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LinkedIn rolls out its Career Advice mentoring program to US, UK and India

LinkedIn rolls out its Career Advice mentoring program to US, UK and India
From TechCrunch - November 15, 2017

LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned social platform for the working world with some 530 million members, has made a big push in the last couple of years to position itself not just as a place to look for new jobs and network, but as a place for professional developmentincluding services foronline learning; steady streams ofnews and other content to expand your knowledge; and most recently help with building your resume. Today, its taking the wraps off the latest product in that effort: users in the US, UK and India will now be able to use LinkedIn to connect with mentors to help coach them on how to steer themselves in their careers, free of charge.

Career Advice, as the new product is called, is the full roll out of an online mentoring service that LinkedIn launched in a limited format this past summer, in San Francisco and Australia. The idea is to connect users with mentors who can help them figure out anything to do with their career, whether its ideas on how to find a new job, feedback for why they are not getting ahead or feeling satisfied at work, and maybe even to pivot to a new career altogether.

If you are in the three countries in the first wave of the rollout, to start using the service, you can click on this link, or go to your own LinkedIn Profile and look for the Career Advice tab on your dashboard (which sits about halfway down the page and in my opinion is not immediately easy to find).

You then go through a short script of questions to set out what it is that you are looking forfor example, in terms of goals, or whether you want someone in your geography or from your alma materand then you start to get recommendations of people who might fit the bill, who are presented to you in a series of Tinder-style swiping screens for you to choose as a potential match.

On the mentor side, LinkedIn also asks them to indicate their preferences for what kind of mentoring they would like to provide. For the limited release of Career Advice, LinkedIn has been proactively selecting mentors, although the longer-term plan is to make mentoring an option to anyone on the platform,Hari Srinivasan, head of identity products, told me during the test run.

Once you and a mentor match, you can then message each other, and either side can terminate the communication at any point.

For LinkedIn, launching this product is important for a few reasons.

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