Should you upgrade to a premium LinkedIn account?

LinkedIn, LinkedIn premium, LinkedIn upgrade,
If you are job seeker, you’ve likely wondered whether you should upgrade from a free (Basic) LinkedIn account to one of the job seeker premium accounts. 

Is it worth the money to upgrade? Well ... maybe. 

It MIGHT be worth it if you are really good at LinkedIn and know how to make the most of your premium account. But before you make the leap, be aware that LinkedIn offers MUCH better premium features for businesspeople than it offers job seekers. 

Here’s what I mean (and why you might prefer to upgrade to a Business Premium account rather than a Job Seeker Premium account):


Business Premium Account Options
LinkedIn premium accounts,
Highlighted features are those that you won't find on a LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium account.

Business Premium offers enormous benefits that you DON'T receive with ANY of the Job Seeker Premium accounts -- and the lowest Business Premium option is priced just $5 more per month than the job seeker entry price. 

These better benefits include being able to:

1) View the full name and full profiles of everyone in your network (1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections), plus view at least the full name of people who are only in groups with you and who are not in your network.

2) Get introduced to more people (including hiring decision makers) through the "Get Introduced" feature.

3) Add an OpenLink badge to your profile so anyone on LinkedIn can send you a message (including hiring companies).

4) Filter your Advanced People Searches, which you could use to try to find hiring managers, by 4-8 more filters (such as filtering the search results by groups, years of experience, function, seniority, and company size).

5) See as many as 700 more profiles for your Advanced People Searches, such as when you search for recruiters in your area.

6) Get notified of new profiles that relate to your Advanced People Search criteria through Saved Search Alerts.

7) Contact someone through LinkedIn's Reference Search function (Yes, businesspeople CAN and DO conduct LinkedIn reference checks on you with your former bosses / coworkers, but you can't do one on your potential bosses / coworkers through the LinkedIn system).

Job Seeker Premium Account Options
LinkedIn job seeker premium, LinkedIn,
Job Seeker Premium Account options have valuable features, but lack some of the benefits that might make a Business Premium account more advantageous for you. 

True, there are valuable benefits of a Job Seeker Premium Account, but there are viable workarounds for nearly every benefit. The benefits of Job Seeker Premium Accounts include: 

1) InMail Messages - With the mid- and high-end Job Seeker Premium accounts, you can send 6 or 10 InMail messages to non-connections, such as recruiters or hiring managers. 

Free Workaround: Invite the people to connect for free and include your message in the invitation, or send a message to OpenLink people for free. Contacting non-connections like recruiters via OpenLink. Also note that messages to your current 1st degree connections are free. 

2) Who's Viewed Your Profile -- While you technically can see all the people who have viewed your profile with a premium account rather than only five in a free (Basic) account, you still cannot see any additional information about a visitor if the person chooses to visit your profile anonymously or semi-anonymously. So while there isn't a free workaround to this benefit, this feature isn't as good as it sounds.

3) Featured Applicant Placement (your LinkedIn job applications are placed at the top of the recruiter's list). This is true, but it's important to point out that your entry is highlighted as a premium account holder at the top, not as a top applicant ... and the recipient can clearly see the distinction. 

LinkedIn, LinkedIn upgrade, LinkedIn job seeker premium,
Your application is featured at the top of the submissions, but the system makes it clear that you are placed at the top because you paid for the privilege.

Free Workaround: Craft your profile to match the qualifications of the jobs you want so closely that you will be a natural match for the jobs that you want. Do so in the headline, job titles, job duties, and skills sections. 

Scary fun fact: The LinkedIn system automatically sends job posters on its site the 24 best matches for their job opening (based on profile content), whether you apply for the job or not.

LinkedIn,4) Premium Badge -- You can add a briefcase-looking icon next to your name to indicate that you are a job seeker. 

Free Workaround: Add the words: "Available" or "Seeking Opportunity" in your headline and save yourself $19.95 to $49.95 a month.

5) Salary Data -- See salary data for the jobs posted on LinkedIn so that you can avoid applying for jobs that are not in your range. 

Free Workaround: Visit salary sites and figure out the same information, or ask a friend with a Business account to look up the job posting (with salary) for you on LinkedIn. You can identify premium account holders by the brown “in” badge next to their name.

6) Job Seeker Group and Webinar -- No matter how good the group and webinar is, you KNOW you can find quality career and LinkedIn guidance on other sources including Ilostmyjob.com and dare I say, Getajobtips.com. This particular benefit doesn't make up for all of the better benefits that you could get from selecting a Business Premium account instead.

Tidbits to consider:

  • LinkedIn occasionally sends an email offering a one month free trial for its mid-range premium account. Consider trying it out before you buy. Note that the free trial requires that you enter your credit card information.
  • If you do upgrade, consider opting for the annual, rather than monthly, plan. You can save up to 25%.
  • The free (Basic) account offers an amazing array of tools so you may not need to upgrade. I've never purchased a premium account, but have found ways to accomplish my goals for the site without upgrading. If I was a recruiter or sales rep, I would upgrade because the tools for them are far superior to what LinkedIn offers job seekers.

View / print all of LinkedIn's premium account options

In conclusion, unless you really know how to work LinkedIn and intend to work every aspect of the site, a Job Seeker Premium Account may not benefit you. A Business Premium Account might be better, or you could just use the workarounds I suggest and make the most of your free account.

What are your thoughts or questions about LinkedIn‘s premium options? Have you tried the Job Seeker Premium account? Do share!

Maximize your use of LinkedIn … whether you chose a free or premium account. Doing so can help youGet a Job!

Please share this article with others or post on social media. Thanks, Kathy

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