ET in the Thought Leadership Branding Club.
Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn profiles, Lynne is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.