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LinkedIn rolls out new tools to help job seekers amid coronavirus pandemic

Microsoft, which owns LinkedIn, estimates that 250 million jobs could be lost this year worldwide.

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LinkedIn has more than 706 million users in more than 200 countries.

Angela Lang/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

LinkedIn is releasing new tools aimed at making it easier for the unemployed to find a job amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The business-oriented social network, which is owned by Microsoft, said it's testing a new tool called career explorer that shows job seekers how their skills relate to thousands of job titles and what skills they still need to build. Users will be directed to online learning courses to learn new skills. 

Some of the fastest growing skills on LinkedIn including programming, digital marketing, finance and data analysis. Companies are also looking for workers with communication, business management and problem-solving skills.

"In this environment, continued learning and investment in new skills is really critical for job seekers in order to get them back on their feet," Karin Kimbrough, a chief economist at LinkedIn, said during a press conference.

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LinkedIn will show users common questions to prepare for their job interviews.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn will also help job seekers prepare for an interview by showing common questions asked in product management, marketing and sales jobs. LinkedIn said that using #OpenToWork and its associated photo frame are helping to break down stigmas around unemployment.

Kimbrough said that companies are still hiring, but there isn't "a massive upward surge." 

"We're seeing some improvements, but it's not going that quickly, and in many countries that haven't contained COVID, hiring is likely to hit a ceiling until a vaccine is widely available and distributed," she said.

Microsoft estimates that 250 million jobs could be lost this year worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has left more than 140 million out of work and another 1.6 billion at risk, LinkedIn said, citing data from the International Labor Organization.

More people are still turning to LinkedIn to find a job. In the past quarter, more than 15 million people have joined LinkedIn, and three members are hired every minute, according to LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn projects that there will be 150 million new technology jobs created in the next year. Some of jobs in top demand include software engineer, sales representative, project manager and IT administrator. 

The coronavirus pandemic is also changing the way people work, as employees stay at home to do their jobs. Blake Barnes, LinkedIn's vice president of product, said the company thinks remote working is here to stay. Job seekers are able to tap into new opportunities, and companies have access to more talent.

"This is something that we think is going to be kind of part of the fabric of the workforce moving forward," he said.