LinkedIn is a fantastic resource to build your network, find jobs, and even speak to people who work in companies you aspire to work at. Here are a couple of things to consider while reaching out to people for advice, information, or while connecting with the recruitment team.
1) LinkedIn is NOT a chat platform
Send a single message that conveys what you’re asking for and the context behind it. Do not start a conversation by saying “Hi” or “Good morning” and waiting for someone to respond. They are likely to have multiple other messages in their inbox, and if they don’t know why you are messaging them, they won’t reply.
2) Clearly explain what you’re looking for
Explain what you want in the first line, and why you’re reaching out to this specific person. Use the correct salutation.
Let’s look at an example
Chaitanya, a final year student at VTU, is sending a message on LinkedIn to Nirmala, the head of Business Analytics at XYZ company.
Hello Nirmala, I have studied in VTU for the last 4 years and I am graduating this year. I am an engineer and I am looking for software jobs. Please check my LinkedIn profile and tell me what jobs are available at your company. Regards, Chaitanya
Now look at this version
Hello Nirmala, I am graduating this year from VTU with a certificate in business analytics and am looking to apply for the Data Analyst position at XYZ company. I wanted to connect with you since you have been leading this department. Would you have 30 minutes this week to talk about the position? I’m specifically looking for insights into the culture and to understand if my skills would fit this role. I’m available any day of the week after 3 PM. [[Link to the data analyst position.]] Best, Chaitanya +91 99999 99999 email@example.com
That's a world of a difference
In the first message,
Chaitanya provides no context about his background, what he is looking for, or what his qualifications are.
He expects Nirmala to recommend jobs for him! This is extremely unprofessional. Always do your research on the jobs available, and explain what you’re interested in and why.
He includes no contact information for Nirmala to reach him at.
He offers no explanation about why he is reaching out to Nirmala or why he thinks she is the right person to help him. Because of this, she doesn’t have a good reason to respond!
Each of these points is addressed in the second message, giving Nirmala enough context to respond or redirect Chaitanya to someone else on her team.
3) Follow up
If someone does not respond on LinkedIn, it is appropriate to send a single follow up message. However, wait a few days before sending a followup. Many people do not check LinkedIn on a daily basis and may not reply promptly.
4) Say thank you
Always, always remember to thank the person who took the time to speak with you or connect you to someone else.
Make sure you know who the person is and what their current role is before reaching out. There’s no point in reaching out for a business analytics role to someone working in operations.
Use the correct salutation - If using Sir/Ma’am, recheck your message especially if you are copy-pasting. Sending a message that is clearly copy-pasted and that begins with an inappropriate salutation is both disrespectful and unprofessional.
Do not send messages to everyone at a company or everyone on a team at the same time. Spamming the whole team leaves a poor impression.
Good luck sending out those messages!