Volunteer work isn’t just fulfilling on a personal level — it’s also an incredible way to wow potential employers. Displaying your volunteer work on LinkedIn helps you stand out and showcase your passions, but most of us have no idea how to add volunteer experience to LinkedIn.
The good news? It’s easier than you think to do. The best news? This quick and easy process seriously elevates your profile. Here’s everything you need to know about showcasing your volunteer experience on LinkedIn.
We’ve established how powerful it can be to showcase your volunteer work on LinkedIn — even if it’s not 100% relevant to the field you’re hoping to work in. Now let’s dive in and explore how to actually add your experiences to your LinkedIn profile.
Log into your LinkedIn account and make sure you’re on your profile, not the home feed.
Then, you’ll want to click the “Add Profile Section” outlined in yellow below. You’ll find this button underneath your headline (which should be optimized with keywords already to help recruiters and hiring managers find you!) and next to the “Open To” button where you identify that you’re open to new roles.
Now that you have the “Add profile section” window open, you’ll be presented with three options: “Core,” “Recommended,” and “Additional.”
Click on “Additional” to unlock the right options for this process.
With the “Additional” options available, you’ll want to find and select “Add volunteer experience.” Go ahead and click that button!
It’s time to actually add your experience now. Start by filling in the organization you volunteered with, your role, and the cause this organization supports.
Then, check the box to indicate if you’re currently volunteering in this role (if this is a past experience, leave that box unchecked). Add your start date (and end date, if applicable).
Finally, you can write a description. This is a chance to really showcase why you wanted to participate in this work and what it meant to you. How did you make an impact, but more importantly, how did this volunteer experience impact you?
Remember, volunteering isn’t about you. The more authentic you are in your description, the more likely it is to impress a hiring manager. Don’t stress about fluffing the description or being super formal…just be yourself, be descriptive, and tell a story.
Be sure to fill out all of the fields here for the best results! Then, hit “Save” in the lower right-hand corner, and you’re good to go. Your shiny new “Volunteer Experience” section will be ready to go on your profile.
Volunteer work is an incredible asset for any job searcher to have and showcase while looking for work and interviewing with different companies. The data agrees: Deloitte’s Volunteer Impact Research has found that over 75% of hiring managers and HR executives take skilled volunteer work into account when making a hiring decision. And that number is even higher when it comes to subgroups like college students and veterans, with 91% and 76% favorability by hiring executives respectively.
For those who have struggled with unemployment or gaps in employment, volunteer work also increases your odds of being hired. The Corporation for National and Community Service actually found that volunteer work increases your chances of being hired by as much as 27% on average, even if you’ve experienced significant gaps in employment or periods of unemployment.
Beyond these impressive data points, though, volunteer work has a few other key benefits. You’ll build your portfolio, highlight your core values and leadership skills, and show that you’re willing to go above and beyond to support others in your community.
With volunteer work on your profile, you’ll immediately stand out as someone who’s:
Yes, you totally can. LinkedIn is going to default to showing your “latest” or most recent experiences first. But you can scroll down on your profile and manually edit the order.
Every profile section on LinkedIn has a convenient edit button — it’s easy to spot because it looks like a little pencil. Check out some examples of this button pulled from sections of my own profile below:
Click that little pencil-shaped “Edit” button, and you’ll be able to drag-and-reorder the experiences in that section.
Alternatively, you can delete and re-add the experience you want to appear first. It’s up to you, but personally, I find the drag-and-drop method quicker and simpler.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is essential if you want to land a new job. It’s one of the best ways to show up in search results and end up with hiring managers and recruiters sliding into your DMs, instead of you reaching out (make sure you know how to respond when a recruiter reaches out to you on LinkedIn, too—we know it’s coming your way soon!).
To start optimizing your profile, you’ll want to add a cover photo and profile photo, fill out all the sections completely, and write a headline and description with strategic keywords targeted to your niche or desired role.
The easiest way to check what to optimize your LinkedIn profile is with Teal’s free LinkedIn Review Tool. You’ll stand out to recruiters in just a few clicks. The tool is an easy-to-use Google Chrome extension. It will analyze your profile and provide personalized, strategic recommendations to help you improve.
That’s all there is to it! You now fully understand how to add volunteer experience to LinkedIn — and this small addition could make a huge impact on how others see you throughout the hiring process.