I often get this question in the LinkedIn workshops that I teach...do I need to have a premium account? And my answer is always the same: yes/no/idon'tknow because there is no one size fits all account type on LI. However, let's spend a little time breaking down what the basic options are:
Recruiter accounts: monthly charge ranges from $39.95 to $499.95 per month.
Job Seeker accounts: monthly charge ranges from $15.95 to $49.95 per month
Sales Professional accounts: monthly charge ranges from $15.95 to $99.95 per month
Premium/Business accounts: monthly charge ranges from $19.95 to $99.95 per month
Now each of these has little nuances that make them different. For example, the job seeker premium accounts supposedly take you to the top of the pile in search results. Sounds nifty but it isn't going to make a bit of difference if the recruiter isn't interested in you. High ranking does not always equate with high interest. In addition, the job seeker account does not give you access to see full profiles of anyone in your network. Seems like a big thing to leave out...The sales professional account offers you access to Lead Builder. Sounds cool, right? Hmmm...not sure that it's anything other than a riff on searches that you could already do on your own. But, the reality is that all of these will have different features and benefits that will interest some and turn off others.
My bottom line advice is to compare all of them and if you are a job seeker who thinks that the recruiter account gives you the most bang for your buck, then buy that one. Who cares if you aren't a recruiter-it's simply LI's account title, not your job title...And ultimately, first strengthen your presence on LI before you shell out any cash. You may find that you can do everything you need without having a premium account anyway! Good luck and happy hunting!