Thanks to a new option LinkedIn is offering its members, those who have “career breaks” in their resume will be able to explain those gaps in the Experience section. This is especially great news for moms and dads who have taken time away from work due to full-time parenting.
Stigma has always surrounded parents—especially mothers—who choose to take a break to stay home with their children. According to LinkedIn’s global survey of 22,995 workers and 4,017 hiring managers, 60% of survey participants believe that stigma is still alive and well today.
However, the survey also found that 46% of hiring managers believe job candidates with career breaks are an “untapped talent pool.” Therefore, LinkedIn decided it was time to give people with who have taken some time off a leg up in the workforce.
Parenting isn’t the only reason people leave the workforce for an extended period of time, which is why LinkedIn is allowing users to add options like career transition, caregiving, and health and wellbeing to add further context to their career break.
“By adding a career break to your Profile, you can highlight how these life experiences can apply to prospective jobs,” writes LinkedIn’s Senior Products Manager in a blog post about the change. “In many cases, it’s your off-your-resume experience that truly gets to the heart of your passions, gifts and strengths.”
When my oldest daughter was just a few months old, I was laid off from my advertising job. After enjoying a career break of my own, I worked as a freelancer for the next four years, using the schedule flexibility to my advantage as a mom with a young child. When I decided to look for full-time work again last year, I was extremely nervous for many reasons—could I handle full-time hours again? Would people judge me for working non-traditional hours for so many years because I wanted to put my family first? Luckily, as you can see, it worked out beautifully.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, you can rest assured that adding a career break to your LinkedIn profile is simple and validating. Being able to explain how your own life experiences—work-related and otherwise—have shaped the way you operate as a human and a working professional is truly invaluable.
The pandemic has had such a drastic impact on working mothers, with many taking forced career breaks due to the lack of childcare or the sheer cost of it. LinkedIn says 70% of searches on the site that were related to career breaks came from women.
“It’s time to normalize career breaks and for employers to accept that professionals today want flexibility without worry that a career break will negatively impact their trajectory,” an employee for LinkedIn tells AdWeek.
For further resources about returning to work after taking a career break, learn more here.