Is LinkedIn Premium Worth the Money for Job Seekers?

Recently, at a #socialsales TwitterChat hosted by LinkedIn guru, BrynneTillman; a workshop; and in several client meetings, the subject of whether a LinkedIn Premium membership is worth the investment came up.

Everyone asks the question and everyone has an answer, or, at least expects one from me if they don’t.

So, at the risk of sounding like a consultant who speaks out of both sides of his mouth, here’s my answer:

It depends! 

Before you turn away from me in disgust let me explain my rationale.

For me, there are two primary categories of Premium account holders each with two sub-categories:

  1. Job seekers, of which there are two types:
    1. Employed
    2. Unemployed
  2. Businesses, which for our purposes pertains only to small and mid-sized firms divided into two classifications:
    1. Recruiters
    2. Everyone else

In this article, I’ll only discuss job seekers and will address businesses in a future one.  (Hey, I have to do something to bring you back.  My jokes sure aren’t doing it!)

For job seekers, I don’t recommend a Premium account.

I have two reasons for this.

First, I don’t think the benefits are worth the expense and, second, I have a problem with charging people who are suddenly unemployed money in the hopes of getting them a job.

(I practice what I preach.  I never charge or accept money from unemployed people who ask for my assistance.)

Let’s go over the so called benefits of a Premium account for a job seeker.

The first benefit is direct messaging to recruiters or job posters with three (3) Inmail credits.

Why an Inmail is any better than just posting for a job, I’m not sure.

In addition, these days, most job searches require far more than three (3) Inmails!

Second, there’s the Featured Applicant feature which moves you to the head of the recruiter’s applicant list.

OK, so what happens if more than one Premium member bids for the job?

Three card monte?

This approach also negates the benefits of a well written profile using keywords.

Is this what LinkedIn means?

It’s a pretty lazy recruiter who only looks at the first several applicants on his list.

Third is the Applicant insights where you can see how stand against your competition so you can apply with “confidence.”

Truthfully, a well written profile, solid participation in Groups, and publishing outstanding content on Publisher and with SlideShare make me feel a whole lot more confident than some anonymous statistics that I can’t do anything about.

I’ve saved my favorite benefit for last!

Who’s Viewed Your Profile!

Now, I’ve met several consultants who have received billable work because they reviewed who’s looked at their profile and used that as a basis for an introduction which led to the business.  (We’ll talk about this in the next article.)

I have yet to meet any job seeker who got a job because they saw that someone looked at their profile eight (8) weeks ago and reached out to them.

If anyone knows of anyone who has then please tell me because I’d really like to meet them!

Oh, and by the way, if the person who’s reviewing your profile is in anonymous mode then you won’t know who they are anyway!

To wrap this up then.

If you’re employed would you pay for these features?

If you find yourself suddenly unemployed, and sadly many are taken by surprise when it happens, and have to worry about your living expenses, would you pay for these features?

LinkedIn despite the loss of several useful features still offers a very powerful tool with its free features.

Max out the free features before you let go of any of your hard earned money!

As I wrote earlier, a well written profile with solid Group participation, and good content posted with Publisher and SlideShare to set you apart as a subject matter expert (SME) in your field before a Premium membership will.

You may also wish to look at my 8 step approach for developing a social media program which is a good way to start promoting yourself during a job search.

In the future, I’ll write about the use of Premium memberships for business purposes where I have a slightly different opinion.

That’s it for now!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.


I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.

I can also be reached at

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!

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