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If You’re a Jobseeker Is LinkedIn Premium Worth Your Money?

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.

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