Good news for high schoolers and college grads who have yet to earn real world experience. LinkedIn announced today that it will now be adding a new “Volunteer Experience & Causes” field to profiles, allowing users to highlight unpaid philanthropic or charitable experiences.

Within the “Volunteer Experience & Causes” section, users have the ability to click the causes most meaningful to them, and add specific organizations which they support. LinkedIn made this addition after recent surveys showed that promoting your philanthropic involvement can really improve a successful job search. The company used a poll of almost 2,000 professionals in the US and a staggering 41% reported that they consider volunteer work on par with paid work within the evaluation process. The statistic that shocked me the most- of managers surveyed, 20% gave a job to a candidate based on this volunteer experience.

Power to those who are out and about making a change in world. I think it’s an incredibly worthwhile way to spend time. As does Abraham Harrison President Chris Abraham, who’s recently been having a blast working at Miriam’s Kitchen. It is unfortunately a catch-22. In a perfect world, we’d have all the time we’d like to not only bring home the bacon, but hopefully provide said bacon for another family that needs it. Although this is not possible for all working ladies and gents in this economy, community service is something to proud of and a good networking tool to meet companies that are both fiscally and socially responsible.

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