The world of work has transformed dramatically in the last six months. Not surprisingly, we’ve seen huge shifts in the way people are learning, staying engaged, and connecting to their community. It starts with virtual everything—virtual learning, virtual events, and virtually connecting.
In this new remote world, engaging your professional community is key for career growth, whether you’re hunting for a job, pursuing business leads, seeking career guidance, learning more about an industry, or simply building and maintaining relationships.
Here are three new ways to engage your professional community virtually on LinkedIn.
Share your professional story with a personal touch
Do you miss those office watercooler conversations with your coworkers, or running into former colleagues at networking events? In today’s distributed work environment, sustaining and building professional relationships can be hard. Now you can share those everyday professional moments virtually through photos and short videos with Stories on LinkedIn without having them permanently connected to your profile.
Consider sharing an exciting work accomplishment, show off your new work-from-home setup, or spark a conversation on how to juggle work and family. This is a more lightweight way to share authentically with other professionals to maintain relationships and build new ones.
Build better relationships with new ways to message
Behind every opportunity is a conversation, and “virtual” face-to-face interactions continue to play a huge role in our daily lives. Whether you’re sharing career guidance, networking for job opportunities, or catching up with a former coworker, quick and easy access to online meeting tools will help you bring that conversation to life.
You soon will be able to switch from messaging to video calls using Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans by Verizon, or Zoom right on LinkedIn. You can also add reactions such as a “thumbs up” emoji when responding to messages. And new editing tools make it easy to correct mistakes in messages or delete individual messages so that you can put your best foot forward with recruiters, your former manager, or other professionals in your community.
Give and get help
When it comes to your career, just one person opening a door can make all the difference. That’s why tapping your network and our broader community of millions of members across the globe is such a valuable resource when you’re searching for your next opportunity. Supporting one another is more important than ever in these challenging times, and there are a number of ways you can engage your community to give and get help.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, a good first step is to, well, let others know you’re looking. We’ve added a new feature to make it easy to signal the LinkedIn community that you’re open to work and to make yourself more discoverable by hiring managers. When you turn on this optional feature, an #OpenToWork photo frame is added to your profile picture, so anyone who sees your profile will know you are open to new opportunities and help connect you to them. This also makes you more discoverable by hiring managers. More than 2.5 million people have added the photo frame, and early results show they are 40% more likely to receive an InMail from a recruiter.
If you’re willing to lend a hand—whether by providing an introduction, reviewing a résumé, practicing interview tactics, or just providing general job-seeking advice—don’t be afraid to raise your hand. You’ll find new prompts when you start a post on LinkedIn so you can tell others how you’re willing to help.
In this new world of work, finding ways to humanize our virtual interactions will help us build and nurture those relationships. Remember that no matter your background, experience, or where you are in your career, your network and community will always be there to help.
Liz Li is director of product at LinkedIn.