When searching for a job, at some point you’ll need to contact the company you want to work for. And that may mean you need to message recruiters on LinkedIn.
This can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re not used to doing it. However, using LinkedIn’s “InMail” service is actually easier than you might think.
In this article, we’ll explain how to message LinkedIn recruiters the right way—along with some do’s and don’ts for email etiquette as a whole.
Why You Should Message Recruiters on LinkedIn
While anxiety-inducing, the act of reaching out is beneficial in helping you narrow down your search. This is because it lets you decide which companies and positions you want to apply for. It also gives you a good idea on what skills you need to improve in order to advance.
Think of cold emailing like a crucial aspect of career research. Maybe you’re interested in applying for a particular job, just not right now, and you want to know the interpersonal skills that the company searches for in potential candidates.
The practice of cold emailing can also help you get over the fear of emailing itself. By doing it a lot, you’ll learn how to write really good pitches.
When you message a recruiter on LinkedIn you’ll be using a service called LinkedIn InMail. In order to use InMail effectively, you’ll need a LinkedIn Premium account.
While you can message people without a Premium account, the big stipulation is that you need to be connected to them. If you’re reaching out to recruiters, the chances are high that you’ve never talked to them before.
Once you sign up for a Premium account, you’ll be given a set number of InMail credits: five messages per month.
If you want to know more about this service, here are some reasons why LinkedIn Premium is worth it.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Etiquette
Before we show you how to use InMail, we should probably go through a few key “do’s and don’ts” when emailing people. These simple steps will keep you on a recruiter’s good side, and potentially increase your response rate:
- Be conversational, approachable, positive, and enthusiastic. You don’t need to be overly casual, but a stiff opener is to your detriment. Get across the idea that you’re genuinely excited to learn more.
- Make sure that you mention the post, person, or reason that prompted you to reach out to this recruiter. It tells them why you’re emailing, and makes it clear that you’ve thought your approach through.
- Keep things short. Not only are long emails hard to read, but recruiters and hiring managers are busy people. They won’t have time to read essays.
- Be polite and courteous. Again, you shouldn’t be stiff, but keep in mind you’re approaching strangers.
- Think of cold calling like a networking opportunity. There’s no reason for this hiring manager to offer you a job on the spot. Better to play the long game and use it as a way to learn more about the company.
- Pressure someone to give you a job. You’ll come off as entitled or needy.
- Get angry if no one responds to your email. Sometimes that one-on-one communication isn’t meant to be.
- DON’T SPAM. When you email someone, wait about one business week for them to respond. If they don’t reply, you can try sending off one more email to ask for a follow-up. If they don’t respond after that, don’t contact them. They’re clearly not interested in talking to you.
Now that you know the do’s and don’ts, let’s look at LinkedIn InMail.
How to Message Recruiters on LinkedIn
First, make sure that you’re logged into your Premium account. Next, go to the profile page of the company that you want to contact.
While you can search for individual employees by name, there’s a high chance you won’t actually know the names of the recruiters you need to reach out to. By going to a company page, you’ll have to weed through a lot less, which makes your search easier.
For this article, let’s say you want to work at MakeUseOf. When you log onto the company page, click on the link that says See all [#] employees on LinkedIn.
Once you’re on the list, scroll through it.
Find the Right Person to Contact
When you’re scrolling through the list, you want to look for people whose job titles indicate that they are directly involved in the hiring process. These people will have up-to-date information on the company and the skills you’ll need in order to apply.
Additionally, you need to find employees you can actually send LinkedIn inMail to. Not everyone is open to them.
Once you find the right employee, click on their InMail button:
After you click the InMail button, a screen will pop up where you can compose your message.
Write Your Email
At the top of the message box, you’ll see the name of the employee, their picture, and their position at the company. Beneath that, you’ll see a section for your header, along with the email body.
At the bottom of the message box, there will be a line that shows your current InMail credits count. There’s also additional formatting options and a big blue button that says Send:
Once you’re in the message box, you can compose your email. When doing so, make sure you keep in mind our list of do’s and don’ts for email etiquette.
After you’re done with your message, you can adjust it by using additional formatting tools located in the bottom left-hand corner of the message box. These tools are seen here in red:
Here, you have the option to add photos or attachments. However, because you’re reaching out to someone for the first time, we recommend that you don’t include them. They could lead your message to be marked as spam.
After you’re done formatting, press Send. And that’s it. That’s all you have to do to message a recruiter or hiring manager from a company. From here, it’s just a waiting game to see if they respond.
Does It Pay to Message Recruiters on LinkedIn?
Yes, it does! Using InMail to contact recruiters actually works.
LinkedIn has its own set of tips for writing a good InMail on LinkedIn Help, and when I was reaching out to prospective employers myself, almost every single one of them emailed back.
By following our guide to messaging recruiters on LinkedIn you too could elicit a high response rate.
LinkedIn Profile Tips to Guarantee Success
Despite the prospect of cold calling being somewhat scary, it’s actually very useful. But messaging recruiters is no guarantee for career advancement. If you find you’re having no luck with it, there are other things you can do to get ahead.
With that in mind, here are the essential LinkedIn profile tips to guarantee success.