I now admit – I was operating from a position of ignorance. I had never actually used the LinkedIn: Premium service. I taught weekly classes on LinkedIn and people always ask me about it. What did I say? “Not worth it.” I was telling people the juice was not worth the squeeze, but I had never squeezed.

I’m Sorry…

What I had heard was that it gave users access to salary data on potential jobs. Although this is true, there are more perks to the paid version of the service. In May 2014 I received an email offering me a FREE 30-day trial of the Job Seeker Premium. What did I have to lose. Well, I could lose $250 / year, but only if I signed up. I typed in my credit card information (still necessary for a “free membership”) and clicked “Agree.” Here is what I learned:

  1. Businesswoman-using-laptop1.jpgSomebody’s Watching Me – When you are looking for a job, you want to know if recruiters are viewing your profile. As an entrepreneur, you want to know if potential clients are viewing your profile. These data will also tell you the trends of people viewing your profile. If more people are viewing your profile, you have done something right. If no one is viewing your profile, change some things. Worth it: Yes
  2. InMail = Email – There are times when it is appropriate to reach out to someone with whom you are not yet connected. It seems disingenuous to to reach out to someone and say they are a “friend” when you only know them professionally. If I read about someone in a journal and we are not connected, I can now send them an InMail without being connected. This action is especially valuable when looking for a job or prospective client. Worth it: Yes
  3. Introductions – Somehow I have reached the maximum number of introductions I can request. Not anymore! LinkedIn: Premium has given me a new lease on connecting with people in my network. I can reach out to more people and gain more warm leads. Worth it: Yes
  4. Salary Info – If you are looking for a job, you may want to specify what salary range you are interested in. You may not want 6 figures, but you may have a “salary floor” so you can pay expenses. When conducting an Advanced Job Search, LinkedIn: Premium members can filter on salary range. Although this information is interesting, most companies do not post salaries. Worth It: No

LinkedIn: Premium is not a requirement for those just starting with the world’s largest professional networking site. The biggest benefits will be seen by those who are using LinkedIn to find prospective clients and leads. Job seekers may want to save their money for another investment. Although you may see who has been looking at your profile, it will be awkward reaching out to a recruiter to say, “I saw you looking at my profile, and I wanted to say hi.”

As for me, LinkedIn: Premium has a sale. The free trial is going to pay off. This resource will be a good investment for my company and my brand.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.