You probably already know that LinkedIn is practically a necessity when searching for jobs these days. Last week, the professional networking site announced new features for its users with Premium Spotlight memberships.
Currently, 84% of LinkedIn’s 300 million users have free accounts. But, at $10 a month, the company has never offered such an inexpensive premium membership option. (Before last week, it cost $19.99 a month to upgrade to the cheapest subscription tier, “job seeker basic.”)
Here’s a preview of the updates for premium users, and how to make them work for you.
1. Your profile gets a makeover.
Just like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, LinkedIn now lets you pick a custom background cover photo. They’re also giving users larger profile photos and expanded profile headers.
2. Keyword suggestions make you more searchable.
You may notice a popup with suggested terms to include in your summary. Using these phrases can help you show up in more searches to make more relevant connections.
3. Search results highlight your profile.
Your profile will now take up more real estate in search results and include more of your information (such as your past places of work and education), so make sure these areas are current.
4. Accept messages from anyone.
The Open Profile feature will allow you to receive messages from any LinkedIn user, whereas previously only connections or those who specifically purchased InMail messages could reach you.
5. Know your stats.
Access more stats about yourself, including an extensive list of who’s viewed your profile and your ranking within your network.
At this point, it’s unclear whether upgrading to a Spotlight membership will significantly enhance your job search. While 96% of recruiters say they use LinkedIn to search for potential hires, we’ll have to wait and see whether those employers are more likely to reach out to premium users.
Not quite ready to make the move to premium? Make sure your basic profile is set up to impress others in your network.