LinkedIn Tool Places Resumes on Top of the Pile

job seeker premium accountEver wonder what happens to your resume when you submit it and never hear anything? Sometimes you have to think there is no way that the hiring manager even saw your resume if they really did, they would have seen the perfect match that you saw.  Well now LinkedIn is doing their part to ensure that your resume is seen and stands high atop the rest.

LinkedIn has launched the Job Seeker Premium Account which is similar to the offering of the Basic account but with advanced features that job seekers who have been at the job search for a while will welcome.  The Job Seeker Premium Account not only takes your resume and places it above all non-member applicants, it allows you to contact up to 5 hiring managers directly with InMail messages even if you are not connected (an a la carte feature for the Basic membership). InMails are response guaranteed so if yo do not get a response within 7 days, LinkedIn credits your account back that email. What if you do not use all of your 5 InMail credits in a month?  They roll over and accumulate from every thirty days for up to 90 days while you are a subscriber.

In addition to the InMail messages feature, the Job Seeker Premium Account offers 15 introductions to inside sources at companies.  Now you will be sure that the hiring manager is seeing your resume and you are able to find out some information on the company through you new introduction. For those have friends that have been looking for a job you hear them say over and over I wish I knew someone there or does anyone know someone at X Company. It is a constant struggle to try and stand out above the other candidates who are doing the exactly same thing that you are.  People hire people not pieces of paper. Getting to know someone at a company you are eying, gives you that edge as they have a feel for you or have seen your profile and now see your resume and it clicks “I have seen this person before.”

Parker Barrile, Director of Product Management says:

“We spoke with hundreds of job seekers to understand their needs and designed a package of features to help them stand out from the crowd, reach out to hiring decision makers, and manage their job search more effectively.”

How does the Job Seeker Premium Account Work?

The premium account and the basic account are tools that help you to march to the top of the line to try and help get you back to work.  While I generally do not always feel that you should pay to get a job, I am starting to change my tune as for each job that is posted, there are hundreds of candidates that are applying.  Unemployment rates are rising and people are remaining unemployed for upwards of 18 months.  Something has to give and this just may be what gives.

The Basic account is $19.95 a month and has the same features as the Job Seeker Premium Account but with less being alloted each month (ex: 10 intros instead of 15).  Each plan has is benefits. The premium account is $29.95 a month. There is an incentive that if you sign up and pre-pay for one year, you will receive 2 months free for both. There is also a job seeker plus account that runs at $49.95 a month.

I am not sure how this will affect and/or work with the employer tool of matching job seekers with the employer (and this is to go to a paid model at some point) but at least you will able to be out and about and apply for jobs, reach out to hiring managers with the Blackberry App for LinkedIn.

What do you think? Are you willing to pay a monthly fee to put your resume on the top?

photo credit: woodleywonderworks

  • B. Jamie Davis

    No I wouldn't pay to get selected for a job. First, if you're unemployed, budgeting for yet another expense is a stretch when most can network for free else wise. Also, I'm pretty sure those who have jobs or money will benefit beyond those who are as qualified and can't stretch $353/week in unemployment benefits for access to a service that still does not guarantee you'll get a job. Second there has to be some labor law lined crossed with paying to play. Third, seems to take away the validity of being selected for an interview based on skills, experience, merit…. I'd imagine that there is a gray area where fairness is concerned when you “pay to be seen”. Makes you wonder if participating employers will get a kick back from the service.

  • Fantastic points here. I am on the fence of it. I have friends that have been searching for jobs for a long time and paying for a service that is not a guarantee is out of their limits. My thoughts about it were lets say 100 people sign up on LI and lets say 12 apply for the same job, whose resume is on top?

    I do not think there is a kick back to employers as it costs them to post the job. I think it is a way to get employers feel that future employees are being willing to pay to get a job. Are the resumes that you are getting better than the rest or is this tool a way for people who are not qualified getting their resume above that are really a good fit for the job? It is a difficult thing as if you are a good fit for the job then are you even able to fit between the noise?

    I think LI is doing what they can but at the same time is it a money making tool that preys on the people who need a job?

    thanks so much for your insight as what is the best way to get a job?

  • B. Jamie Davis

    I'm not sure what a long time is, but I've been searching since April 2008! On my own, I've garnered a fair share of interviews, a number where my resume was walked over to HR or a hiring manager. In some cases, I was overqualified. In others, sadly, the position was canned; still others, company officials “skimmed” my resume then said I didn’t have the skills they were looking for. How do I know? I asked for a courtesy review of my resume by hiring officials who inadvertentely admitted to passing me up for people who 1. Had brand name experience or education and 2. Whose job titles/position were an exact match as the opening.

    The only thing I've paid for is $5 for a resume-writing outfit to critique my resume. That seemed to be the way to go until I found out that they were sending everyone the same stock answers in order to convince people they needed to shell out hundreds to update a resume–again, with no guarantee of being interviewed let alone selected for a job.

