Independent Thinking Blog

Does Experience Count Less If You’re Not Paid?

Do you value Michael Bloomberg’s experience as mayor of New York any less because he’s only making $1 per year? I’m betting his salary is irrelevant to you. So why do so many people undervalue their own or others’ volunteer work?

This post was prompted by an e-mail I received from Stacey Torrano in response to a column I wrote and the 6 Reasons You Should Serve on a Board post from a few months ago. She was looking for advice on how to market her new role as vice president of her co-op board.

My advice: identify the key business skills you’re using in that role, much as you would for any paid position. And don’t forget to talk about accomplishments.

For resumes, placement is tough, because people typically expect to see a chronology of paid positions. Thus I’d probably put the VP, Co-op Board position into a “Leadership” or “Other Professional Experience” category, depending on the structure of your resume. On LinkedIn, however, I’d consider adding it into the chronology (see my profile as an example), depending on what value it brings to you now and what other positions you need to post.

What advice would you give Stacey?

Photo by Anna Gutermuth (Flickr).

You May Also Like