LinkedIn is the No. 1 Recruitment Social Recruitment Network in the world. That is the fact. There is no one in the recruitment social networking space that managed to do anything similar on the global space. And there is no shortage of well-funded start-ups who would love to take a bite at that business. When you think online social recruitment – you think of LinkedIn.
I use it for many years for all different reasons, but what I used it for during the last 30 days was something new. I used LinkedIn, as vast majority of people are using it – to FIND a job, as opposed to FILL one! LinkedIn was kind enough and offered a free trial of their midrange product for job seekers, the Job Seeker Account on LinkedIn. There is also a Job Seeker Basic and the top end Job Seeker Advanced. The Basic gives you no LinkedIn InMails, the one I got gives you 5 and the Job Seeker Advanced gives you the ability to send 10 LinkedIn InMails. That is more or a less all the difference between the accounts.
What is LinkedIn Job Seeker Account?
Here is a list of features LinkedIn is advertising with their LinkedIN Job Seeker account:
- Get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers with a Job Seeker Badge
The Job Seeker Badge (optional) displays on your profile and next to your name in search results
- Zero in on $100K plus jobs with detailed salary information
Refine your search based on your desired salary, and view detailed salary information on individual job postings
- Move to the top of the list as a Featured Applicant
Every time you apply for a job on LinkedIn, your profile will be featured at the top of the list of applicants
- Contact anyone directly with InMail — Response Guaranteed!
InMails are trusted messages that you can use to contact anyone on LinkedIn — Response Guaranteed!
- Who’s Viewed My Profile: Get the full list
Get the complete list of who’s viewed your profile with Profile Stats Pro. You’ll also see how your viewers found you, and learn more about the people interested in you.
- Join Lindsey Pollak’s webinar: “Job Seeking on LinkedIn”
Get insider tips on how to use LinkedIn and your Job Seeker Premium account to find your dream job
- Get introduced to the companies you’re targeting
Leverage your network and get introduced to inside sources at companies through someone you already know on LinkedIn.
- Let recruiters message you for free with OpenLink
OpenLink (optional) increases your chances of finding a job by allowing anyone on LinkedIn to send you a message or job opportunity.
- Get Priority Customer Service
It sounds like a lot on offer, for basically a small monthly subscription. The Basic package is just €15.95, the next one up, the one I tested is €24.95, and the LinkedIn Advanced is $39.95. That surely isn’t that much money to invest in your career development. The similar offerings from www.TheLadders.com starts at the similar $15 per month but goes up to products for $2495. And no, I didn’t forget a decimal point there – this IS two and a half thousands worth of service. So let’s look into the details of each LinkedIN Job Seeker Account feature:
The Job Seeker Badge
Job seeker badge is one of those small icons next to your name in LinkedIn that you sometimes see – when people have some paid accounts. Did you ever check what each of those is on someone’s account? You probably did. Once. A few years ago. Can you name what badges you your contacts have today? Or course not. You develop blindness to it – like to the Google AdWords. It is a clutter on the screen making it harder to find what you are really looking for on the peoples LinkedIn Profiles.
My profile got seen by a few hundred people in the 30 day period. So it is those few hundred people who could potentially see that badge. Check how many people see your profile a month. Decide yourself it putting the small brown icon next to your name is work paying for. My best guess is that neither of those people noticed it. Even the recruiters themselves. They have probably been speed reading and scanning the page to find my phone number.
Salary Information on job listings
This is actually an interesting feature. When you are looking at a job listing on LinkedIn, on the side of it LinkedIn is showing some graphs of what they think based on other similar jobs advertised on LinkedIn, this job should be paid. What this enables a job seeker is to see if the job he is looking at is paid well, compared to the ‘competition’. Unfortunately in my case it did not really work that well. There is very few jobs published in LinkedIn in almost any European country. UK is the only country where it is actually used on a larger scale. By having small number of jobs, the statistical data can (and in my case was) completely of the (pay) scale. But the feature is nice, and I can see it benefiting both parties (employer and job seeker) in the markets with larger LinkedIn penetration.
I am guessing when hundreds of people apply for a job, being displayed on top would have a benefit. Unfortunately, LinkedIn Job Advertisements do not attract masses as the job board advertisements do in each country’s leading job site. In fact in talking with recruiters about the numbers of applications on the jobs advertised in LinkedIn in European countries, we are talking about a small fraction of the volume a job sites would deliver. Also the quality is on the same level on average, so the number of jobs filled by LinkedIn applicants if very low. UK is again leading in this space. Would it be worth being first of a handful of candidates? I do not think it matters actually.
