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LinkedIn's Latest Feature Encourages 'Real-Life' Networking

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Much like dating, job hunting can only exist remotely for so long. Eventually, you're going to have to venture out into the blinding sunlight, fumble your way into some manner of manmade structure and interact with other human beings. It's terrifying, but it's necessary. Sitting at home firing off application after application will only suffice for so long, and LinkedIn are clearly aware of this.

Since being bought by Microsoft, LinkedIn has evolved from an effective networking tool into a sort of job hunting Swiss army knife. The pool of career paths it's effective for is still somewhat limited, but if you're in that pool, there's so much you can do to put yourself out there. Now LinkedIn have introduced a new feature which encourages people to literally put themselves out there.

The feature is called 'Discover Members Nearby', and as the name suggests, it makes it easier to interact with your connections when you're out and about. When using the feature on the mobile app, it will tell you which of your first level connections are nearby, based on location tracking. Now, I know what you might be thinking, but don't worry, the feature is entirely opt-in.

The idea is that if you're thinking about heading to a conference or networking event (or you're already there), you can check if any of your first level connections are there, and then arrange to meet with them face-to-face. This could help get your name out there, lead to some kind of collaborative deal or just put a face to a name, but in any case, it's always beneficial to actually meet the people who run in the same working circles as you do.

LinkedIn has always encouraged users to interact with each other from the get-go. If you want to connect with someone who you don't have any mutual connections with already, you have to let them know why, for example. First level connections are made when you send someone a request and they accept, or vice versa, while second level connections are people that you might now, based on who's already on your list.

You can already message connections, apply for jobs, post job ads and even arrange meet-ups on the platform, so in some senses this seems like a logical next step, but even bearing that in mind, a 'Happn' style location-based service is a gutsy move. Social media thrives on remote interaction, but for a platform like LinkedIn that only reaches so far. This feature aptly demonstrates that even through all this rapid expansion, LinkedIn still have their feet firmly planted.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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LinkedIn's Latest Feature Encourages 'Real-Life' Networking Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Rating: 5

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