LinkedIn is a social network and recruitment platform used by millions across the world. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the website was launched in May of 2003. The company’s revenue comes from member subscriptions, advertising sales, and talent solutions. LinkedIn is soon to be acquired by Microsoft (2016).
- Price range
- Special features
- Customer support
LinkedIn offers free public individual profile and company pages as a form of social networking. Company pages can showcase a business to potential employees or customers. Personal profiles allow workers to make connections, give recommendations, and search for relevant employment opportunities. Users can share articles, videos, comments, and ideas with followers and connections.
Additional services must be purchased. The basic LinkedIn premium plans and prices are as follows:
- Job Seeker: 1 free month, then $29.99/month
- Business Plus: 1 free month, then $47.99/month
- Sales Navigator Professional: 1 free month, then $64.99/month
- Recruiter Lite: 1 free month, then starts at $99.95/month
Larger companies with more extensive recruitment or advertising goals can upgrade to sponsored content to get their company's updates to more people, attract new followers, and get their message out on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. These plans are set up based on the company's budget and can be cost per click or cost per impression. Similar to the premium plans' option for a free trial, a free demo is available for sponsored content.
LinkedIn has over 433 million account members, with 106 million unique visiting members each month. There are 128 million members in the U.S., but the majority live in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Accounts upgraded to premium have a number of additional avenues available to successfully network. These premium accounts are Job Seeker, Business Plus, Sales Navigator, and Recruiter Lite. Larger businesses with more recruiting needs as well as ad agencies can find additional plans and opportunities through LinkedIn's sales team.
Job Seeker features:
- Direct messaging to recruiters with 3 InMail credits
- Move to top of recruiters' applicant lists
- See who's viewed your profile in last 90 days and how they found you
- See how you compare to other candidates with applicant insights
Business Plus features:
- 15 InMail messages to contact anyone on LinkedIn
- Business Insights: access to key metrics and trends of company
- See who's viewed you in last 90 days and how they found you
- Unlimited profile search
Sales Navigator features:
- 15 InMail messages
- Sales insights on accounts and leads, job changes, company growth
- Advanced search with custom lead lists and advanced search filters
- See what prospects interested in you in last 90 days
- Unlimited profile search
- Lead recommendations and saved leads
Recruiter Lite features:
- 30 InMail messages with templates
- Advanced search for finding candidates
- Track candidates and open roles with Projects
- Recruiting-specific design
- See who's viewed you in the last 90 days
- Unlimited profiles from search results and suggested profiles
- Access all of Job Seeker Premium consumer features
LinkedIn has a number of mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. The apps are:
- LinkedIn-website functions adapted for mobile app
- Job search-search for and apply in one click
- Lookup-find, learn about, and contact coworkers
- Lynda.com-expert-led courses available for download
- SlideShare-access to over 18 million presentations, infographics, and videos
- LinkedIn Groups-industry conversations (iOS only)
- Pulse-daily professional news source
- Recruiter-search and review profiles of potential hires
- Sales Navigator-find leads and accounts in target market, connect, and get updates
- Elevate-find and share interesting articles
LinkedIn was co-founded in 2003 by Reid Hoffman and a team of colleagues he had worked with from SocialNet and PayPal. The company began as a way for professionals to connect with each other, like an online address book. The following year they introduced groups, and in 2005 job posting and subscriptions became available. With a little over 11 years of experience in the job search industry, LinkedIn isn't the longest-standing company, but it's been around long enough to make major progress over the years, especially with its reach.
LinkedIn has a help forum discussion board where users can ask questions and receive responses from other users as well as LinkedIn staff. Users can sort discussion threads by most active, most votes, and newest, and apply more specific filters as they search for similar inquiries.
The preferred contact with customer service directly was via an online form. After requesting information, customers immediately receive an automated answer acknowledging receipt of the issue. Responses are generally answered within 24 hours.
- Resources and learning materials
Resources and Learning Materials
LinkedIn provides surprisingly little educational content to free account holders. Of course, their social network platform is a great avenue to find and share materials, lists, and tips on job-related items from other sources, but there are many other job search websites that have a more broad and deep reservoir of articles on their blogs.
Paid job seekers get access to Lynda.com, a partner site and app with over 4,000 expert-led employment and business courses. Anyone can access a free trial to Lynda services through the website or app before needing to pay.
The Bottom Line
LinkedIn has a great reputation with business professionals and companies across nearly every industry, and it is a clear leader in its own industry of job search and recruitment. Users have access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that can help lead to relevant jobs or potential employees. Job seekers do have to pay to access many of the features on LinkedIn, like their InMail messaging system, whereas most companies do not charge job seekers. But where it seems like everyone is on LinkedIn nowadays, it's probably worth the investment.