Q&A: Dealing with Employment Gaps on Your LinkedIn Profile

Employment Gaps on your LinkedIn Profile

Employment Gaps LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn-Q&AI often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read.

Question:

Hey Donna!

Thank you so much for the wealth of information you have created! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a mother of 3 little boys now able to re-enter the workforce. Iím having trouble starting with my summary and headline. Iím afraid people will pass me up because I have been out of the game for so longÖ.5 years! My goal is Customer Success Management. Any suggestions on how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated!

All the best!

Carrie

Answer:

Hi Carrie,

It’s best to explain an employment gap but don’t dwell on it.

Write your headline and summary with your end goal and target audience in mind. At the end of your summary, you can state something like:

I spent the last five years raising three little boys. During this time as “Project Manager,” I kept the household running while transporting my boys to all types of extracurricular activities. My customer service background helped keep fellow parents grounded and happy when my boys broke windows with their baseballs and…”

I talk about explaining employment gaps in my book, LinkedIn Makeover: Professional Secrets to a POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile:

Employment Gaps
Did you take time off to raise kids? Maybe you took a sabbatical? Did you nurse an ailing relative back to health? Whatever the situation, employment gaps happen. Rather than just ignoring this elephant in the room, itís best to mention it up front and provide context to your reader. You also want to show that during this down time, you stayed active in your career and community. You can list courses that you took or organizations that you participated in. This information can either go in the previous position listed or you can create a new position for the gap.

Our General Manager here at Vision Board Media/LinkedIn-Makeover.com dealt with her 10 year absence in this way:

Employment Gap Explanation LinkedIn Profile

I’ve found being direct and using a little humor is the best way to deal with most situations.

Remember, you aren’t the only woman who has taken time off for her family. And there is nothing wrong with having taken the time. Now you just need to make sure you let everyone know that you kept your skills honed and you are ready for the next opportunity.

–Donna

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4 Comments

  1. Geetha Pradeep says:

    Hey Donna

    Very useful. I in fact faced a similar situation while attending an interview since I had more gap that I had worked for an external organization. I worked initially for 5 years and then took a break for a couple of years for delivery and raising my son and have enjoyed every bit of life during that time. Then along with my husband, we got into a couple of businesses that went along well for 8 years. Since that was never my comfort zone, now I am out looking for a job. But instead of sticking onto the same line of work – Software Development, I took up freelance content writing and am associated with many clients who keep me busy throughout the month. That’s flexible, offers a variety of opportunities, varied exposure and financial independence. I am multi-tasking all the time and am able to meet my personal commitments as well as my clients’ expectations. I hope more women look into this aspect of freelancing so that they can enjoy their time with the family as well as make a unique career choice too that will keep them going on.

    Thanks again,
    Geetha Pradeep

  2. How to explain periods of not working in s field a person was laid off from because of the recession. I took odd jobs not was my career objectives since to stsy alfoat. However, i did customer setvice job for tel years in a retail store helping and interacting with customers. but i want to get stronglt back in the adminstrative clerical field i did for mzny years. Now im volunterring ss an office assistant and i have a lot of administrative assistant experience. How can i explain 2 or. 3 yrs gap from working in the field? Also, on my free time, i try ro keep vurrent on my administrative and conputer skills. How to explain that?

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