After testing their professional mentorship connection process for the last few months, LinkedIn has this week announced that their ‘Career Advice’ option is being rolled out to users in the U.S., U.K., India and Australia, with all other regions to gain access ‘in the coming months’.
As you can see from the video, the new option helps users connect with potential mentors in their chosen fields.
You can choose to either give or receive advice in the initial application process – to get started, head to the dashboard on your LinkedIn Profile and find the Career Advice hub.
Here, you can enter your preferences for the type of advice you’re looking to give or receive - LinkedIn’s algorithm will then recommend members you can get in touch with based on your specifications, mutual interests and other connective data points.
LinkedIn’s also been working on simplifying the connection process. Once you’re actually matched with a potential mentor, it can be intimidating to start the exchange. To help, LinkedIn’s also added in recommendation prompts, via their lightbulb ideas icon, on ways you can reach out.
It’s similar to their ‘Conversation Starters’ messaging prompt option they added late last year – which is great, in theory, but as I noticed recently, sometimes those automated outreach options can be a little… well…
Yeah, not sure about these LinkedIn prompts... pic.twitter.com/1eDYmu3reo— Andrew Hutchinson (@adhutchinson) November 9, 2017
Still, having an easier way to start the conversation can be helpful, and will no doubt be of use to those unsure of what to say.
The option caters to demand from both sides of the equation – in their initial examination, LinkedIn found that 89% of senior leaders on the platform would be interested in giving advice, while up to 80% of users have said they would be interested in having, or being, a mentor. LinkedIn does note, however, that the program’s not intended to replace long-term mentorships, it’s more designed to tackle “quick question” requests, to help guide you on the right path.
And another interesting note within their announcement – LinkedIn's now up to 530 million users, a jump from the 500 million they reported back in April, further broadening your possibilities of connecting with just the right person.
It’s a good initiative from LinkedIn, and will no doubt prove popular, while also helping to underline the platform’s status as the home of career-based interactions. Other platforms may be looking to get in on the jobs market, but LinkedIn’s unmatched professional insights, combined with the resources of Microsoft, give the platform a significant lead in this area.
Worth considering if you’re looking for some career advice and direction.