Is LinkedIn Premium worth it? Do I have to have LinkedIn Premium?

I get asked these questions a lot, especially when I'm doing a client's LinkedIn makeover or someone is considering having me audit and rewrite their profile.

For most people, LinkedIn Premium isn't worth it. Sure, it's nice to see "Premium" stamped near your profile photo, and it makes you seem more legit. Plus, you can see more information on who's viewed your profile, and that's nice for dropping a well-timed email to say "hi" or "let's catch up over coffee" to someone who might have been thinking of you. I'm just not sure that's worth $29.99 a month, plus tax. (Sorry, LinkedIn.)

I'd wager it's especially not worth it if you haven't used all of the features of a free account. Have you uploaded a profile photo and cover image? Written a summary story to describe your career in a narrative way? Posted supporting media links to your jobs? Written the occasional LinkedIn article or social media post? Asked for and received a recommendation or two? Written messages to folks in your network? Heck, do you take time to read the messages people send to you? Do you even know when connections send you messages? I

f most of your answers are "no," I'd invest more time -- not money -- on elevating and completing your profile to show recruiters, would-be bosses and client prospects why you are worth getting to know.

If you answered "yes" to most or all of those questions, then you might considering upgrading to Premium -- for these two features.

1. Three free Inmails a month

With a Premium profile, you can send up to three Inmails -- LinkedIn messages to contacts outside your circle -- a month. This is helpful for when you want to message someone outside your network and don't want to wait on a connection in common to introduce you, especially if that connection is someone who rarely checks LinkedIn messages in the first place.

2. LinkedIn Learning

When you have a Premium account, you can access hundreds of LinkedIn Learning videos to educate yourself on a wide range of topics. From strategic thinking and impromptu speaking to how to generate leads, get the media interested in your product and host a podcast. Just click on "Learning" at the far right of the top navigation bar. I recently turned to LinkedIn Learning when Google Drive was driving me nuts. (Sorry, Google.) The 90-minute video "Google Drive Essential Training" helped a lot and fulfilled one of my summer goals to take a free online course to learn something new.

LinkedIn Premium is worth it for me. Only you can decide if it's worth it for you. 

Published on: Aug 16, 2018
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of