You may have noticed some changes in the look and feel of many LinkedIn profiles lately. Some members have a simple blue background, while others have a true profile background complete with images representing them or their company. Here’s what the blue background looks like:
And here’s a sample of a profile background using one of LinkedIn’s templates (click on the picture for David’s blog):
And here’s one that the member created:
Is it just me or is LinkedIn starting to look more and more like Facebook?
One difference is that currently, for anyone with a fancy profile background on LinkedIn, the word “PREMIUM” appears to the far right of the member’s name. Click on PREMIUM and you will be brought to LinkedIn’s Premium Services Page. Businesses can subscribe for $23.99/month, $47.99/month or $74.99/month with an annual subscription, while job seekers have options of $19.99/month, $29.99/month and $59.99/month. My unscientific observation is that more and more people are subscribing to LinkedIn Premium.
As someone whose job it is to be up on the latest and greatest on LinkedIn, I have been seriously considering whether I need to upgrade myself so that my profile looks as good as all those other Premium profiles. I checked out some other LinkedIn experts’ profiles, however, and discovered that they still have free memberships. So I wasn’t about to bite the monthly premium bullet quite yet.
Then, this week, I found out that non-paying members can still get at least some of the benefits of LinkedIn’s new profile look. You will be happy to know that LinkedIn has created a way for non-premium members to request early access to its new design features.
This opportunity is reminiscent of the one offered a few months ago to request early access to LinkedIn for Publishing Long-Form Posts. I applied for that and access was granted. I have now applied for access to the new design features and am hopeful I will have that soon.
Although I still believe a free account will get you most of the value you need, I feel it’s only fair to mention that there are still some advantages to LinkedIn Premium. With LinkedIn Premium, you will have keywords suggested to you. Also, when you appear in searches, your current and past positions are visible; this information does not appear for non-premium users. You also get an orange “in” symbol that draws attention to your profile. And you have a greater ability to view other people’s profiles, see who has viewed you, and write to whomever you want on LinkedIn.
If these features are important to you, you might choose to subscribe to a paid package and see if you get value that equals or exceeds the investment. I’m holding out for now … and starting to think about what to put on my profile background when I get access to this new LinkedIn toy!