Is the free version of LinkedIn good enough for the IT professional, or should you consider upgrading? Here, we run through the benefits of LinkedIn premium.
What is the difference between LinkedIn Premium and basic?
LinkedIn has become an important tool for professionals across a range of sectors, and now counts over half a million users from across 200 countries. It hosts over 10 million job postings, as well as information on more than 9 million companies.
It's a useful tool to keep track of people we liaise with in our careers, reconnect with old colleagues or contacts from university and maintain contact with people we meet at networking events. However, there are certain professions that use LinkedIn extensively beyond these functions, such as in sales, business or recruitment.
There are a number of different premium options available, the cheapest available being the 'Career' option, which is aimed at job seekers and costs around £25 per month.
Alternatively, a business plan is aimed at business users looking to make important contacts and use the site as a means to grow their enterprise. The remaining two options are the most expensive plans and apply to people in sales jobs and those in recruitment roles. The sales package has been the fastest-growing segment since late 2016, perhaps indicating something important about who gains most value from the site.
The benefits of LinkedIn Premium
"The goal for us on the Premium team is to deliver direct economic outcomes to our members," says Gyanda Sachdeva, senior director of product management and head of LinkedIn Premium subscription products.
LinkedIn Premium users gain some benefits over basic users. For example, those using the Career plan are able to directly message recruiters about job postings, see everyone who's viewed their profile in the last 90 days and how they found you, access applicant insights to see how you measure up to other candidates and access salary details about jobs.
Is LinkedIn Premium worth it for IT pros?
Premium LinkedIn packages are highly targeted towards certain roles or purposes. Given an IT pro is unlikely to be working directly in sales or recruitment, they might not benefit most from these packages.
IT pros who are also business owners could potentially benefit from the using LinkedIn as a means to promote their business and liaise with certain leads.
However, the category that would offer most relevance to IT pros would be the Career option, for professionals who are looking for new job opportunities.
Greater search features mean you can reach out to recruiters or hiring managers about job adverts you've seen. You can also be much more specific in your searches, specifying the job role and seniority of people you are looking for.
More InMail allowance can also be an effective tool, given that according to LinkedIn, these are much more effective at eliciting a response than sending a standard email.
The job seekers package also allows you to appear as a 'featured candidate' when you apply for a job, meaning you'll appear higher up the list and have more information appear next to your name.
An important factor in your decision on whether to upgrade to a premium version would be how much you use LinkedIn currently and whether or not you've ever exceeded the limits of your free account.
If you've recently begun job searching it would make sense to keep basic for a while and only trade up if you realise you would like to use it more than your current account allows. Ask yourself how important your LinkedIn network is to your role and industry and how much you participate in LinkedIn activities such as being involved in groups, commenting on articles, or posting updates.
If you are considering an upgrade, LinkedIn offers a free month's subscription to a premium account anyway, so it's always possible to try it out before upgrading.
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