Blog post

Why you should mention the Pledge in your LinkedIn summary

4 min read
Feb 21, 2022
Mentioning the Pledge in your LinkedIn summary is an easy way to spread the word. Here's why you should do it, and how you might go about doing it in practice.

One of the first things that people tend to do when they want to learn about someone in a professional context is look them up on LinkedIn. As such, it could be highly impactful for you to mention your commitment to the pledge on your LinkedIn profile. Including the pledge could also make your LinkedIn summary much stronger, authentic, and convincing. More importantly, it could also encourage others to give effectively.

In short, a good LinkedIn summary:

  • Highlights your biggest achievements
  • Captures your personality
  • Strengthens people’s first impression of you
  • Allows you to put your best self out there

It follows that sharing your dedication to the pledge might be a great way to communicate to others what you find important in the world. It could also show people what your personality is like beyond your work achievements and professional experience.

Why we should be public with the pledge

There can sometimes be tremendous benefits to being public with our actions. Beyond the direct value of charity, it is important to think about the knock-on effects of encouraging others to be generous. Think about it this way: pledging to donate 10% of your income throughout your working life can positively impact the lives of many others. But you can substantially increase your contribution to the world just by convincing one other person to join you in taking the pledge!

Remember, ideas cannot spread unless we share them.

We are social creatures that rely on others for cues on what we ought to do (a phenomenon known as ‘social proof’). Being an “early adopter,” argues Luke Freeman in a blogpost for Giving What We Can, can “normalise the path forward for others” to start dedicating time and money to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

The natural urge to conceal our altruism can be appealing. Telling others about our preferences, ideals, and passions can be scary (especially if it risks us coming off as boastful or pretentious). But it is sometimes needed in order to create a cascade of social change. This change will never happen — or if it does, it will happen far too slowly — if we give in silence. So let’s speak up when we can.

Things to mention

Here are some things you might wish to mention in your summary:

  • Why you took the pledge
  • When you took the pledge
  • How the pledge relates to your career goals
  • Your desire to spread the word to others
  • How the pledge has improved your own wellbeing
  • What charities/cause areas you’re passionate about
  • Information about the GWWC community
  • Basic information on effective altruism/cost effectiveness
  • What % you’ve chosen to donate
  • A call to action

Sample summaries

  1. Beyond my career, I’m passionate about finding (and funding) the most effective charities in the world. I’m part of an international community of people who’ve pledged at least 10% of their income over the course of their careers. The Giving What We Can community has over 7,000 members and has pledged in excess of $2.5 billion to the world’s most effective charities. If you’re interested in learning more about the Pledge or if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me anytime to chat about it.
  2. 5 years ago, I signed the Giving What We Can Pledge, which involves giving 10% of my income to the most effective charities over the course of my career. Taking the Pledge has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. If you’re interested in learning about how you can make a tremendous impact in the lives of thousands of others over the course of your career, I encourage you to check out givingwhatwecan.org to learn more about the Pledge and effective charitable giving.
  3. Did you know that the most effective charities in the world can sometimes be as much as 100 times more effective than average charities? For example, estimates by GiveWell, a charity assessment organization, claim that $4,500 in donations towards long-lasting insecticide nets to prevent malaria will save a child’s life on average. Due to the tremendous potential for impact that these charities offer, I’ve pledged to donate 10% of my annual income over the course of my career to the most effective charities as a member of an organisation called Giving What We Can. If you’d like to learn more about why I took the Pledge, please reach out anytime to chat with me about it.
  4. Outside of my passion for software engineering, one of my interests is effective philanthropy. I pledged to donate 10% of my income over the course of my career to highly effective charities about 7 years ago by taking the Giving What We Can Pledge. Giving What We Can is an international organization and community of over 7,000 members who’ve pledged more than $2.5 billion to the world’s most effective charities. If you’re interested in learning about how much potential you have to positively impact the world, I encourage you to check out givingwhatwecan.org to learn more about the community and the Pledge.

Additional articles on the benefits of being public

  1. To inspire people to give, be public
  2. Why you should be public about your good deeds
  3. Social change happens one person at a time, so start multiplying your impact!