If you have searched for a job in the past decade, odds are you have heard of LinkedIn, a website for job seekers and recruiters alike. LinkedIn offers job seekers a platform to upload their resume, highlight professional contacts, and develop business connections. The monthly fee for maintaining an active profile with LinkedIn used to be minimal. However, the company recently updated their membership options and fee structure. Below I will discuss some upgrades and evaluate if the increased fees are worth it.
Note: it is free to sign up for a Basic account on LinkedIn, which is useful if you just want to create a professional profile online. However, to access the most useful job-search tools, you need to sign up for a Premium account. For more information, read this article on the LinkedIn Help website:
Basic LinkedIn Subscription Upgrades
LinkedIn used to offer the Spotlight package for $10 per month, a relatively low fee when compared to other in-demand job profile websites. This package offered, among other things, a complete user profile, a detailed job history summary and the ability to upload documents of achievement. It also gave the user access to job postings and resources not available in the free site space. It linked search results to skillsets identified by the user. Access to analytical and historical data was included, which allowed the user track certain postings and the application history. For example, a user could view a seasonal position and the application submission date for the best chance at landing that position. These tools were useful and beneficial.
The cost of this service is now $29.99 per month. The Premium Career subscription program holds relatively the same benefits and features as the former Spotlight package, with slight upgrades such as search inquiries and additional means of contact. Other options, such as the business professional model, experienced a significant price hike as well (anywhere from $20 to $100 more per month).
Dissecting the LinkedIn Increases
With the success of any business comes the call to increase productivity and output. In 2007, LinkedIn hosted services for about one-tenth of the number of users they have today. Their viewership has steadily increased in the tens of millions every quarter creating successful traffic streams to and from the site. There have been increases in viewership, membership, and affiliates. The various groups who use this site range from job searchers to market moguls. This makes LinkedIn one of the most unique career forces on the market. These numbers continue to increase, which bode well for the weary user.
Despite the price hike, people continue to fork over the cash for career search assistance, which is a shining example of the content being worth the price of admission. LinkedIn has reached employers around the globe and is a brand employers know and trust. The number of employers exploring other options for their job postings has decreased, leaving LinkedIn as the most recognizable brand on the employment and job resume market. They are also sneaking up on social media giants like Facebook and Twitter for connecting users to potential employers.
Assessing your Needs
The first thing to consider when deciding if LinkedIn access is a worthy investment is your financial means and employment goals. If you are searching for part-time employment, newspaper ads, social media sites and simple search engine inquiries may be your best bet. If you are a recent college graduate, it may be worth the financial investment to promote your content and achievements. LinkedIn is primarily used for those looking for careers, not short-term jobs. If you are not ready to pursue a career or do not have an interest in exploring career options, LinkedIn is not a site for you.
Additional Options and Comparisons
Large companies budget for recruiting and job training and are willing to pay the LinkedIn fees, especially considering LinkedIn’s track record of success. Keep this in mind when you assess your job search options. If you are looking for a well-paying career position, the price hike should not affect your decision to use LinkedIn as your job search platform if it fits in your overall objective.
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