Basic or Premium LinkedIn: Which one should I use?

basic vs. premium LinkedInThere comes a time in every professional’s life when they must decide whether or not to spend money to further their career. The Basic or Premium LinkedIn decision is no exception to this rule.

You may have logged into your LinkedIn account and seen advertisements for their upgraded programs. You may have even wondered if upgrading is worth the time, effort, and money associated with the Basic or Premium LinkedIn Membership.

The following breakdown of each LinkedIn upgrades will help you decide which version you need or if you even need to upgrade at all.

Compare key features within different account types. 

With a free LinkedIn account you get all the basics. That means you get a full profile, messages, groups, and the Pulse news feed.

The limitations lie in the extra features many people don’t know about[1] . LinkedIn’s free account also only gives you a taste of extended features found within the premium subscriptions.

Introductions: Introductions allow you to contact individuals who are two or three degrees away from your profile by requesting an introduction from one of your current connections. With the free account you get a total of 5 introductions. Meanwhile the number of introductions you get with the paid accounts increases with every upgrade.

InMail: InMail allows you to message anyone on LinkedIn. The free version of LinkedIn does not allow for InMail while the upgraded accounts do. You have a limited number of InMails allowed per month depending on which premium account you choose.

Move up higher on the list: When you pay for a LinkedIn account you are moved up higher in the search rankings. This increases your visibility to recruiters. With a free account you will be relying heavily on key words.

Reference Search: Reference search allows you to get a list of people in your network who can provide a reference for someone you are interested in. This feature comes with all of the paid accounts.

Search filters: Upgraded accounts give you the added option of being able to search for people by salary.

Price Breakdown for LinkedIn Upgrades

LinkedIn has three kinds of premium accounts: “Business” ($19.95/MO), “Business Plus” ($39.95/MO), and “Executive” ($74.94/MO). These premium upgrades are billed annually.

Each upgrade comes with the features listed above. The difference lies in how many InMails, Introductions, and job search results you’re allowed to have. For a complete breakdown of the numbers visit the LinkedIn Premium Account page.

Regardless of whether you choose to keep your free account or upgrade to a premium account, the purpose of your LinkedIn profile remains the same: build relationships and connections that can further your career. While there are ways of reaching many people by simply growing your network on a free account, the paid options make it just a little easier.


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