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 was mentioned that this feature is being introduced in response to users requesting ways to highlight the positive aspects of a career break.
The life experiences and skills people have built during their break can sometimes match what employers are looking for in open roles.
This feature is designed to encourage an open discussion between candidates and recruiters about time spent away from the traditional workplace.
You can now indicate if leave has been taken between job positions for full-time parenting, bereavement, caregiving, a gap year, a layoff, or other reasons.
LinkedIn data shows that the number of layoffs is increasing, but there is still a stigma against them among employers.
Based on a survey of 23,000 workers and more than 4,000 hiring managers:
- 62% of employees have taken a break at some point in their career.
- 35% of employees wish to take career leave in the future.
- 20% of hiring managers say they would refuse a candidate to take a break.
Given the stigma against career interruptions, why does LinkedIn think it’s a good idea to highlight it?
Why highlight career breaks on your LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn reported that professionals who take career breaks often hone their skills or develop new ones.
- 56% of employees say they have acquired new skills, or improved existing ones, during the time off work.
- 54% of women who took breaks from work said they were better at their job than they were before.
Employer sentiment towards career interruptions is beginning to take a different direction.
- 46% of employers believe that candidates who have taken career breaks are an untapped talent pool.
- 51% Employers are more likely to call the candidate back if they know the context of why they took the break.
The new Career Breaks feature for LinkedIn profiles gives you an opportunity to start discussing and resolving issues that may be on employers’ minds.
Furthermore, you can stress that your time away from the workforce makes you more valuable now as a candidate.
As this feature is rolled out, and more people are added to their profiles, recruiters will be able to search specifically for candidates who have had their career break.
Related: Career Google Certifications: Complete List
How to highlight career breaks on your LinkedIn profile
You can take advantage of this feature by going to your LinkedIn profile and tapping Add a section.
From there, select an option Add a functional break.
LinkedIn will ask you to fill in a few fields, such as the break start and end time, break title, and a description.
The form asks for the “type” of the break, and allows you to choose from the following options:
- Career transition
- Full time breeding
- gap year
- Layoff/position excluded
- Health and well-being
- The pursuit of a personal goal
- professional development
- the retirement
- Volunteer work
After you add a career break, it will appear in the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile.
Featured image: Daniel Constanti/Shutterstock