The service makes it easy to find experienced leaders in a variety of fields

Having someone experienced in your corner to vouch for and support your work can be a huge professional boost, but for many young people, finding a mentor can prove elusive. This week it was announced that LinkedIn would begin testing out a new feature for members that will connect more experienced users with those looking for mentorship in their field.

The free service, to be accessed through the “career advice hub” on the website's dashboard, will let users sign up as either mentors or mentees. Users are then matched using an algorithm that takes into account preferences including region, industry, school, as well as what sort of advice (job search, career growth, etc) is desired. If two parties match, a message is sent that encourages them to get chatting, either through LinkedIn or offline.

The service notably lets users connect with people outside of their immediate networks, letting people tap into LinkedIn's 500 million users to find experienced leaders in their field and beyond. According to an internal analysis by LinkedIn, 89% of senior leaders on the site said they were interested in providing advice, creating a potentially huge opportunity to form mentoring relationships.

“Think of it as a new form of mentorship that’s virtual, lightweight, and that fits today’s changing workplace,” said Suzi Owens, LinkedIn group manager of consumer products and corporate communications, in a statement to Fast Company.

LinkedIn is only opening up the service to a very small number of its users for the time being, with a full-scale rollout expected by the end of summer.

LinkedIn

Having someone experienced in your corner to vouch for and support your work can be a huge professional boost, but for many young people, finding a mentor can prove elusive. This week it was announced that LinkedIn would begin testing out a new feature for members that will connect more experienced users with those looking for mentorship in their field.

The free service, to be accessed through the “career advice hub” on the website's dashboard, will let users sign up as either mentors or mentees. Users are then matched using an algorithm that takes into account preferences including region, industry, school, as well as what sort of advice (job search, career growth, etc) is desired. If two parties match, a message is sent that encourages them to get chatting, either through LinkedIn or offline.