The other think I noticed while looking at this Featured Applicant feature is that it actually works ONLY for jobs where a whole application process is within LinkedIn itself. I tried to apply for the first 5 jobs LinkedIn suggested, and noticed that all 5 have been linking to the careers sites of the employers, some ATS’es, where by Featured Applicant on LinkedIn would have absolutely no effect. So from that perspective a bit of a false promise from LinkedIn.
InMail — Response Guaranteed!
I do not know if you are a big fan of inMail. I never used it before this trial. I remember getting free credits from LinkedIN to use those InMails ever since they introduced that feature. I simply never needed it. Never even felt curious to test it. One thing is again a bit strange in this offering since LinkedIn is advertising it as: InMail — Response Guaranteed! Well, there are people I simply would not respond. I presume I am not the only one. Guaranteeing a response from me is simply wrong. Sending some automated LinkedIn response (to keep the promised response) is not what a user would expect and appreciated. So again a bit of false promise here.
Who’s Viewed My Profile
It is nice to see who viewed your profile, but I still got those displayed as Anonymous LinkedIn user looking at my profile. I am not sure if that if you pay for this service, and still find users LinkedIn is showing in your profile as anonymous, how happy would that make you? If I pay to see who is stalking me – show it to me please!
Lindsey Pollak’s webinar: “Job Seeking on LinkedIn”
Once a month Lindsey hosts the webinar for Job Seekers on LinkedIn. With your paid subscription, you get access to that webinar. I watched one in full and it is a very good webinar introducing the LinkedIn and its features intended for use of job hunters. There is about 10% of the 60 minutes webinar dedicated to the features available in the LinkedIn Job Seeker Accounts. There is simply very few of them as you can see in this article. All this gets covered in literally few minutes. The rest of the webinar is about the LinkedIn features available to everyone. Again it is a very good webinar. In the same time there are better free ones available as well. I simply do not see this as a reason to pay for the subscription.
Get introduced to the companies you’re targeting
This feature is explained with the following sentence: Leverage your network and get introduced to inside sources at companies through someone you already know on LinkedIn. I have to admit I am not 100% sure what is meant by all that. I am guessing it is a little box that appears next to each job, that sows a few people in your network, that work in the company who is advertising. I really feel there should be a bit more to it if this is sold as a paid feature, since you can get the list of people working in any company from your Contacts list within 3 clicks of a mouse. I failed to see anything else that would resemble to this paid feature in my LinkedIn Job Seeker Account test trial.
You can let recruiters message you for free with OpenLink. This of course enables anyone to message you in LinkedIn. Is this beneficial as opposed to opening a Gmail account and publishing it on your LinkedIn Profile, thus enabling anyone to contact you? No, it is exactly the same, and it is free. Therefore the OpenLink again is not a feature one would decide to pay for the Job Seekers account, since you can get exactly the same for free.
Priority Customer Service
LinkedIn has very good Customer Service. Actually considering the number of users I hold say they have VERY GOOD Customer Service. I did not require any support in my 30 day trial so I cannot be a judge how this Priority Customer Service would be better than their standard one. What I can say is that their customer service even for non-paid accounts is better than one would expect from such a site.
LinkedIn Job Seeker account is not going to help you to find a job much if at all. I did get a number of calls from recruiters, but it was pretty much the same number of calls I get every other month without the paid LinkedIn subscription. I did apply to quite a few jobs to test various application processes, and that DID NOT increase the number of recruiters contacting me. Neither did the Job Seekers Badge on my profile. Nor the OpenLink logo.
The Job Seeker account to be successfully sold to job seeker should simply offer more. There is no ‘Killer Feature’ in it’s current offering that I could see a job hunter benefiting for in the job search. A few InMails is in my opinion simply not worth it. There are number of features I can think of LinkedIn could put in the bundle so it gets some value. What comes to mind first is some basic Profile checks. LinkedIn could check the spelling on my Profile for the beginning. Then they could highlight visually if I have chronological gaps or overlapping in the employment dates. They could suggest the people to connect based on the short questionnaire I fill about my desired future job (as opposed to the jobs in the past as they do today!).
LinkedIn Job Seeker paid account is a good idea, but there is a lot of room for improvement from its current offering. The sooner it starts including features that will help people find the jobs they want on LinkedIn, the sooner will job seekers start using it. There definitely is a need for a product like this, and I am certain of its global success when sold packed of the beneficial features.