With the COVID-19 pandemic causing massive economic impacts, and many job cuts, it makes sense that people are turning to LinkedIn more and more to explore new opportunities and determine their next steps.
Just this week, the professional social network reported that it's now up to 722 million members, and that it's been seeing record levels of engagement throughout the last few months. That puts LinkedIn in a unique position to help connect people with new roles - and this week, the platform has announced a range of new tools to assist job seekers with training and discovery direct within the app.
The main addition is a new tool called LinkedIn Career Explorer which will show you potential career paths based on the skills you have.
As explained by LinkedIn:
"Sometimes there isn’t a clear path forward. Our new Career Explorer tool can uncover careers you could transition into and might not have considered by mapping the skills you have to thousands of job titles. Explorer will highlight additional skills you may need and LinkedIn Learning courses to help you get them. Also, we’ll highlight connections who already have this job or can make an introduction."
The tool references against over 36,000 career skills, and 6,000 job titles, to provide relevant cross-matches based on profile data. So if you've been retrenched from your role as a social media manager, for example, the tool will show you a range of closely related roles you could consider, and how you might get there.
Tools like these are where LinkedIn's unmatched professional dataset truly comes into its own - there's no other platform or company that could provide the same level of depth and insight on career progressions based on real people's experiences and profiles. The insights provided reflect exactly how people evolve their careers, and that could be hugely valuable in your own job search - or even just to get some perspective on where you stand, and how your skills relate to other roles.
It could even help you in your marketing efforts - if, for example, you wanted to target HR professionals with your ads, you could enter a related role, then let the tool show you other, similar roles that you could also add to your targeting, which you may not have considered.
LinkedIn's Career Explorer is now available in beta, with additional localizations and enhancements coming soon. You can check it out for yourself here.
In addition to this, LinkedIn has also published a new report on the top trending skills among professionals to help provide more guidance as to where demand is rising.
The listing is based on the skills added to member profiles between March and October - so it's not based on job listings, which may be more indicative of demand. But it does provide some insight into where people are looking to build their skills in order to land new roles.
The five fastest-growing skills, at present, according to LinkedIn's data are:
- Digital Marketing
- Financial Forecasting
- Data Analysis
- Agile Project Management
You can read more about these skills, and their relation to job demand, here.
Furthering its skills focus, LinkedIn has also added more Skill Assessments so users can showcase their proficiency in more elements on their LinkedIn profiles.
LinkedIn added skill assessments last September - the process tests your knowledge in a specific area, then provides you with a profile badge in order to demonstrate your proven understanding.
LinkedIn says that skill assessments have already proven valuable:
"Candidates who complete LinkedIn Skill Assessments and display the badge on their profile are up to 20% more likely to get hired than those who don’t."
Now, there are more skill badges on offer, which could be another consideration for job seekers.
LinkedIn's also looking to add more connection options with a new profile frame that will enable employers to showcase that they're hiring for a new role.
"The new #Hiring profile photo frame makes it easy for anyone to add a job directly to their profile and a #Hiring frame around their photo. Job seekers will be able to see who’s hiring directly in their LinkedIn feed, and apply to relevant jobs. The ability to post a job for free will be available to all members globally in the coming months."
The tool is an expansion of LinkedIn's #OpenToWork profile frames, which it launched in June, providing another way for users to share their job status with their network.
This far, LinkedIn says, those frames have been a big success:
"More than three million members globally have tried our new #OpenToWork profile photo frame; those with an Open to Work photo frame receive on average 40% more InMails from recruiters and are 20% more likely to receive messages from the broader LinkedIn community."
Which is why it's looking to expand the option into new territory, while the option to connect that frame to a listing of open positions will also help to streamline the connection process.
And finally, LinkedIn is also expanding its interview preparation tools, which provide listings of common interview questions for various roles, in order to help users prepare for what they need to know.
"70% of talent professionals globally say virtual interviews are here to stay, and members have told us our interview prep tools are a great way to practice answers to the most commonly asked questions and improve interview skills. The feature has been so well received that we are introducing new interview prep for in demand jobs, like project manager and software engineer, so you can improve your chance of landing those most sought-after roles."
Really, anything that can ease the stress of applying for a new job is a help, and with competition rising for available roles, these quick preparation tools can be a big help in putting your best foot forward.
These are some good, valuable tools from LinkedIn, coming just at the right time, as more people look to their next steps, and how they progress their career. It's a tough time for all job seekers, and anything that can be done to ease that transition will help - and with the power of LinkedIn's data insights, these tools could prove to be a big help for many people.