I recently read a Forbes article, For Job Seekers, Is LinkedIn Worth Paying For, and I found myself asking, “If I were a job seeker, would I pay for it?”  My short answer…no.  The article listed several reasons as to why upgrading LinkedIn membership would be “worthwhile” for a job seeker; however from a recruiter standpoint, here is why I feel it’s not worth it.

“You can put a badge on your profile announcing that you’re looking for a job.” & “You will rise to the top of the pile when you apply for jobs through LinkedIn, and in searches by hiring managers”.  – As a recruiter, it doesn’t matter to me whether a job seeker has a badge on their profile telling the world that he or she is looking for a job or if he or she is at the top of the search pile. If a LinkedIn user has the skills that I’m searching for, I plan to reach out to that user whether or not the user is looking for a job.

If I find one user that is a match, I don’t plan on stopping at the top of the pile…I will continue making contact with other users.  In many situations, I will spend hours and hours going through hundreds of profiles so whether if that user is at the top or the bottom, it really doesn’t matter.

 “You can send LinkedIn “InMail” to members you want to contact”. – For $30 a month, you can send five InMails a month. Wow…that honestly doesn’t sound very appealing. If you have a computer, basic email program and the ability to do a basic search, you can send as many messages as you’d like for $0 a month. Find the company and/or job that you are interested in and then use LinkedIn to find a recruiter/HR contact for that company.

Sometimes, recruiters may list their actual email in their profile however if they don’t, use a search engine like Google to find the company email format.  For example, if I am looking for a Kemira email address, I would type the following in the search bar: “email” and “@kemira.com” Doing this will help you find the email format that you could use to email a specific person.  It’s not 100% accurate however it will give you a good starting point.

You can also see if that recruiter is on Twitter or Google+ which would give you another way to send a message without paying a fee.  The problem I’ve seen with InMails lately is that jobseekers are not adding any value to the message and I now see it more as a spamming issue.  As the article mentioned, use LinkedIn as a reference point however take the time and effort to market and brand yourself when you make the contact.

Being out of work and doing a job search can be frustrating and feel like a job itself.  There are free resources available so don’t feel obligated to pay for something that you feel may give you a leg up in your job search.

I met Chrystal Moore @RecruitMoore on Twitter in response to this Forbes article. I originally agreed with the Forbes article, but after tweeting back and forth with Chrystal, I tend to agree with her perspective. So I asked her to write up her thoughts and share them with you here.  -Joshua