Looking for a job? You’re not alone. Currently, over 13 million people in the United States are unemployed — and that’s not counting residents who are not able to claim unemployment because they have exhausted or are ineligible for unemployment benefits. Utilizing every resource available to you in your search for employment is critical to helping you find a job. One of these best resources is the professional social network LinkedIn, which currently connects over 135 million members with executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies and more than 2 million companies. LinkedIn is free for any job-seeker to join and use, offering its users the ability to set up a comprehensive virtual resume that can easily be found by headhunters and recruiters. LinkedIn profiles also allow users to gather recommendations from colleagues and elaborate on experience, which can effectively turn LinkedIn into the only resume you need.
The comprehensive professional profile that you can create with LinkedIn can be an incredible benefit when searching for jobs — especially for those who are considering a job with a company savvy enough with a C-level executive or HR representative active on HR. By reaching these key members of a company where you are considering applying, you may be able to bypass a traditional application process — or at least personally connect with a hiring manager to secure that crucial interview. Unfortunately, if you don’t personally know these people — or have a first or second degree connection to these managers via LinkedIn, it may be difficult to connect with them via LinkedIn.
That is unless you pay for a subscription to LinkedIn. Starting at just $19.95 a month (which is about four lattes, or two nights of take out, or one impulsive buy at a box store while shopping for essentials), a subscription to LinkedIn empowers job seekers with a handful of additional features to help directly connect you with people who can hire you. While the full list is long, here are five of the best features — and the top five reasons — you should pay for LinkedIn if you’re looking for a job:
Did you find your dream job on a popular message board, yet know your resume will land in a mailbox filled with hundreds of other applications? Instead of getting skimmed over — or potentially skipped entirely — consider paying for LinkedIn just for InMail, a feature that allows you to directly mail anyone on LinkedIn. You message will land in the other user’s personal email inbox immediately, so you can expect to have their full attention almost immediately. One LinkedIn user (who asked to remain anonymous) recently found the job of his dreams on Craigslist, yet knew his resume would end up in that abyss of resumes that may not be seen for days — if at all. Instead, he bought a subscription to LinkedIn for one month and directly emailed the C-level executive that he would report to if hired. Within a half hour, this job-seeker not only had a response, but an invitation to interview via phone that afternoon. He was then invited to interview the next day. (For those who are concerned that not everyone may be as attentive as this particular CMO, InMails are response-guaranteed: if you don’t get a response to an InMail within seven days, LinkedIn will return the credit to your account.)
While one benefit of paying for LinkedIn is being able to directly email all other LinkedIn users, you also have the option to also allow other LinkedIn users to directly contact you — a feature not available for users who are not subscribers. LinkedIn says that this feature “increases your chances of finding opportunities by allowing any LinkedIn member to send you a free message without seeing your contact info.” If you’re hoping to be recruited as part of your job hunt, this feature could be critical in landing your next career move.
Become a Featured Applicant
The prevalent use of LinkedIn has been for businesses to offer the option for applicants to directly apply to positions by using LinkedIn’s API and importing their LinkedIn profile as their resume. If you apply for a job via LinkedIn, subscribers will be moved to the top of the list and become featured applicants, ensuring that you are definitely seen by the hiring staff at jobs to which you apply.
See Who Is Looking At You
Curious if you have been noticed by someone in charge of hiring at a job to which you have applied? Regular LinkedIn users can see the last five people who have viewed their LinkedIn profile. If you’re a subscriber, however, you can “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.” This feature is incredibly useful to see if a company is interested in you to in any degree, especially helping to eradicate anxiety (and indicating that you need another approach) if, after several days, you have sent an InMail and have yet to receive either a response or a profile view.
Find Jobs That Pay Well
Need more money? With a subscriber account on LinkedIn, you can easily search for jobs that fit your desired salary range, which is a feature not available to users who are not subscribers. This salary information is provided by PayScale and is available for most jobs posted in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia, and these salaries are based on job-specific attributes, including industry, title, location, and other factors. However, the salary information is not necessarily endorsed by the companies who post jobs on LinkedIn, and actual compensation may vary — but this data should give you a pretty good idea of what the job will pay.
Are you looking for a job? Would you pay for the features of LinkedIn to help you more easily find a job — or at least to help secure an interview? Let us know your thoughts about paying for this subscription service in the comments.