Is LinkedIn Premium really worth it for job seekers? This is a question that many people looking for new career opportunities on the biggest professional network ask themselves.
With over 550 million active members, LinkedIn offers some interesting premium features that might help you score your next job. Today, we will see if they are worth the price.
Now, if anyone knows anything about me, I am a huge LinkedIn fan. I go to sleep and wake up with it :). However, I always like to give people my completely honest and unbiased opinion about my experiences.
So, despite my love for LinkedIn, today isn’t going to be an exception. And to make it a little bit more fun, I will add my personal rating for each feature!
So, let’s go!
LinkedIn Premium Pricing Plans
LinkedIn is a subscription-based service that offers various plans depending on your goals. It includes plans for Job Seekers, Recruiters, Businesses and Sales Professionals, each of them offering different features:
Today, we are going to focus exclusively on the LinkedIn Job Seeker Career Plan. Its monthly price is €29.98, although it can drop to €24.99 per month if you choose to pay the whole annual subscription at once (€299.87 /year). Both prices include the Value-Added Tax (VAT)of 21%.
Tip: It is important to know that all plans renew automatically if you don’t cancel them.
In the next section, I will break down the Premium Career plan feature by feature, and I will discuss the utility of each one of them. To make it more fun (because what’s life without a little bit of fun), I will provide a personal rating as well.
You can find additional information on the rest of the plans here.
Is LinkedIn Premium worth it? Features & Rating
Before any final conclusion, let’s start evaluating each feature separately and the utility it provides:
The Featured Applicant feature means that when you apply for a job position on LinkedIn, you can be positioned at the top of the applicant list, making you stand out among other applicants.
Why is it helpful?
When you start applying for jobs, you will notice that…you are not the only one (oh thanks, I didn’t know that). For some of the most popular jobs, there could be more than 1000 applicants! Which means that the possibility of a recruiter getting to actually view you CV is not very high.
Even if you fit the job position perfectly, they might not even get to open your CV at all just because there are hundreds of other CVs before yours.
This feature positions your CV on the first pages of the Recruiter’s dashboard. This way, your CV will most probably be seen before the ones with a non-Premium subscription, increasing the possibility of your profile being viewed by the recruiter.
Which, consequently, will increase your chances for an interview invitation and for scoring that job position that you wanted.
In theory, this feature sounds awesome, and it’s definitely one of the best perks of the Premium LinkedIn plan. In reality, I have absolutely no way to see it in action, so I have to trust LinkedIn on that. However, from my experience I have to admit that I usually receive more attention from companies when I have it activated.
A good positioning on your recruiter’s listing doesn’t substitute a good CV. So, don’t forget to update your CV, and tailor it according to the job you’re applying for!
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 – definitely worth it!
The Open Profile feature makes your profile open (Captain Obvious strikes again) for people outside of your network.
In LinkedIn, you can’t usually send direct messages to people who are not your first connections. However, this feature allows you to send Open Profile messages to all Premium members who have enabled this option (without additional cost).
Why is it helpful?
Having this feature activated makes you easily reachable by anyone without necessarily establishing a connection. Of course, you should always strive for building professional relationships with other users in your field of interest.
After all, the main purpose of LinkedIn is to build a network of meaningful and mutually beneficial connections!
However, sometimes isn’t very easy to reach someone on LinkedIn. If they aren’t a first connection, it might involve paid InMails or spammy messages with no mutual interest. So, having this feature on means that you are actually open to being reached by anyone. Your barriers are down!
This feature is definitely a nice add-on to your LinkedIn Premium benefits. It could be especially helpful to make your profile more available for recruiters.
However, it is important to keep in mind that recruiters usually have the LinkedIn Premium plan for Recruiters. Which means that there is no need for your profile to be open so that they can reach you! (They have a good number of Paid InMails included in their plan).
My point is, if you are worried about not getting reached by recruiters because your profile isn’t open, you shouldn’t. I they want to contact you, they will – regardless of your LinkedIn Plan. I think this feature could give a bigger advantage for Sales people, but not that much for job seekers.
Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 – not worth it (at least not for job seekers)
Who’s viewed your profile
With the Free plan, you don’t have the full visibility of seeing who has viewed your profile. You get notifications that it has been viewed, but it only shows just a couple of LinkedIn members.
With this feature, your curiosity for knowing who is interested in your profile is greatly satisfied! Although sometimes, maybe 1 out of 20 times, there is a view from a recruiter or another person whose profile is not accessible. Usually, this happens because the user has set their profile viewing options to Private mode:
However, this is out of your control, and you will not be able to see it even on Premium. The only option I can think of is Sales Navigator. With this plan, you have up to 5 credits to “unlock” information from a profile that is set to Private mode.
Excluding this case, in all other cases the feature shows you the full information of everyone who has viewed your profile.
Why is it helpful?
It is good to know whether recruiters have been looking at your profile because it might give a hint about a potential job offer. However, I think that this feature is more to satisfy your curiosity rather than help you find a job.
Even if a recruiter has seen your profile, it only makes sense for them to contact you, so you can’t do much about it except for waiting. On the other hand, if you know beforehand that a HR professional is interested in your profile, you could use that to prepare for the outcome.
But don’t rely too much on this; people are curious by nature, so a recruiter visit doesn’t necessarily mean an interview. I have had many profile views from recruiters without contact. After all, they need to see your profile first in order to see if you fit for the job position!
I think it’s a nice feature to get better transparency about the people who are interested in your profile. You could even add them as connections if you see a potential for a possible collaboration. Other than that, it doesn’t help that much for job seeking.
Rating: 3.5 / 5.00 – rather neutral in job seeking
The InMail feature lets you send you direct messages to LinkedIn members who are outside of your network.
As you can see in the example above, these people are 3rd connections to me. This means that we don’t have any other LinkedIn member in common in our network. However, this LinkedIn Premium feature allows me to reach them via InMail despite all that!
However, InMails are not unlimited because LinkedIn takes a very good care of reducing the possibilities for spam. Instead, you get monthly credits.
For the Job Seekers (Carreer) plan you get only 3 InMails per month. If you don’t use them in the same month, they will accumulate for 90 days. And, if you don’t use them in 90 days, they will expire!
Why is it helpful?
It’s a great feature for sending direct messages to people outside your network who don’t have an Open profile. It removes communication barriers and gives you more options for cold reach. It is definitely worth it if you are the one reaching out to a recruiter. However, it is very limited!
I think it’s one of the best features of this plan, and although 3 InMails per month is not too much, it only comes to show that quality is always more important than quantity. So use them wisely! If you are a job seeker, you can identify potential decision makers within the company you would like to work for.
And then, you can use InMail to contact them for a job (always following the best practices, of course).
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 – worth it!
LinkedIn Learning is a relatively new feature that offers a great variety of courses relevant to your goals or job function.
Additionally, the platform uses intelligence to create personalized recommendations based on your skills and professional interests. Out of all features, it is my absolute number 1. I think LinkedIn has done a great job on developing highly relevant courses that are constantly adapting to the digital changes.
In fact, LinkedIn always removes courses that are becoming obsolete. Even if they were made only two years ago!
Why is it helpful?
Besides from the obvious reason that you gain a valuable knowledge and become a better professional, you also get a certificate after successfully completing each course.
Of course, it is not an official certificate that immediately makes you an expert. However, it is a great addition to your CV or LinkedIn profile, and it shows that you are thirsty for knowledge.
I personally love all the courses I have taken so far! They are entertaining, very well-explained, and very well prepared. The mobile version is great as well; because it allows me to watch the videos on my way to work and back home. (Which is an hour and a half every day, a time that I would otherwise waste on other things).
Disclaimer: it is important to keep in mind that LinkedIn Learning doesn’t help you directly in finding a job. In comparison, other Premium features such as Featured Applicant are directly involved in better positioning. However, LinkedIn Learning is a long-term investment which you shouldn’t underestimate!
