Social Networking

Is it Worth It to Pay for a LinkedIn Account?

LinkedIn changes its offerings quite frequently, which means it’s time for an updated review of free versus premium accounts:

What you get with a free account

A basic, free account lets you build a full profile. You can build a network that includes colleagues, classmates, and even strangers by sending out LinkedIn connection requests. You also don’t have to pay to make or request a recommendation or to read or receive an InMail message that comes your way.

You can also save up to three customized searches and set up weekly alerts for them.

Several years ago, when I first started writing analyses of free vs. premium accounts, free account holders had access to more features. While it appears that slowly but surely the free version offers less, comparatively speaking, that still doesn’t mean the premium offerings are for everyone.

LinkedIn’s three paid plans

Today, LinkedIn sells three premium plans. The first is Business Premium on LinkedIn.com – the same platform as the free version – but with more features and functionality.

The two others are:

  • Sales Navigator, which is designed for sales professionals to use for lead generation.
  • Recruiter Lite, which is used by talent professionals (recruiters, HR managers, etc.) to scour the site for candidates.

While those in healthcare sales may want to explore using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to identify leads (your company may even pay for it), the Business Premium on LinkedIn.com is what you’ll want to focus on when launching a medical device or pharma sales job search.

Seven features of Business Premium

When you pay $47.99/month for Premium, here’s what you’ll get:

1. Unlimited People Browsing and Expanded Search Results

Premium members have access to view any profile (as far back as third-degree connections) in search results.

2. Who has viewed your profile

Premium members will see everyone who has viewed their profile in the past 90 days. It also shows trends and insights on how they found you.

In addition to the fabulous intel that comes from knowing if someone checks out your profile,  you can reach out, send them a connection request, shoot them an InMail, and thank them for checking out your profile.

For both free and paid, depending on the privacy settings of those who are checking you out, you could see where they work, their job titles, and how they found you.

LinkedIn will also measure an increase or decline in weekly viewership. For job seekers that incorporate LinkedIn engagement as part of their job search strategy, this is a valuable piece of information showing what is — or isn’t — working.

The Workaround for Free Account Holders: Free account holders can see the five most recent viewers in the last 90 days.

3. Expanded profile viewing

With Premium, “Open Profile” is the default mode. This means any LinkedIn member will automatically see your full profile and can reach out to you — even if they’re not in your network and don’t have InMail credits.

This is a huge plus for job seekers who want to cast as wide a net as possible.

4. Potential job notifications

Those who pay for Premium get directed to open positions identified as a potential fit based on the skills, experience, salary requirements, and education you include in your profile and settings.

The Workaround for Free Account Holders: This perk isn’t necessary if you’re using job boards with alerts set up for companies of interest.

5. Continuous learning

LinkedIn purchased Lynda.com in 2015 and rebranded it to LinkedIn Learning. This massive open online course website offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative and business skills. Before the acquisition, subscription fees were approximately $30/month.

The Workaround for Free Account Holders: To date, free account holders cannot pay to access LinkedIn Learning. Should you need to upskill or close a knowledge gap, search for other free learning websites.

6. InMail messages

Premium members get 15 InMail credits per month. Unused credits are accumulated and you can even recover a credit if your intended target ignores or ghosts you.

Free members don’t have access to InMail, which means they cannot message anyone through the platform.

The Workaround for Free Account Holders: Avoid using InMail altogether by sending a brief note as part of a connection request and holding off on outreach until the person has accepted the request. Other workarounds include online sleuthing to find the person’s email or reaching out on other social media platforms.

7. Business insights

Paid account holders have access to growth rates, hiring trends, and even hyperlinks to CrunchBase data if the company is PE or VC funded.

The Workaround for Free Account Holders: Most of the information provided via Business Insights is readily available through internet sleuthing. If you are willing to dig, this perk may not be worth the expense.

My recommendation

If you’re searching for a medical sales job, Premium Career’s InMail credits, insight into who looked at your profile, and additional information on roles you’re well suited for may prove useful. If your network is small, then the ability for those outside your network to see your full profile is incredibly powerful.

Try the free account first. Then, try a premium subscription free for one month. See for yourself and go with what works for you!

An additional benefit is that you pay month-to-month, which means you can upgrade, downgrade, or change your mind at any time.

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– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW

Virginia Franco Resumes | www .virginiafrancoresumes.com | VAFrancoResumes@gmail.com

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