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Two powerful LinkedIn Premium features that may make the subscription worth it

If you sign up for LinkedIn Premium, not only do you get AI support and career services, but you also get a special button you can put on your profile and all-you-can-eat training courses.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor
LinkedIn logo on building
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Twitter used to be, hands down, the best platform for social media engagement, at least based on my observations. On a nearly daily basis, I had great conversations with folks on Twitter -- about articles, issues, and just fun stuff. It was, by far, the best way to connect with readers. I got to know many of you that way.

But since Twitter became X, my engagement on that platform has pretty much dried up. I even paid extra for the premium plan, but engagement results still cratered. Nowadays, I'm having the best engagement luck with Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Also: How to add a new credential to your LinkedIn profile, and why you should

LinkedIn is different from most of the other socials because it's focused on your business background and is, essentially, your online resume of record. But there are options to post and connect as well. What's nice is that the level of discourse is relatively professional, because it's a career-oriented site.

You can do a lot with the free version of LinkedIn (which is now owned by Microsoft). LinkedIn does offer a variety of premium options, which are helpful if you're doing business outreach or job hunting. You can get a 30-day trial of LinkedIn Premium.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Right now, I'm using the LinkedIn Premium Business tier, which is the least costly tier that offers the main feature I'm demonstrating in this article: the ability to put a link button on your profile and posts.

As you can see from the graphic above, there are a wide range of gig, job, and lead-hunting features you can add when using the Premium tier.

Trying the AI features

I wanted to give the AI helper a little test run, so I had it look at my profile summary and see if it could zhuzh it up. Here's what it was like before the AI:

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

After hitting the "Write With AI" button it gave me a disappointing result. So I tried twice more:

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I mean, the least it could have done was get my title right. My title is Senior Contributing Editor, not Senior Editor. And, I mean, c'mon. It's right there at the top of the database. You don't even need an AI to figure out the main title.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

After the truly craptaculous set of rewrites, I decided not to let the AI features loose on the rest of my profile. Keep in mind, this is the risk we all face relying on an AI. Sometimes, it produces incredible output. Other times, it just phones it in. In any case, I pasted my original text back in, and moved on.

Button, button, who's got the button?

But I did like the idea of putting an easy "Visit My Website" or "View My Blog" button on the page. It's definitely not worth spending forty-five bucks or more each month to get it, but if you need the other Premium features, this is something worth enabling.

Let's start with the baseline. My wife kindly let me log into her LinkedIn account so I could grab screenshots that showed how other LinkedIn users would see my profile and posts. Here's how my profile header looks to other users without the button. The arrow shows where the button will go.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

And here's a post without a button. The little world icon indicates the post is for everyone.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Switching back to my profile, you add a button using the "Add custom button" button.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Clicking this gives you five possible names for your profile and post button.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I first chose the "Visit my website" option and put ZDNET in the URL field.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Here's what that looks like on my profile.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

And here's what it looks like in a post.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Then I went back and set it to my blog.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

By the way, I'm not entirely sure what "Increase button visibility" does. I turned it on and off, and saw no difference in the button visibility. In any case, here's the new button on my profile:

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

And here's what it looks like on a post:

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

One feature that might make the rest worth the price

There is one additional feature to all the Premium plans that might help make them worth the price. When you move to Premium (no matter which version), you get full access to LinkedIn Learning.

LinkedIn Learning rocks. I've been a subscriber to the service since the early days (at least 20 years, if not more). I get my subscription as an alumnus of my grad school. LinkedIn Learning's courses are almost all solid, and its teachers are clear and friendly.

Also: How LinkedIn's free AI course made me a better Python developer

Normally, the service costs $39/mo if you sign up to pay month-by-month, and $19.95/month if you prepay for a year. So, if you're paying $39.99 or $44.99 a month for the Premium Career or Business plans, at least $20 of that buys you excellent training courses.

Bottom line

I don't know your personal situation, so I can't really do the cost/benefit calculus for you. But I would think that if you had a bit of a cash reserve and you needed to get a new gig, it would be worth turning on every feature you could get -- especially some of the outreach options -- because getting a gig just one paycheck earlier would more than pay for these features.

Also: Google and MIT launch a free generative AI course for teachers

But if you're not in active search mode, is it worth it? LinkedIn Learning is certainly worth having in your kit bag. There have been many times I needed to come up to speed on a skill really fast. LinkedIn Learning's classes have helped. I didn't need the Premium plan to take those classes. But I'm not looking for a new gig, so I haven't signed up for the Premium option. I've used the free trial to write this article. If I were embarking on a job search, I'd definitely upgrade in a heartbeat to maximize all the resources at my disposal for a search.

What about you? Have you used any of the LinkedIn Premium features? Are you using LinkedIn Learning? Have you taken any courses? Let us know in the comments below.

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to subscribe to my weekly update newsletter, and follow me on Twitter/X at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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