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In April of 2020, the unemployment rate in the U.S. rose 10.3% (from 4.4%) to 14.7% within the span of 30 days. This was the largest month-to-month increase in the history of unemployment data in this country, which goes all the way back to January 1948. 

Over the past year, it has become increasingly important to have the ability to explain (on your resume) why you have a gap in employment. In an effort to adapt to these ever-changing times, LinkedIn has updated its site to allow its users to address their career gaps. 

Now, you have the ability to address gaps in your employment history with profile options that indicate life events that may inhibit your ability to work. Some examples include parental leave or sabbatical. 

Self-employed individuals and freelancers will also have an easier time listing their career status on their profile, as well. 

These updates are a continuation of LinkedIn’s effort to improve user profiles. The company states that many more updates, like this one, will be rolled out in the upcoming months. 

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Career Gaps 

LinkedIn’s new update will allow the following job titles and employment gap reasonings to appear on your profile. 

Stay-at-Home Parent

This is the update that is already available on your profile. This is a new title that the platform allows you to present. This has come to allow full-time parents and caretakers to more accurately display their roles. 

Sabbatical Leave 

Traditionally, a sabbatical leave is given to employees who are looking for time to study or travel. However, people are taking advantage of sabbatical leaves today to take time off from work for the sake of other personal or professional pursuits. 

Parental Leave 

The term parental leave may include maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. This is to help care for a newborn child or a newly adopted child who needs time to adapt to their new home environment. 

Family Care

This is any type of time away from work, typically a 6-month or longer period of time that you need off from work to care for a family member. 

The reason why LinkedIn is adding these options for user profiles is less to do with addressing the stigma against any career gaps and more to do with how the pandemic forced millions of parents to put work on hold to care for their children. Regardless, users are now able to address career gaps correctly on their LinkedIn profiles. 

Self- Employed Titles

Those who consider themselves self-employed and those who do freelance work have long struggled to accurately display their employment status on their LinkedIn profile. However, they will now be able to list their jobs without needing to list them under any specific employer. These listings will look just like the normal job listing, just without an employer attached to it. 

This is just another update spurred by the pandemic, which has led many people to pursue self-employment and freelance options for work. Expect more updates on LinkedIn user profiles to roll out in the near future. 

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