LinkedIn is one of the biggest job sites on the internet, and it’s been a huge deal ever since it launched way back in 2003. It’s not your usual job website, though – it’s a social network that focuses on the world of work.
Its social underpinnings mean that LinkedIn relies on professional connections and networking. While job listings play a part in that, it’s not the only thing you’ll find here.
That’s not necessarily a problem. You can use LinkedIn to browse job listings, make an all-important connection with your new colleagues and research your prospective new place of work, and the site’s social features mean that you can write posts, upload articles and boost your personal profile at the same time – as well as interact with friends and colleagues.
More than three-quarters of a billion people use LinkedIn, so there’s no shortage of professional connections on offer here – indeed, the site’s main feed looks like Facebook, with status updates, articles being shared, and loads of likes, comments, and emojis. That’s great, and the sheer number of people and businesses who use the site means that there are loads of job listings, too.
If you’re searching for jobs on LinkedIn then the site offers solid functionality. You can set up email alerts and filter job listings by all sorts of filters, from experience level and contract type to location, industry, company, and salary. You can also filter to only see jobs at companies where you’ve already got contacts. There are more filters available here than on plenty of other sites.
Job listings display all the information you’d expect, but because it’s LinkedIn you can also see if your contacts work there, if you’ve got mutual connections at the company and how many people have applied for each position. Plenty of companies also rely on LinkedIn’s Easy Apply function, which allows you to apply for a job with a couple of clicks.
Because LinkedIn is a social network, that means your profile also functions as your CV. That’s an effective way of applying for jobs quickly, and it also means that prospective colleagues, contacts and bosses can see your skills and experience.
LinkedIn has loads of helpful features beyond its job listings. There are groups, events, skills assessment quizzes, interview preparation help and a resume builder. The wealth of features means LinkedIn can function as a one-stop-shop for professional purposes, but the dated interface is too busy, so this isn’t the easiest site to use, especially for newcomers.
Plans and pricing
LinkedIn is free to use, but a free account does have a restricted set of features. You can build your network of friends and colleagues, request and provide recommendations, view other people’s profiles and receive messages. You can apply for jobs using LinkedIn’s free tier, too.
For work-based social networking and basic job applications, that’s fine. But if you want to get the most out of LinkedIn, you’d be better off paying for one of the premium options.
The most affordable LinkedIn upgrade is Premium Career, and it costs $29.99. That grants you access to extra insights on job listings. They’re superb: you can see salary information, company hiring trends, where other applicants live and their levels of education and experience. If you want a leg-up on other applicants, that’s valuable information. Elsewhere, the Premium Career option allows unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning, and you can browse privately, message other people and see who’s viewed your profile. You can also become a Featured Applicant, which means recruiters will see your promoted application.
If you want to pay for the Premium Business option, you get those features alongside unlimited browsing and additional insights. There are other tiers for recruiters, sales professionals, and educators, and they have features like advanced searches, candidate tracking and more.
LinkedIn is not cheap, but the premium options do supply loads of extra functionality. A free trial of Premium Career is also available if you’d like to give it a go before you commit.
The difference between LinkedIn’s free and paid experiences are vast, and it almost makes the service feel like two different products.
LinkedIn’s free product is a great option for basic professional networking and applying for jobs, but it’s not the best way to get the most out of the site. Unfortunately, if you want to make the most out of job-seeking here, you’ll have to pay for LinkedIn Premium Career.
LinkedIn might not be the easiest site to navigate and you’ve got to pay to get the most out of it, but its sheer size and breadth of features mean that it’s a vital addition for anyone who’s serious about their job search.