LinkedIn Premium is a paid subscription service that promises to boost your career. But is the price really worth the LinkedIn premium benefits? Or should you stick to the free tools available with a regular account on LinkedIn?
Let's find out.
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site available. It's been around and free to use for 18 years. In 2005 they began to offer premium services, and over time those offerings have only expanded and improved.
Joining LinkedIn Premium unlocks all sorts of features that could benefit current job-hunters, recruiters, and those looking to improve their business's sales. But LinkedIn Premium pricing can be steep, between $29.99 and $99.99 per month, depending on which tier you choose.
We'll dig into each tier below. But before we do, let's zoom in on some essential LinkedIn Premium features. These come with an account in any premium tier.
InMail allows you to contact any LinkedIn user, even if they're not a first connection. This is obviously beneficial if you're looking for a job or looking to fill a position. It's great for sales representatives too. They can reach out to potential clients that may have been impossible to reach before.
InMail works off of credits, and each premium tier provides a certain number of credits per month. So you can't use InMail for ad campaigns or anything like that. You can use it to make targeted connections, which are more valuable anyway.
In all of the premium tiers, you can see who's looking at your account. This could help you determine top prospects if you're looking for a job. If a particular company keeps looking at your profile, it might not be a bad idea to seize the initiative and reach out.
And if you're a recruiter or in sales, it might show you which candidates or potential clients are most interested in what you have to offer. If they keep popping up on your profile viewers list, you know they have found something intriguing!
LinkedIn offers over 15,000 expert-led courses through their online learning platform. With a premium account, you have access to all of them. The subjects cover everything business, from marketing best practices to Quickbooks 101.
Some of the skills-based classes on LinkedIn Learning could genuinely help your career. You could learn specific software like Adobe or Google Apps. Or you could learn Python or another programming language. Not only are these resume boosters, but they can also make you more efficient in your current position.
Premium accounts also have access to LinkedIn Premium's Interview Prep feature. Here, you'll find a library of articles packed with expert interview tips. There are also lists of practice questions.
You can even video yourself answering questions in a mock interview. And you can ask for feedback, which is crucial for understanding how to improve.
LinkedIn will send your interview to a first connection of your choice, or you can use their AI-powered feedback generator to gain valuable insights on your practice answers.
Now that we know the basics let's compare LinkedIn plans in detail. LinkedIn Premium offers four tiers, and each allows a free 90-day trial when you sign up.
Starting with the lowest tier, LinkedIn Career is for job hunters. With a subscription in this tier, you receive 3 InMail credits and all of the features listed above. On top of that, you'll have access to applicant insights where you can compare your qualifications to other job candidates.
You'll also be able to view salary information for available jobs without leaving any personal information behind. And, you'll be able to see job openings for which you'd be a top candidate.
For business owners or business developers, LinkedIn Business is ideal. It costs slightly more than LinkedIn Career and offers 15 InMail credits along with all the standard features.
Plus, you'll have access to Business Insights. Business Insights allow you to dig into details on any company's growth and current trends. And, you'll get Career Insights, which will enable you to compare job applicants.
Both can help you build connections and discover fresh talent.
The next tier is LinkedIn Sales, which offers 20 InMail credits and a series of other features. You'll have access to a standalone sales interface and an advanced search tool created with lead generation in mind.
Once you track down those leads, you'll be able to organize them using LinkedIn Sales' custom lead and account list feature. And, you'll receive valuable alerts and insights on significant changes in your network.
The top tier of LinkedIn Premium is for recruiters. Besides all of the essential features, this tier offers 30 InMail credits. It also features advanced search tools so recruiters can discover and narrow down their top candidates.
LinkedIn Hiring has its own interface and gives recruiters a place to organize their candidate pools and track them through the hiring process.
If you're comparing LinkedIn Premium vs free versions of LinkedIn and want to know which one's best, the answer is that it depends.
Maybe you're in the market for a new job and serious about finding it. In that case, a LinkedIn Career subscription isn't a bad idea. It will help you connect with hiring managers quickly. And you can use it to brush up on your interview skills.
If you're a business owner, recruiter, or salesperson, LinkedIn Premium benefits may or may not be worth the subscription fee. It will depend on your industry.
If most of your network uses LinkedIn, the service could quickly pay for itself by finding new talent and clients. But if your industry relies on other networking methods, the services might not be worth the monthly fee.
If you're unsure, you can always give it a try! The 90-day free trial is plenty of time to determine if LinkedIn Premium is worth it.