As a free service used for professional networking, LinkedIn is a great way for professionals to increase their social media optimization. In addition to its basic free accounts, LinkedIn also offers fee-based or premium accounts.
There are different categories of premium accounts. There are premium accounts geared toward Sales Professionals, which cost $19.95 to $99.95 per month, depending on the level you select. There are also premium accounts for Job Seekers, which cost $19.95 to $49.95 per month. And there are accounts designed for Recruiters, which have additional options and run from $49.95 to $499.95 per month.
Many people find that the free accounts serve their purpose. But if you are serious about using social media to advance your career, there are some reasons you should consider upgrading from your free account to a premium one.
Benefits of a Premium Account
If you decide to upgrade to a premium account, you will receive these benefits:
- Your profile will be highlighted at the top of the list (along with the other premium account holders) when recruiters are searching for candidates. More than likely this means your profile will get looked at before the rest of the crowd.
- You will be able to send InMail, LinkedIn’s internal E-mail system, to people outside of your network without having to get an introduction from someone in your network. This can save you time and effort when you are trying to contact a specific person who isn’t already in your network.
- There are useful tools available in the premium accounts. For instance, there is the Profile Organizer, which allows you to save LinkedIn profiles in different folders, giving you to access them and their information easily in the future. Premium accounts give you the ability to see expanded profile views. You get custom filters on your searches, allowing to you pinpoint the information about companies or people you’re looking for. You can also see who has been looking at your profile, and what keywords they used to find it. And you can see the third degree connections to your account, which will allow you to identify others you might want to connect with.
While some argue that the basic account has everything you need, a premium account does get you listed higher in searches and gives you the ability to contact people outside of your network directly. If you are searching for a job, this can cut down on your search time.
A premium LinkedIn account will increase your social media optimization and may be worth it, especially when you are searching for a new job. If you are considering upgrading, it might be worthwhile to try out the premium service for a couple of months and decide if the increased exposure will pay off. If not, you can go back to your basic account.