LinkedIn Adds New Profile Features to Address Career Gaps

LinkedIn users can now address gaps in employment history with profile options to indicate when life events such as a parental leave or sabbatical occurred.

In addition, LinkedIn is making it easier for freelancers and self-employed individuals to list their career status on their profile.

These updates are a continuation of LinkedIn’s recent efforts to improve users profiles. The company says many more updates will be rolled out over the next few months.

Here’s look at the latest enhancements to LinkedIn user profiles.

New Job Titles to Address Career Gaps

LinkedIn is giving users the option to add new types of job titles to their profile to address gaps in traditional career types.

The new job titles allow full-time parents and caretakers to more accurately display their roles, such as “stay-at-home mom,” “stay-at-home dad” and “stay-at-home parent”.

In the future, LinkedIn plans to add a new field in user profiles specifically for employment gaps, with options like “parental leave,” “family care” or “sabbatical.”

LinkedIn says the reason for adding these options to user profiles is less to do with any stigma associated with career gaps, and more to do with how the pandemic forced millions of parents to put work on hold to care for their children.

LinkedIn cites data which finds women’s jobs were disproportionately affected by the pandemic compared to men:

“More than 2.5 million women left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, many voluntarily, due to a sudden lack of childcare or to manage virtual learning for their children…

We’ve heard from our members, particularly women and mothers who have temporarily stopped working, that they need more ways to reflect career gaps on their Profile due to parenting and other life responsibilities.”

LinkedIn goes on to cite more data showing there may not be as much of a stigma around employment gaps as people think:

“The stigma of employment gaps is already starting to fade. While 72% of job seekers believe there’s a stigma associated with having a career gap, 79% of hiring managers today would hire a candidate with a career gap on their resume.”

One would have to think employers are more empathetic to career gaps now than at any point in the recent past, considering the volatility of the global job market since the pandemic started.

In any case, candidates can now address career gaps right on their LinkedIn profile before hiring managers even need to ask about it.

New Options for Self-Employed/Freelancers

People who are self-employed or do freelance work can now list those jobs on their LinkedIn profile without having to specify an employer.

The listing looks like any other job on someone’s LinkedIn profile, only without an employer attached to it. See an example below:

Previously it was not so easy for LinkedIn users to indicate on their profile that they work for themselves. Every job title on a user’s profile had to have the name of an employer attached to it, making it tricky for people who run solo operations to fill in the required information.

This is no doubt another change spurred by the pandemic, which has lead many people to pursue self employment and/or freelance work.

Expect more changes to LinkedIn user profiles to roll out over the coming months.

Source: LinkedIn Official Blog