As the growth of new LinkedIn members inevitably slows, so will their revenue growth. Perhaps in an effort to find new revenue streams, there appears to be a marketing drive by LinkedIn to encourage individuals to spend money on Career Premium, LinkedIn's premium account for job-seekers, on the basis that these accounts will somehow improve one's chances in a job application.
As recruitment consultants, we are accustomed to advertising providers' attempts to hike charges and find new ways to increase their revenues. LinkedIn is no different from any advertiser in this regard, with price hikes on Recruiter packages and persistent ‘upselling’ and feature changes. But this push to sell Premium accounts to the job-seeker is unique amongst advertisers (no other job-board charges its applicant base) and comes with claims of benefits that seem hard to substantiate one way or another.
Below are some of the benefits that the Premium servie claims along with some “basic truths” of how recruiters work and how employers will view your application. That way you can decide whether the upgrade is right for you and if it adds anything that you can’t achieve with a well-written CV and a tailored summary.
Whether your application or message to a hiring manager has an enhanced design or not, your application will be seen. Remember, if the hiring manager is a recruitment professional (agency or in-house) it’s their job to look at your profile, so regardless of how it is presented, they will view your experience and decide whether you are relevant to the job or their area of expertise.
“See how you compare to other applicants”
So what? How will this improve your chances? One of the unspoken ‘consolations’ of not getting the job you want is that you don’t know who got the job, so you can move on in the hope that you might have a better chance next time.
“Let recruiters know you are looking to move’
This feature is a status 'flag' on a Premium profile that can’t be seen by your colleagues, but broadcasts your interest in moving to recruitment agencies. Aside from this being a questionable practice by LinkedIn if they are also selling recruitment services to your employer, the problem with this feature is that you are not in control. Any recruiter can see your status, which could result in a flood of approaches, while there is still a risk that your employer could discover your intentions through word-of-mouth.
When it comes to taking your first steps in the job market, we always recommend that you are selective and careful.
“Direct messaging to recruiters: Reach out directly to any recruiter or job poster with 5 InMail credits”
Five ‘InMail’ credits are not many and are five messages really worth £24.98? As above, any recruiter or hiring manager with an ounce of competence will review your profile and/or CV. Recruiters also receive many of these direct “InMails”, but they will only follow-up those applicants with the skills that match the requirements of the job, regardless of whether they were 'InMailed' or not.
“See who’s viewed you in the last 90 days and how they found you”
So, someone looked at your profile; so what? Many members will have anonymous settings so you won’t see everyone who looked at your profile, while following up and emailing someone who might have inadvertently glanced at your page could be seen as a ‘pushy’, or even ‘creepy'!
“Online video skills/career courses”
These may be fine, but YouTube also has a wealth of information and career advice, and for free.
If you are right for a job, your CV and/or profile will be seen by those who matter, and they will be in touch. If you are not right for a job, no amount of direct contact, enhanced profile design or "insights" will change this.
So, is LinkedIn Premium for jobseekers worth the money? It's your decision, but we hope the above helps you make an infomed choice.