It’s tough for military spouses to stand out in a sea of job applicants. Often, military spouses lack the professional network and local connections required to place their resumes on the top of the heap.
But by building a strong LinkedIn profile and engaging presence, military spouses overcome job search challenges to connect with meaningful career opportunities at military-ready employers.
Specifically, LinkedIn Premium members are 2.6 times more likely to get hired on LinkedIn. Even better LinkedIn offers eligible military spouses one year of free access to LinkedIn Premium and LinkedIn Learning? Unlock your free LinkedIn Premium subscription today!
LinkedIn has the tools and resources to help military spouses get noticed, get hired, and get ahead in their careers. The question is – are you using them?
3 How-To Tips to Help Military Spouses Use LinkedIn
1. Add Career Breaks to Your Experience Timeline
You may be thinking, why would I want to add a career break to my LinkedIn profile? Wouldn’t that look bad?
“Providing information helps hiring managers to understand your career trajectory,” said Cory Boatwright, Head of Military & Veteran Programs and Partnerships at LinkedIn. “If there is a reason provided for frequent career breaks or moving jobs, [hiring managers] don’t have a problem with it. A military relocation is one of the best reasons for a career break.”
A military relocation is one of the best reasons for a career break.Cory Boatwright, Head of Military & Veteran Programs and Partnerships, LinkedIn
So, select the “career break” option in the “experience” section of your LinkedIn profile. Boatwright recommends including a description of the career break. This description explains what you learned or focused on during your career break.
2. Learn New Skills Through LinkedIn Learning
Furthermore, military spouses have access to LinkedIn Learning through LinkedIn Premium. Linked Learning is an on-demand virtual educational portal to more than 20,000 expert-led courses. Users can learn new skills or validate skills developed through life experiences.
“Military spouses face unique career challenges due to frequent relocations, deployments of their service member partner, and the need for flexibility in their schedules. LinkedIn Learning is valuable resource for military spouses looking to further their education and career prospects amidst the unique challenges they face,” Boatwright said. “With over 20,000 online courses, and the flexibility to complete and one’s own pace, military spouses can quickly and conveniently learn the skills they need to be successful.”
Depending on your professional goals, a 30-minute course may be exactly what you want. You may want to use LinkedIn Learning to brush up on a particular software, like the “PowerPoint Essential Training” course or “Getting Started with Premiere Pro for the Non-Video Pro” webinar on LinkedIn Learning.
Also, LinkedIn Learning offers multi-course learning paths. Related courses are bundled together and presented in a particular order. At this time, popular learning paths for military spouses include “Finding and Succeeding in Remote Work” (3 hours) and “Get Ahead as a Military Spouse” (20 hours).
Once you finish a course, adding those skills to your LinkedIn profile is easy.
3. Self-Identify as a Military Spouse
It’s hard to connect with military-friendly employers on LinkedIn unless you self-identify as a military spouse.
“One of the things I love about LinkedIn is that members are core to everything we do, and connecting every member to economic opportunity is our vision. ‘Member’s first’ is a one of our values and military spouses are included,” Boatwright said. “Because we want to make sure the LinkedIn platform is inclusive and connecting military spouses to opportunities, it is helpful for us to understand which of our members are military spouses. We ask military spouses to self-id within their profile demographic settings as a military spouse so we can glean aggregated insights on how to improve the platform for our military spouse community.”
To self-identify as a military spouse, go to your LinkedIn settings, and select account preferences. Next, under profile information, choose personal demographic information and edit demographics. Finally, scroll down to the final question. It says, “Are you a spouse or domestic partner to someone who is currently serving in any military?”
Through LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning, military spouses connect with resources and tools to get ahead in their careers. Are you using them? It’s time you took advantage of LinkedIn Premium and its features for military spouses.
Lastly, military spouses are eligible for a free year of LinkedIn Premium. Access is easier than ever. Spouses can verify their eligibility directly on LinkedIn.