LinkedIn is social networking with a difference.
While job seekers are urged to tone down their Facebook and Twitter presence lest their social antics show them in a bad light, they are positively encouraged to maintain an up to date and accurate LinkedIn profile.
Your LinkedIn profile is now one of the first things prospective employers and recruitment consultants check when you apply for a role.
The stronger your profile, the more professional you will look.
More and more organisations are posting vacancies to LinkedIn. Additionally, many leaders in their field will publish articles explaining their work based philosophy or giving mini tutorials on certain subjects.
You can join groups centred around specific professional interests or follow a particular company, to help you stay up to date on current best practice.
Many schools and universities maintain alumni group presences on LinkedIn for networking purposes.
You are able to reach out and communicate directly with ‘connections’ or people who have agreed to interact with you on LinkedIn, you can also ask connections for an introduction to other people with whom you might want to interact for professional purposes.
With all these benefits in the free package, is the paid for LinkedIn Premium worth the investment?
What Is LinkedIn Premium?
LinkedIn offer a range of different Premium options at a range of prices.
They are each tailored to a different market. So if you are interested in purchasing a Premium membership it is worth while taking the time to explore which one will be best for you.
LinkedIn Premium ‘Career’
The most basic Premium offering, ‘Career’ is aimed at users who are conducting job searches through LinkedIn.
Benefits offered include:
- 3 direct messages to anyone (connected or otherwise), per month;
- Status as a ‘featured applicant’ which will move you to the top of applicant lists;
- Access to LinkedIn Learning a series of online lectures on business skills taught by industry experts;
- See exactly who has viewed your profile; and
- Insights into how you compare to other applicants.
The service claims that those who subscribe are hired, on average, twice as fast as those who do not.
If you are aggressively pursuing a job hunt through LinkedIn this package looks attractive. Being a featured applicant and towards the top of the list will certainly not harm your case and make it look as though you are willing to invest in yourself.
The ‘Career’ package will also allow you to see who you are up against by enabling you to compare yourself against other applicants. This will help you tailor your interaction with the hiring professionals accordingly.
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LinkedIn Premium ‘Business Plus’
The ‘Business Plus’ plan is aimed at those who want to use LinkedIn to grow their business.
LinkedIn claim that ‘Business Plus’ members get approximately 6 times the number of views as those who use the free package.
Not only that, the enhanced package offers:
- The ability to message up to 15 people even if you are not yet connected on LinkedIn;
- See exactly who has used your profile and view unlimited numbers of profiles on a search;
- Gain insights into the growth and trends experienced by a particular company;
- Access to LinkedIn Learning,
At first glance this looks like an excellent suite of advantages over and above the free membership.
After all if you are job hunting (or recruiting) it can be frustrating to read that ‘someone’ in your industry has viewed your profile but not know exactly who they are.
It is annoying to have your own searches restricted and the ability to contact someone, even if they are not a connection also sounds pretty handy.
The Business Insights function may perhaps be the most useful of all the tools offered on the Premium service.
It allows you to see how another business (competitor, contractor or other) is faring in the current climate and investigate the profiles of their notable employees. That said, most of that information could be uncovered through a diligent (and free) web search.
LinkedIn Premium ‘Sales Navigator’ and ‘Recruiter Lite’
These are the final two LinkedIn Premium offerings.
LinkedIn claim that ‘Sales Navigator’ will make professionals up to 3 times more likely to exceed their sales quotas.
On offer is a special Lead Builder and Lead Recommendation functionality, in addition to the other services (20 messages, see who viewed your profile etc.)
The top of the range ‘Recruiter Lite’ package claims that thousands of other businesses use the LinkedIn recruiter platform and offers, in addition to the standard benefits:
- Up to 30 messages a month;
- A suggestion matrix to augment your searches and help you uncover ‘additional talent’;
- Candidate tracking;
- An enhanced LinkedIn platform designed for recruiting.
How much does LinkedIn Premium Cost?
The cost of each LinkedIn Premium package is:
- £23.99 per month, on a month-by-month plan
- £19.79 per month, when subscribing for a full year
- £35.99 per month, on a month-by-month plan
- £47.99 per month, when subscribing for a full year
- £53.99 per month, on a month-by-month plan
- £71.99 per month, when subscribing for a full year
- £95.94 per month, on a month-by-month plan
- £77.94 per month, when subscribing for a full year
If you opt for a more flexible, monthly payment you will pay more, but you have the flexibility of cancelling at any time.
The monthly prices, based on an annual subscription, offer a significant discount. But if you opt for the cheaper annual package you will be tied in to the cost for the entire year.
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Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It?
LinkedIn Premium certainly offers a number of benefits over and above the free platform.
But is it worth it to you?
Think of it as a gym membership – you get out what you put in.
- Are undertaking a job search you may want to subscribe to the ‘Career’ platform for the duration of the search.
- Are actively looking to grow business or sales leads then the relevant packages may well be of use.
- Use LinkedIn solely as a means to keep in touch with people you meet through work then you probably will not need the enhanced package.
The good news is that you are able to try LinkedIn Premium for one month for free.
This month will allow you to assess whether or not the package you have chosen is working for you. If it is you may even be able to expense the cost through work.
How to Cancel LinkedIn Premium
If you have tried LinkedIn Premium and found that it is not for you then you will need to cancel it.
You can cancel without penalty any time during your free trial period and LinkedIn will send you an email to remind you the deadline is approaching.
If you do not cancel before the end of that period your account will be debited as agreed on sign up.
Cancelling Career and Business Plus Accounts
You will need to cancel the payment with LinkedIn.
To do this go to your LinkedIn account and click on your profile picture in the top right hand corner.
A drop down menu will appear, click on the Account Type option and then choose ‘cancel subscription’.
You will be asked to provide a reason for the cancellation (pick any you wish) and can then click continue. You will then be asked to confirm ‘cancel my subscription’. Press that button and it is done.
You may want to keep a close check on your bank statement for the coming month to ensure that the payment is not taken.
If it is you should repeat the process and confirm the cancellation with your bank.
You will lose access to all Premium features at the end of your last billing cycle.
Cancelling Your Sales Navigator Account
You will need to log in to your Sales account, go to the photograph at the top of the screen and select the Settings option.
Go to Account Type and choose the Cancel Subscription option.
You will be guided through the cancellation process.
Cancelling Your Recruiter Lite Account
Go to the Go to Recruiter option at the top right of your account.
Once you arrive at the Recruiter homepage go to the more option at the top of the page and select the Admin option.
Choose Cancel Subscription and follow the instructions on the screen.
You will lose access to all your viewer data, Messages, sales data, recruiter information and any other legacy data at the end of the billing cycle.
You should consider copying or taking screenshots of any such information that you wish to retain for future reference.