A few weeks ago I published an article about LinkedIn Premium Accounts. LinkedIn Premium Accounts are advertised to job seekers, businesses, and HR professionals/recruiters and offer certain benefits depending on the needs of each group. I purchased the job seeker basic premium account subscription to see if it would provide any useful benefits for job seekers (worth the extra money that is). Now, a few weeks into my subscription, I am able to report back on my findings.
Since turning on the job seeker premium account benefits I have not received a single inquiry to my resume – even after going to the full extend and showing the job seeker badge on my account. I tried with just showing the default premium account badge first and then switched to show the jobseeker badge. I actually had expected a little more from this feature. Compared to before, this benefit is actually very weak in my opinion and if one wants to buy the job seeker premium account just for this feature, forget it. It would be a waste of money in my opinion.
Where the premium account comes in handy is the search term feature. Here the premium account holder can see what search terms triggered his or her account to show up in searches. This is definitely helpful when it comes to optimizing the account and resume. Imagine you are a sales specialist, but only show up for customer service related search terms. You could then optimize your account and add additional search terms to your resume and the list of skills. The only thing related to this that I do think is weak, is the lack of seeing overall search volume for keywords and to find additional search terms. As an example in Google you can start typing a search term and Google makes suggestions based on your search term. In LinkedIn you need to know the search terms yourself. It is easy to pick the most obvious search terms, but what if you are missing out on a lot of searches because the recruiters in your field use different search terms to be more specific. A keyword tool that would help with this would be a great feature in LinkedIn.
The other feature I really like is the ability to see who has looked at your resume. To a certain degree you were able to do so with a free account too, but the premium account provides more detail and so that is a really helpful feature in my opinion.
Some of the premium account levels offer the ability to contact other people via InMail (LinkedIn’s internal Mail System). InMail allows you to contact people even if they are not part of your network. I looked at it from a job seeker perspective and this feature is not worth the money. If you find a job listed on LinkedIn, the listing company would be stupid not to offer other ways to contact them. But where the ability to use InMail comes in handy is if you are a recruiter. For a recruiter it makes perfect sense to contact job seekers and so in those cases it would make sense to pay money for the premium LinkedIn accounts.
Jobseekers: It is very important to beef up your account and resume with a lot of text and keywords before buying the premium account option. The premium account option will not do the work for you. If your resume is looking weak and is missing important parts, do your homework first. LinkedIn has the great feature to suggest improvements and tells you what is missing from your account. Use this feature to the full extend. Anything under 90% is considered a construction zone in my opinion.
Recruiters: Do not contact job seekers unless you have something to offer. Just adding job seekers to your list of contacts is not providing a benefit. Your overall success rate and reputation is not benefiting from a higher number of contacts. However, providing feedback about the resume appearance and giving helpful tips would be a great way to use InMail and to build up a network that provides results for you and the jobseeker.
Conclusion: Personally I think that premium accounts for jobseekers are over-priced. However, in certain situations it might make sense to purchase them for a month or two. From a business perspective for LinkedIn I would actually recommend to lower the price for jobseekers and that way attract a longer retention rate. Most jobseekers will just cancel their subscription as soon as they have a new job. A lower price would probably reduce the urge to cancel the subscription right away after a new job has been found. Anyway, in general I think there are certain benefits that come from the premium accounts that makes it worth considering the purchase.