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#CallOutYourBreak and LinkedIn's New Career Break Feature

By Team iRelaunch

For nearly 20 years iRelaunch has been on a mission to normalize the career path that includes a career break and highlight the attributes of the untapped talent pool of professionals returning to work after a career break: highly educated, uniquely experienced, and extremely motivated. 

Along the way, there have been milestone moments such as five participants from the first five Wall Street career reentry programs on stage together at our 2014 iRelaunch Return to Work Conference talking about how they had relaunched their careers through those programs, the launch of the STEM Reentry Task Force in 2015, and now, LinkedIn's exciting March 1st announcement about its new Career Breaks profile feature. As new employer career reentry programs are launched, existing programs scale and the demand for relaunchers increases, it is becoming more important for relaunchers to clearly call out the career breaks that make them eligible for these programs.

In response to LinkedIn's newly announced profile feature for Career Breaks, iRelaunch has launched our #CallOutYourBreak campaign to encourage relaunchers to use it to call out their career breaks. 

LinkedIn's New Profile Feature for Career Breaks

LinkedIn has always been a gift to relaunchers because the platform helps to find all those long-lost people from the past and provides a low-key way to reconnect with them. Now LinkedIn has given employers with career reentry programs and the relaunchers who want to apply for them an even bigger gift.

One year ago, LinkedIn made the initial announcement about adding stay-at-home parent leave designations to the prepopulated dropdown menus for profile building. Because of LinkedIn’s outsized role as the arbiter of career path profiling, the standardization of this leave category was a validation of the career break as a legitimate part of the career path. 

iRelaunch CEO and Co-founder Carol Fishman Cohen wrote about this milestone moment in the HBR article "Companies Should Do More to Normalize Career Breaks" and its significance in the “institutional shift” required to normalize career breaks.

On March 1, 2022, LinkedIn announced the new "Career Break" feature that is particularly relevant to relaunchers and to the employers who seek to hire them through their career reentry programs.

Bef Ayenew, Engineering Leader of the LinkedIn profile page, explained how the new feature "allows members to add a career break on the profile" and encourages members to "add some details, explain what you did, maybe even what skills you've picked up during that time, to show how you've made yourself even more qualified in some ways." 

In an exclusive interview with Carol Fishman Cohen for our 3,2,1 iRelaunch podcast, Bef discussed how the new feature supports more types of breaks, including career transitions, caregiving, layoffs, positions getting eliminated, health and wellbeing, personal growth pursuits, relocation, retirement, travel, and bereavement - a "comprehensive overhaul of that initial set of changes that we made as more of a stop gap solution." Listen to Bef's episode here:

Now, employers that are running their own career reentry programs targeting people who take career breaks will be able to identify more clearly who has taken a career break and their recruiters will be able to do keyword searches using the career break as a keyword in order to find candidates for their programs.

The iRelaunch #CallOutYourBreak Initiative

As the demand for relaunchers increases, it is becoming more important for relaunchers to identify themselves and call out the career breaks that make them eligible for these employer career reentry programs and for employers to be aware of the range of ways relaunchers express their career breaks so as not to miss a qualified applicant.

The #CallOutYourBreak campaign encourages the use of the LinkedIn Career Break feature by individuals and encourages employers with career reentry programs to announce how much they want to see the career breaks called out on the LinkedIn profile.

How Employers Can Participate: Encourage the use of LinkedIn's new Career Breaks feature!

Employers: download our ready-to-go templates, add your organization's logo and branding and POST! Our only requirement is that your career reentry program be in-house and not subcontracted to a third party. The career reentry program should have a dedicated landing page on your employer's own website.

How Relaunchers Can Participate: Use LinkedIn's New Feature to Call Out Your Career Break!

Once you've followed LinkedIn’s instructions to add a Career Break to your profile, be sure to download our guide for relaunchers that shows how you can enhance your reach by posting the link to your new and improved profile on all your social media using the #CallOutYourBreak hashtag. The more career breaks that are clearly called out, the more relaunchers will be recognized as eligible for employer career reentry programs and more will be hired.

Our guide also includes instructions on how to post on LinkedIn and other social media platforms to show how you are calling out your career break, inspiration and ideas on what to include in the description section of your career break, sample social media language that you can make your own, and a #CallOutYourBreak photo frame for your LinkedIn profile so you are quickly and easily identified as a relauncher.

For those relaunchers who want even more employers running career reentry programs and with relauncher-friendly job opportunities to see their background and career break, be sure to register for our Job Board (free for job-seeking relaunchers) where employers go when they are specifically looking for relaunchers!

Be sure to follow us on social to see this institutional shift take place in real time. Follow the stories of relaunchers calling out their career breaks and employers encouraging relaunchers to call out their career breaks! And of course, be sure to use the hashtag #CallOutYourBreak to help us continue the conversation and drive change forward.

Finally, subscribe to iRelaunch's #CallOutYourBreak Newsletter on LinkedIn to see which employers are championing career breaks and actual examples of how relaunchers are using the new LinkedIn feature to call out their career breaks.

Let's Make Change Together

Our vision is for every employer with an entry level college internship program to be running a midcareer reentry program side by side. Mainstream adoption of employer career reentry programs is a key step in reaching this goal.

Learn more about LinkedIn’s Career Break feature in our exclusive 3,2,1 iRelaunch podcast interview with LinkedIn’s Bef Ayenew, Engineering Leader of the LinkedIn profile page and a major force behind the new Career Breaks category.

Don't relaunch alone!

Join our growing relauncher communities on Facebook and LinkedIn. For more great guidance on your relaunch and updates on when return to work programs are accepting applications, events for relaunchers and more, be sure to sign up for our Return to Work Report and follow us on social media to stay informed!

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