If you’re on the lookout for a new job, is LinkedIn Premium a worthy investment, or should it be left to the recruiters and cold callers?
We all know that if you’re looking for media or technology jobs – in fact any jobs – then LinkedIn is the place to be, and its premium service claims to offer both ready access to potential employers that may be outside of your network, and the ability to contact people direct using the InMail function. But is upgrading to the Premium version a wise investment?
Chances are if you’re looking for a new job then you’re probably strapped for cash so every penny you spend on your search has to work hard for you. Let’s have a look at the stats:
In the first quarter of 2012 LinkedIn posted revenue of around $188 million. This means turnover’s grown 101 per cent year-on-year and in that same quarter it grew its membership by a cool 15 million. The company is rapidly approaching revenue of $1 billion and is enjoying a conservative growth rate of about 70 per cent. In that stellar first quarter of 2012 it revealed Premium account revenues of $37.9 million – up 91 per cent on the same period in 2011.
The numbers stack up pretty well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the bells-and-whistles version of LinkedIn will be the answer to your prayers.
How Do You Use It?
The answer to whether or not Premium will work for you depends largely on how you use the service in the first place. Recruiters for instance, will undoubtedly see the benefits in the service. With 160 million members, anyone who makes a living looking for people or cold calling will relish the opportunity to make direct contact with those who may be outside of their sphere, without having to be introduced and endorsed.
Many Premium users believe that the people they make contact with outside LinkedIn will look them up and check out their profiles to see if they’re someone worth talking to, and when it’s used in this way LinkedIn can add much-needed credibility. Typically, the Premium service is ideal for people who want to find other people who may be out of their initial network.
Prices start at $20 per month for Premium Business, while Business Plus will set you back $42 per month. Both levels offer InMail and increased search results – again, helpful tools for people looking for people.
Benefits of LinkedIn Premium include:
- Top of the pile when applying for jobs – much like a sponsored link on Google
- Full details of who’s viewed your profile
- Send InMails to influencers and key contacts that aren’t in your network
- Profile Organizer- lets you monitor contact with others, save favorites and add notes to other people’s profiles
- Access to exclusive webinars and video tutorials to help you optimize your job search
What about Jobseekers?
So we know that Premium brings benefits for recruiters, but what about those looking for jobs? Is it worth shelling out when the very purpose of LinkedIn in its most basic form, is to connect businesspeople?
Using InMail will get you in front of the people that matter and your profile is attached automatically to every outgoing message, making it more likely that the recipient will have a look at your details. Using InMail to reach out to employees at a company you want to work for will make your resume really stand out.
By using the profile organiser you can save the details of the profiles you’re viewing, add notes and file them for easy access. This can be useful when you’re viewing many profiles and can act as a handy refresher on who’s who. Information on who’s viewed your profile can be used to get in contact with those who may be interested in you – you might even find that you’re interested in them too. If you opt-in to OpenLink any member can contact you for free while displaying the coveted Premium badge on your profile can, according to LinkedIn, attract 15 times more profile views than those with a free account.
Some people feel the ability to contact whoever you like, is intrusive and that growing your contacts organically is more credible. Plus, if the recruiter is using Premium surely they’ll find you, won’t they?
Profiles’ Kate Rojek sums it up nicely: “If you are just a standard professional who’s just trying to do standard network and trying to be found, you will be found. You don’t necessarily have to pay a Premium fee.”
One way that Premium may help those hunting for work is by giving them access to the prime movers and as such, the prime jobs. By using the InMail service you could, in theory at least, send your resume to whoever, whenever, and while this may seem like a fantastic idea to some, others may baulk at the idea of sending unsolicited resumes to CEOs and VPs. After all, we know some users already find Premium tools intrusive, so firing off InMails to business leaders might not do you any favours.
Rather than depending on what kind of user you are, it seems that the effectiveness of Premium depends on what kind of person you are.