LinkedIn Expands Job Seeker Toolkit Ahead of the New Year

Looking for a new job early in the New Year? Recent LinkedIn updates help users explore and prepare for a job move or getting ahead in their current role.

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LinkedIn, Microsoft's business-focused social network, has new features that can help members land a new job or help them build up the skills required for a life-changing career change. And just in time.

Many people, particularly IT workers, are considering switching jobs in 2018, according to Spiceworks' recent 2018 IT Career Outlook survey. Nearly a third of IT workers in North America and Europe plan to look for a new job in 2018, a figure that rises to 36 percent among millennial IT workers. Generally, they are seeking higher salaries and opportunities to improve their skills sets.

For job seekers in other industries, LinkedIn is making it easier to get noticed by recruiters who are looking to fill positions that require emerging and in-demand skills.

After analyzing its massive repository of user and employment data, LinkedIn now issues monthly notifications that alert users to the skills that are trending among folks with the same job title. If members already possess a given skill, they can add it to their profiles, indicating that they are current in their skill sets and improving the chances that interested employers will come calling.

If they lack the expertise, users can use LinkedIn's recommendations as a springboard for training opportunities. Clicking on a skill shows corresponding LinkedIn Learning courses, along with the organizations are hiring people with that skill.

In the U.S., LinkedIn users will soon get notifications on regional hiring trends based on LinkedIn's Workforce Report. Each month, the service takes data from 143 million workers in the U.S. and compiles a report on hiring trends, job movement, skills gaps and more.

For example, in the December 2017 Year in Review edition, LinkedIn discovered that hiring was up more than 10 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. In metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham and Salt Lake City, employers are wrestling with a skill gap while workers in Boston and Columbus, Ohio faced a skills surplus. In the near future, some of those insights will be delivered directly to LinkedIn users, enabling them to make informed decisions about their careers.

The new notifications build on other features that help workers seize new opportunities or climb the corporate ladder.

In November, the company launched a Career Advice hub that serves as "lightweight mentorship" that helps connect users with subject-matter experts when they embark on a new project, consider starting at new business and other career-related endeavors. After setting parameters on the type of advice one wishes to give or receive, LinkedIn recommends advisors that may be willing and able to lend a hand.

LinkedIn is also helping its members spruce up their resumes, provided that they use Microsoft Word. Also in November, LinkedIn took the wraps off a Resume Assistant tool combines intelligent recommendations With data from the site's millions of job openings, allowing users to craft targeted, attention-grabbing resumes.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...