Tough times don’t last, tough people do!
This pandemic has taken a toll on millions who have lost their source of earning a living. The unemployment rate is at an all time high of 5.4% (Source). Tough times call for tough measures. While people are expediting the search across all job portals, a very big piece of this pie goes to LinkedIn. Acquired by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn has 62M users in India. If you are one of the active LinkedIn Users, it is highly likely that Microsoft has pitched LinkedIn Premium to you. So what is LinkedIn premium and is it worth its steep price in 2020?
What is LinkedIn Premium?
LinkedIn premium is a set of paid upgrades which provide you with some additional features over the basic plan. There are 4 types of premium plans LinkedIn has to offer. Since this post focuses on the job searching aspect of premium, I will stick to two plans only. The other two plans, “Sales Navigator” and “Recruiter Life” are meant for some sales people and hiring managers.
Let us discuss the remaining two plans and their respective features:
1. Career Premium
Priced at Rs. 1400 per month, career premium offers the following:
- InMail messages: Ability to reach out to recruiters directly i.e. without even connecting with them. This is capped at maximum of 3 messages per month in this plan.
- Application insights: Gives you some insights of how you are placed against other candidates to help you shortlist better suited jobs for you. Screenshot below shows the insights this section provides you.
- Who’s viewed your Profile: Check who has viewed your profile in last 90 days and how they found you.
- Top Applicant jobs: Another extension of job insights where linked shortlists and recommends the job where you may be a better fit that other applicants.
- Online Video Course: Access to LinkedIn Library of courses on various domains.
- Salary Insights: Allows you to see salary details when browsing jobs without sharing your personal data.
- Interview Preparation: Helps you prepare for commonly asked interview questions with sample answers from experts and hiring managers.
2. Business Premium
Priced at Rs. 1900 per month, business premium, in addition to all the features of career premium offers the following:
- Business Insights: Get deep insights into a company’s growth and functional trends
- InMail Messages: Now capped at 15 messages a month instead of 3.
After going through these steep price points, one may rethink if premium plans are actually worth a shot. Well, good news is that LinkedIn offers you one full month of trial for free. I used the trial to its maximum potential and here is what I thought about the each feature:
Is it worth it?
Feature is kind of handy to use in case you want to reach out to recruiter directly to highlight yourself and stand out of the crowd. With that being said, I could think of some alternatives of this and that also without a capping of 3 messages month:
- I can send a connection request to the person and add a note communicating my message
2. Or, I could simply look for them in some other social network. LinkedIn is not the only platform for connecting with people.
Again, a feature that just couldn’t land for me. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. They were not insights per se, but more of collection key data points. Okay, I am one of the top 10% applicants, what next? It should prompt some suggested actions at this point, I believe. I understand that 8 of my skills match with the job requirement, so what? You get the idea.
Whose viewed your profile:
A good to have feature but once again, not something very useful. LinkedInhas this feature in the basic plan as well but that is limited to a couple of days data and not 90 days.
Telling me where people found me could be of some help. In this case also, LinkedIn gives you keywords which people searched for, when your profile appeared. Secondly, it tells you the job title and company of the people who found you. If some recruiter looked for me, I can reach out to them personally via InMail to take it further.
But, it is highly likely that they were not looking for you at all, and it might just be a coincidence that your profile showed up while they were looking for something else.
Online Video Courses:
This feature was a clear winner out of all the offerings. LinkedIn has this massive library of courses on most of the subjects. I tested out courses on Salesforce, Business Analysis, SEO etc. Not only the content was really good, the structure was also very decent. Everything was broken down into small videos of maximum 10 minutes followed by a quiz (2-5 questions) after each sub topic.
Not only you can learn, but you have an opportunity of showcasing it on your profile in Licenses and Certifications section. Cool right?
This feature is of no use until it is personalized for the job you are being considered for. If I were to find common interview questions and their answers, I can do a google search and find a gazillion results helping me do that without spending a dime.
This could be a really important feature while you are trying to negotiate with the HR. But, once again I found disappointment in this section. All the jobs I viewed in this trial month showed me that no salary insights are available.
LinkedIn boasts that people with premium accounts have 22% higher chances of landing a job. I think it is more of a correlational rather than a causal statement. If you are looking for a job for a while, using basic plan, you can give the premium a shot using trial. I don’t think it offers something which has a potential in the long run to take Rs. 1400 (least) out of my pocket every month.
Make sure that you cancel it on time. LinkedIn says that they’ll remind you once again over mail, before deducting the money, but that never happened. I had to get in touch with their customer support for a refund.
Until Next Time..