LinkedIn is overrated and overpriced. Photo by Bastian Riccardi/Pexels
By Marcelo Maximilian Staff Reporter
As a journalism major and professional freelance journalist, networking comes naturally to me. It’s the foundation that leads me to the sources and information I need to be a good reporter. On the surface, LinkedIn sounds like the key to opening every door in the professional networking world, but is it?
By searching names on LinkedIn, I’ve been able to put a face to a name and know who to look for before conducting interviews. I’ve used it to do research on a person’s background prior to meeting them and to personalize the questions I will ask them. At the very least, LinkedIn has been another resource for research on professional contacts, but overall LinkedIn has far too many faults to be beneficial to me.
One of the biggest turn-offs of LinkedIn is that there is a premium option, which limits my free account to the point where I felt pressured to pay the premium. I shouldn’t have to pay money to have the opportunity to message someone of high social status, with the possibility that I may not be guaranteed a response from them, the opportunity to schedule an interview with someone, and I may not be guaranteed employment.
I am a firm believer in the saying “you must spend money to make money,” but at least if I’m going to use my own money to speak to business professionals, I prefer to do so in person, in a setting amongst other business professionals such as a conference. I need to make eye contact, speak in real-time, shake hands, and leave an impression. Otherwise, I don’t have money to invest in LinkedIn, (and I use invest sparingly) especially if it’s not guaranteed. Spending money on LinkedIn Premium is gambling real money that my experience, presentation, education, how personable I am, my skills, and whatever else factors are strong enough to again.
With the four tiers for premium, with subscriptions of up to $139.99 (excluding sales tax), I start to wonder how those who preceded me in being successful businesspeople were able to become entrepreneurs and billionaires before LinkedIn was invented.
For the time being, I think I will rely on my education, work ethic, charisma and experience to attract clientele to my freelance work. Although I’m not an advocate for LinkedIn, I am not opposed to trying its premium feature. A one-month trial is available to try the Premium feature, but a month is not long enough for me to form a well-thought-out opinion.
There are many companies that provide benefits for students. Programs such as Office 365 and Adobe software are included with a student login, and as a student, I heavily rely on networking, and the use of all databases, software and anything free provided to college students.
I paid my way through college, and I feel entitled to a decent career in exchange for my university education without paying for a social media website to open potential doors.