LinkedIn Launches App To Help Match Graduates With Careers

(Photo: Sheila Scarborough, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Sheila Scarborough, Creative Commons)

LinkedIn has launched a new standalone app called "LinkedIn Students" that helps soon-to-be-college graduates find the most appropriate career path.

Available for Android and iOS users in the US, the LinkedIn Students app serves as a stress-relieving job exploration guide. To join the app, students must make a LinkedIn profile and then fill in their college, major and their expected graduation date. The app's design can be compared to a deck of cards.

Each day the app comes up with personalized job recommendations and postings. When the students log in, LinkedIn offers them five items to review on that day. The app presents career path suggestions based on the students' major and college. A recommended reading about career-related issues follows. Then, there is useful information about companies that often recruits from their university. The tool follows with a list of actual jobs the students might be interested in. As Kia Kokalitcheva of Fortune writes, the app resembles some popular apps among young adults such as Tinder.

The personalized job recommendations and postings are based on the career paths of LinkedIn's more than 400 million users, notes Kathleen Chaykowski of the Fortune. To a certain extent, the app's algorithm is guided by the career paths of professionals who graduated from the same university and with the same major as a particular student. The students also have the opportunity to contact suggested professionals on the LinkedIn to inquire about their career story, professional development, and more.

As Abhimanyu Ghoshal of The Next Web notes, LinkedIn hopes the app will keep students aware of opportunities they may not have thought about. For example, if a student's major is psychology, it will inform about alternative roles to consider such as a recruiter for a large company. Ada Yu, the LinkedIn product manager who was in charge for the app development, said:

"Students don't know what to search for they don't know what they're qualified to do, or even what's out there. Our app is a soft introduction to students who may not know the value of networking and introduce LinkedIn's value proposition".

San Jose State senior Keith Lewis was among the first users of LinkedIn Students. He majored in finance, but the 22-year-old is still not sure what he wants to do with his degree after graduation. However, after testing the new app, he confirmed he has a clearer goal.

As Queenie Wong of the Mercury News writes, after hearing feedback from its student users LinkedIn has been changing its focus on higher education and is now helping college graduates land a job.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, in 2015 about 7.2 percent of recent college graduates were unemployed. Yu commented:

"It was only natural for us to try to come up with a solution for this but do it in a way that really resonates with students and meet them where they are, which is mainly on the mobile phone."

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