Since late 2017, LinkedIn has offered a Career Advice feature – a valuable, FREE, resource that many people seem to know nothing about! The feature allows people to GIVE and/or RECEIVE career advice from fellow LinkedIn members both in and beyond your connection list. There are many advantages to participating in this program including some excellent networking and brand building opportunities.
If you are LOOKING for career advice, you can sign up and post your career questions which will then be passed along to people with the expertise to answer them. LinkedIn actually pushes these questions into the notification lists of potential advisors. You need not know or be connected to the advisors, which exponentially expands your ability to network and get advice!
If you are looking to PROVIDE career advice, or as is my case, offer mentoring and support, you can sign up as an advisor. Upon signing up, you let LinkedIn know your area(s) of expertise and who you would like to help. You are also guided to create a short explanation of the type of advice you are best suited to provide.
All of this is free, easy and part of ANY LinkedIn account. It takes less than five minutes to set up the account and once you are in the program, you are able to withdraw at any time.
After ‘registering’ your preference to provide answers, LinkedIn will push questions to you via your notifications. I notice them once a week or so. If I have time and/or it looks like a question I can answer, I spend a few minutes responding to the question via LinkedIn’s messenger. I have answered quite a few questions over the years and have gained links and followers along the way.
You can make this a one time interaction or continue to network with the person. Just recently, I saw an article about a topic I had discussed with a student a few weeks ago. I was able to go back into the LI messenger, find our conversation thread and forward him a link to the article. It took only a minute and he appreciated the follow-up.
As someone who enjoys mentoring and helping people but who is always strapped for time, this has been a great way for me to help when I can, without a defined time commitment.
For someone new to their career, or even for someone in the middle of their career or considering a career change, this can be a wonderful way to get helpful advice and make some valuable network connections.
Here is how to sign up to GIVE or RECEIVE advice via LinkedIn’s Career Advice Hub:Here is #howto sign up to GIVE or RECEIVE advice via #LinkedIn's #Career #Advice Hub Click To Tweet
1. Go to your PROFILE PAGE and scroll down to the section they call your ‘Dashboard’ and click on the words “Career Advice”.
If you have NOT signed up to give advice, your option will say “Career Advice Hub”
2. This will take you to a page where you can edit your preferences. Since I have opted to GIVE advice, these are the options I am offered:
Moving the button to ‘OFF’ would stop the questions from being sent and I can tailor each of the sections to my expertise.
The description you provide in the last section will be the wording that potential candidates see. Note that they only allow a short description and provide you with some samples in case you don’t know what you write. Click “Save” at the bottom and you are done!
If you are opting to RECEIVE advice, you will be offered different options including who you want to hear from. They offer:
- Someone in your 1st or 2nd degree network (essentially people you are connected to and their connections)
- People in your region (your geographic area based on the zip code you provided when setting up your profile)
- People from your school ( They are not -yet- mindreaders so this is based on the schools LISTED IN YOUR PROFILE.)
- OR ‘I don’t have a preference’
I HIGHLY recommend choosing the last option. By saying that you do not have a preference, you will have many many more opportunities to meet and network with people. Remember, you never HAVE to ask a question, you never need to reply to an answer and you can opt out at any time.
You then have to tell them what type of advice you are looking for, the topics you are interested in and, like the section above, you get to write your question. LinkedIn does supply some samples here as well.
Once your question has been input, you will be matched with people who may have the expertise to answer your question and/or give you advice on the topic you want to learn more about. You can pick from the profiles they show you or you can just wait for LinkedIn to send your question to potential mentors and see if you get any answers.
3. I know I should not have to say this but PLEASE REMEMBER that there are REAL PEOPLE behind each of these profiles – act accordingly. Thank people who have taken the time to respond to you and try to get back to people when they engage. In addition to thanking someone via messenger or email, a quick, easy way to thank someone who has taken the time to answer your questions and given you advice is to ‘endorse’ them for the skills they shared.
This is just one of the many bells and whistles that LinkedIn offers as part of its FREE platform. If you have questions and would like a mentors advice or are interested in sharing your expertise, my advice is to check it out!
And if you have questions on Social Media, Email or Content Marketing, give me a call – I am always happy to share my expertise.