January 2019 – Tip of the month

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How to find a mentor on LinkedIn

January 2019


How to Find a Mentor on LinkedIn

In November of 2017, LinkedIn officially rolled out a new feature to facilitate mentoring relationships called Career Advice. It was first available in the US, UK, India and Australia, with all locations to follow. It’s hard to find the landing page but if you go to this link when logged in, you can get there. You can also find the appropriate links on the Help Center page explaining LinkedIn’s Career Hub (you don’t need to be logged in to see this page).

When you land on the Career Hub page, the system will walk you through three sequential steps: First, select the type of expertise you would like to share with others. Second, see recommendations for people who might benefit from your advice and finally, reach out to send a message and start a conversation with the person (the mentee can also message you for advice). You start by selecting your preferences for who you would like to help (1st or 2nd degree connections, people from your region or people from your school or no preference). With their step-by-step process, you can only start a conversation after being matched through the system.

I tried playing around with it, but I was frustrated because the list of job function / industry sectors offered were very limited (there wasn’t anything close to career services). To give you an idea of what I mean, the closest categories available for me among 20 choices for Job Function were: consulting, education, community and social services, human resources and business strategy. Among the 28 choices for Industry Sector, only two were even closely related to what I do: public sector and non-profit.

Below are two posts offering savvy steps to finding a mentor on LinkedIn. I agree with both writers that a slow and thoughtful approach is the best way to go. You wouldn’t ask someone you just met to borrow $5. Similarly, you shouldn’t ask someone to be your mentor in your LinkedIn invitation to connect. Kevin Daum of Inc. and Chris Spurvey on LinkedIn both offer complementary advice on the soft-touch approach to finding a mentor through LinkedIn.


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