Is Upgrading on LinkedIn Worthwhile?
It is probably one of the most frequently asked questions as a social media advisor, and a tough one to answer.
In the past, I would say no, with the benefits not adding any real value.
However, with the prominence of this online profile site in the recruiting industry, LinkedIn’s premium features have really improved.
So should you upgrade? Lets have a look at the features you will receive and what is beneficial and what’s not.
Above are the 4 premium features available for purchase on LinkedIn and as a professional you should only be concerned with the first two.
Beware! Most people actually purchase the wrong plan.
Don’t be fooled by the titles in which they promote each plan. They both offer unique advantages serving different purposes.
Lets take a look at the first one.
Job Seeker Premium
Job Seeker Premium is advantageous for any executive looking to apply for jobs on LinkedIn directly. However, this is a common problem, is many people purchase this plan and don’t spend any time applying for jobs via LinkedIn.
This is a huge mistake!
Take this plan if, and only if, you plan to apply for jobs via LinkedIn. All of the features are geared towards the application process on LinkedIn as I’ll explain below.
1. Direct messaging
LinkedIn’s job application tool has increased dramatically over the years. One of the great additions has been the “job poster” section in the top right hand corner. This enables you to find out who is responsible for the hiring directly and gives you an option to send them an InMail. An InMail is a message that can be sent to someone you are not connected to. However, you have to pay for them.
Sending an InMail to the Job poster is advantageous as it gives you the ability to reach out and standout as a candidate.
In the Job Seeker plan, you are given 3 InMail credits to allow you to message such recruiters.
Problems: The only problem is it is not many InMails. This means you must choose and save your InMails only for those positions of top priority.
Also, sending an InMail is probably not the best way to reach out to a recruiter, as they are constantly inundated with messages from similar applicants and people asking for jobs.
In my opinion, although it can help you, if you can find a telephone number to ring them on as opposed to an email/InMail then that would be more effective. You can do this with your basic account, just need some secret investigation skills.
Want to learn such skills? Then have a look at our Social Media and LinkedIn plans below
2. Featured Applicant
Job Seeker Premium also gives you the ability to be a “featured applicant.”
What this means, is when you apply for the position via LinkedIn, it automatically moves your application to the top of the list, advantageous if there are hundreds of applicants.
It gives you the ability to stand out against the hundreds of other applicants, guaranteeing your profile and application is read first.
Problems: The only problem with this feature is there might be hundreds of other applicants with the same job search feature. So if there are 200 applicants, of which 50 have the Job Seeker Premium account, its hardly offering you the ability to stand out. It becomes somewhat redundant.
3. Who’s Viewed Your Profile
This is a great tool in the premium plans. It gives you in depth analysis of who is viewing your profile, which you can hypothesise and analyse to make modifications to your profile.
Are many people with the title “recruiter” viewing your profile? If not, then maybe we need to have a look at our keywords and adjust them. How do you rank among professionals like you? Low? Then lets have a look at their profiles and see what they have that you don’t.
Problems: The only problem this feature brings, is it takes a great deal of understanding of your statistics to know what you have to modify to improve in certain areas.
4. Applicant Insights
Whenever applying for a job, knowing who you are up against can be extremely rewarding. LinkedIn’s premium feature allows just that, comparing you with other candidates in areas such as education, years experience, job titles etc.
It should give you a fairly good indication of how you stand in the initial application process.
Problems: The only problem is the information is fairly ambiguous and based upon what someone puts on their LinkedIn profile. Other than that though, this is an insightful feature of the upgrade.
Overall, the upgrade is worthwhile to those whom may not have a good understanding of the platform and plan to apply via LinkedIn.
It allows you to cover some deficiencies in your profile and rank you higher simply because you have paid for the upgrade.
However, with some features almost becoming redundant (because everyone is upgrading) there are ways you can circumnavigate your way through the job application process via LinkedIn if you have a superior profile and knowledge of the platform.
Business Plus Premium
If I were to recommend a plan to upgrade to, it would be this one, with the features in this one being more beneficial from an overall job search and networking point of view. You would hope so as well, with this plan costing double the Job Seeker plan costs.
15 InMail Messages
Like the Job Seeker plan, this plan gives you the ability to send messages to people you are not connected to. So, if you wanted to use one on a “job poster” you can, but what this is best used for from a networking point of view are those people whom you don’t know, and when you go to send them a connection request you have to add their email. If you don’t have their email, you can send them an InMail explaining why you would like to connect or get in touch.
15 is a lot as well, much better number than the 3 you get for the job seeker plan.
Caution: Whilst 15 is a lot, be sure not to be too frivolous with them. Try connecting with people first before sending InMails. Once connected, emails are free. If you cannot connect or they don’t accept, maybe this is when you can use one of your InMails.
The advanced people search is the best tool to find exactly who you want to find on LinkedIn.
With the free account giving you use of the basic search tool, upgrading gives you greater ability to filter out those irrelevant professionals and find those who will add valuable insights to your career development.
Who’s Viewed your profile
As explained in the Job Seeker plan, a great tool to help you understand the strength of your profile and its effectiveness.
Unlimited Profile Search
A recent addition to LinkedIn is the restriction of basic profiles search ability. Free profiles have a limit as to how many people they search for which the business plan remedies.
This is advantageous as a strong profile incorporates strong connections. It takes into consideration who your connections are and where are they from.
As a professional looking for a job and to network, searching for other professionals and recruiters to add to your rolodex is an important aspect to improve your profile and ability to be found by headhunters and recruiters.
Overall, this plan is the best of them all. However it comes with a price. Nearly double the job seeker plan, it is advantageous to have, but only if you have the money.
Caution: Just because you pay for features, don’t expect your profile to increase in views automatically, although it should help, you still need to be active and have a strong profile.
Optimising your profile before you add such plans is important to allow you to take advantage of such features.
If you need help optimising your profile, register with us online for a free CV and LinkedIn appraisal.