A new feature for LinkedIn profiles allows you to highlight career breaks and provide more context about skills and experiences gained away from the workplace.
In an announcement from LinkedIn, it’s stated this feature is being introduced in response to users asking for ways to highlight the positive aspects of career breaks.
Life experiences and skills people have built while on a break can sometimes match what employers are looking for in open roles.
This featured is designed to encourage an open discussion between candidates and recruiters about time spent away from the traditional workplace.
You can now indicate whether time off between job positions was taken for full-time parenting, bereavement, caregiving, a gap year, layoff, or other reasons.
LinkedIn’s data shows the number of career breaks are increasing, but there remains a stigma against them among employers.
Based on survey of 23,000 workers and over 4,000 hiring managers:
- 62% of employees have taken a break at some point in their professional career.
- 35% of employees would like to take a career break in the future.
- 20% of hiring managers say they would reject a candidate that took a break.
Considering the stigma against career breaks, why does LinkedIn think it would be a good idea to highlight them?
Why Highlight Career Breaks On Your LinkedIn Profile?
It’s stated by LinkedIn that professionals who take career breaks are often refining their skills or developing new ones.
- 56% of employees say they acquired new skills, or improved existing ones, during a career break.
- 54% of women who took career breaks say they are better at their job than they were before.
Employer sentiment toward career breaks is starting to take a different direction.
- 46% of employers believe candidates with career breaks are an untapped talent pool.
- 51% of employers would likely call a candidate back if they knew the context of why they took a break.
The new Career Breaks feature for LinkedIn profiles gives you a chance to initiative a discussion and resolve concerns that may be on an employers’ mind.
Further, you can emphasize how the time spent away from the workforce makes you more valuable now as a candidate.
As this feature rolls out, and more people add it to their profiles, recruiters will be able to search specifically for candidates that have taken a career break.
How To Highlight Career Breaks On Your LinkedIn Profile
You can utilize this feature by navigating to your profile LinkedIn profile and tapping on Add Section.
From there, select the option to add a career break.
LinkedIn will ask you to fill out a few fields, such as the start and end time of the break, a title for the break, and a description.
The form asks for a “type” of break, and allows you to choose from the following options:
- Career transition
- Full-time parenting
- Gap year
- Layoff/position eliminated
- Health and well-being
- Personal goal pursuit
- Professional development
- Voluntary work
After you add a career break it will appear in the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile.
Featured Image: Daniel Constante/Shutterstock