Nothing more to say: my personal favourite! Of course, with the disclaimer in mind when it comes to LinkedIn Premium for job seekers.
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 – definitely worth the money in my opinion
Applicant Insights and Job-related Insights
LinkedIn uses analytics to give you job insights while you are looking for career opportunities.
It provides a lot of useful information:
- Whether you are a top applicant for this job;
- Whether your skills match the skills required for the specific job position;
- The seniority level of the rest of the applicants;
- How your current role and past experience compare to the rest.
Why is it helpful?
This LinkedIn Premium feature serves as a guiding point to understanding your position and possibilities compared to other applicants. This can give you a better idea of whether you have a high chance for scoring the job.
In the section Skills, you can get ideas about adding new skills to your profile for a better match. However, try not to abuse this information by inventing skills that you don’t have! You have to stay true to yourself and your professional experience.
It is a nice feature to help you understand your potential for scoring the job you want. However, you have understand that LinkedIn filters and algorithms are not perfect, and being in the top 10% or 25% of X applicants is not always true. On the other hand, I think it’s quite useful to see how many people have applied for the job.
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 – LinkedIn definitely needs to work on improving its algorithms for matching your profile with the job position. I keep getting suggestions in which the position requires native Chinese or Portuguese, and I am in the top 10% of all applicants. I have never even studied these languages in my life!
The Final Verdict: Is LinkedIn Premium worth it for job seekers?
For job seeking: NO
Let’s be honest, job seeking on LinkedIn isn’t particularly easy no matter if you are on the Premium Plan or not.
I am not sure why is that so. Maybe because of LinkedIn’s nature of being a social platform instead of a job portal.
However, a lot of people I’ve talked to reported that they have never gotten a job from this platform. And I don’t mean to discourage you! There are also people who actually got their job because of LinkedIn. I am just saying that it’s very important to not keep all your eggs in the same basket when it comes to job seeking.
You should be on all platforms because no job portal can guarantee you anything. So, don’t put your entire faith on LinkedIn!
In my opinion, the only feature that has a direct impact on job seeking is the Feature Applicant. However, if you are going to pay almost 30 EUR only for getting the benefits of one feature, maybe it’s not worth your money.
I think that the price is too high for the benefits of the Premium Plan, and the right corresponding price for them would be at least 2 or 3 times less.
Besides from Featured Applicant, the other features can be very useful as well. But you have to really know how to take advantage of them in order to see the worth of your money. And taking into account that LinkedIn is only one of the many portals where you will be seeking a job, you might want to invest your 30 EUR in something else.
For example, tailoring a beautiful and optimized CV, or getting professional advice on job application.
For learning and building a high-quality network: YES
In my own personal opinion, LinkedIn Premium is worth not for its job seeking features (as you would expect), but for LinkedIn Learning.
I am not looking for a job at the moment, but I kept my Premium account only for the online courses that the platform offers. They provide a really valuable, relevant, and career-specific knowledge that you will not get in many other places.
For example, I learned a lot about CRM tools such as Salesforce and Hubspot without having to request a demo from their respective platforms. Of course, I would be happier if it didn’t cost that much, but it is still a great way to dedicate your time on something valuable that makes you a better professional.
The features that LinkedIn offer for Premium are much more useful for establishing a high-quality network with InMail, Open Profile and profile views – as well as gaining additional knowledge with LinkedIn Learning. However, they don’t seem to be that useful for job seeking.
Conclusion – for whom is it worth it?
- If you are looking actively for a job and you feel comfortable paying 30 EUR for Premium – then do it! It complements your job seeking opportunities and gives you higher possibilities for success.
- In the case in which you are actively looking for a job but 30 EUR seem too much for you – then don’t worry. You are not missing out on anything that essential;
- If you are a person who has a job or is not actively looking for one, and you don’t mind paying 30 EUR per month – definitely take advantage of LinkedIn Learning!
- However, if you are a person who has a job or is not actively looking for one, but you are unsure whether LinkedIn Learning provides you with any additional value, you have a 30-day free Premium trial to find out whether it’s worth it for you!
I hope you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more!