    I've been more successful garnering contract work with the same resumes I send off to employers. So I know it's not b/c I'm not qualified, that my resume is not being seen by prospective employers, other. Demand is high supply is low. It's an employer’s market and they set the rules. They can be as selective lax about reviewing resumes in detail and cheap as they want to be.

    I frown upon employers who feel like a qualified candidate is one who pays to get interviewed for a position. That same person is likely to do anything (immoral) to keep the position or garner a better one. The next to last point you made is clear. Just b/c someone pays to get access doesn't make them any more qualified, which means HR or management wastes time talking to someone they probably wouldn't have selected through traditional means. Can you imagine paying $20 and you're not even qualified? To me, that hinges on entitlement and privileges. It’s the difference between VIP and VVIP (very, very important people); one just pays more money for the same thing…

  • Some very interesting thoughts here! I believe the best way to get a job is to create one! Look at what a company is not doing or could be doing better and offer to do it in a way that saves time and money.
    Certainly, money invested in job search tools or placement is better spent on sharpening your skills via seminars, workshops, college credit or continuing education courses. Networking within the same is also a great way to garner job leads or job referrals.

  • That is a long time and I appreciate you sharing your story. You have so many valid points. It is not that you are not qualified, but for some reason you are overlooked. Hiring managers are getting so many resumes and to have to look at them all is overwhelming. Big brand experience goes a long way as if the candidate was “good” enough to work for them they are a good catch.

    There are people who are applying for jobs that they are not qualified for. Well I can do that is the thought process and also “why not try.” It is difficult to find a job and I think that people are willing to go the extra mile so that they can keep their job so they are not thrown back out on the streets. I agree that HR managers are wasting time to talking to people that they would not have due to introductions. Everyone does deserve a chance but when it comes at the detriment of a qualified candidate vs a non qualified one it is problematic.

  • B. Jamie Davis

    I’m not knocking people who HAVE a job and are working to keep their job. Working hard should be something you do regardless of economic conditions especially if you love your job, which as we know, most people do not.

    In my quest for employment, I uncovered a lot of HR reps who had very limited knowledge about what a hiring manager was looking for. So brand names and job titles stuck out b/c that’s what the HR manager was familiar with not b/c it equated to a qualified candidate. This is why resume writers advise that your resume should “match” the job you’re seeking.

    By-the-way, I’ve had jobs w/brand name companies that didn’t amount to much by way of accomplishment only to see a HR rep or hiring manager go, “ooh haa” over my resume. The good news is that I AM qualified. Although brand name employment gives me the advantage when it comes to garnering an in-person interview, my skills, experience and ability to add value is what kept me in my last position for seven years and compelled the company to try to place me elsewhere. As you know, things continued on a downward trajectory through '09. I went on to gain broader skills and experience, which eventually made me overqualified or expensive for positions related to my last assign.

    We agree that paying doesn’t equate to yielding qualified candidates. To clarify on what people are willing to do to GET a job (versus KEEP): I imagine that those who are willing to “pay-to-play” via the new LinkedIn feature already have a job or means (money and contacts) to garner the privilege of being seen by a hiring manager. My main point is if you’re that desperate or maybe competitive (?) to pay to be seen especially if you’re “just trying”, then you’re likely to be unscrupulous in other regards costing an employer time and money down the line.

    A final point: A hiring manager is overwhelmed with resumes so the best way to find a qualified candidate is to look at those who paid to be seen? For an employer to even entertain that notion means that they are not so smart. It makes me leery that they can’t see a good thing even if it’s staring them in the face…

  • Robert

    I do no't believe this is actually “paying to get a job”. There is no guarantee you'll get a job. This service only increases the quantity and quality of your exposure to job opportunities. In other words it only improves your possibility of getting that first call. Afterwards, it's your job to impress with your personality and credentials.
    I agree it doesn't exactly sound cost effective for someone who is living off unemployment benefits. But then again, the people out there who can network their way for free into a new job probably wouldn't be considering something like this anyways.
    This isn't the first and only “pay to be seen” model out there either.
    Anyways, this kind of service – in my opinion – caters more to people who are still at work but are searching for something else.

  • B. Jamie Davis

    By no means do I expect any job search service to guarantee placement-free or not. That's why I specifically said, “pay- to-be-seen”.

    At any rate, sounds like an overhaul of the job search process is due. 1. Candidates should search and then only apply for the positions they are actually qualified or a perfect match for thereby reducing the amount of time and effort the employer takes to review and select a candidate. 2. Employer placement efforts are better narrowed via employee referrals. Nothing speaks volumes and is more accurate than word-of-mouth; a referral from someone (in this case, an employee) you already know and trust. The only caveat is factoring in labor laws that curve unfair hiring practices and the notion that referrals can easily lead to a “fraternal order” of friends hiring friends.

    To your closing point Robert, the LinkedIn option is definitely a tool for the employed. Until I find a position that fits, creating a job as Isha said fits the bill just fine.

  • Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  • Really its a best way to get a job is to create one.linkedin provide excellent service.