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LinkedIn today announced new features designed to make profiles on the platform more expressive and inclusive as the pandemic roils the jobs market. Video cover stories let members showcase their skills while a creator mode helps them build a following by more prominently highlighting content on their profile. In addition, LinkedIn says it’ll expand its free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses aligned to the 10 most in-demand jobs through December 2021 and pilot Skills Path, which the company describes as a “skills-first” program for job seekers.
According to LinkedIn, video cover stories, which will roll out within weeks, are are a sought-after tool among both job candidates and recruiters. Sixty-one percent of job seekers believe recorded video could be the next iteration of the traditional cover letter, according to a survey conducted by the company, while almost 80% of hiring managers say that video has become more important for vetting candidates.
Complementing the video cover stories feature is a new field for pronouns on profiles, which is intended to let members communicate how they want to be seen. Seventy percent of job seekers believe it’s important that hirers know their gender pronouns, the above-mentioned survey found, and 72% of hiring managers believe having clarity about gender pronouns can help others be respectful.
Beyond cover stories and the gender pronouns field, LinkedIn is introducing creator mode and service pages for candidates and organizations. The creator mode enables members to highlight their recent job-relevant work, while the service page allows freelancers and small business owners to create dedicated pages listing the services they offer.
Beyond the extended availability of free online learning courses, LinkedIn said it will partner with companies including Gap, TaskRabbit, and Twitter on Skills Path, which aims to help job seekers learn the skills required for roles with free lessons. Skills Path will also give them an opportunity to demonstrate their skills with assessments and land a recruiter conversation with one of the participating companies.
Lastly, starting in May, LinkedIn says it’ll power a new Microsoft Teams app called Career Coach for institutions to support students pre- and post-graduation. The app will help students discover goals, interests, and skills using an AI-based identifier that aligns their profiles with job market trends.
“Every day, we’re seeing our members share and connect like never before, with nearly five billion connections made last year, conversations on the platform nearly doubling,” a LinkedIn spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We … know that there’s no one-size-fits-all for someone’s career journey and that not everyone has the same identity or goals. That’s why we’re unveiling these new features and updates.”VentureBeat
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