Knowing what to write in LinkedIn messages is a crucial skill for using LinkedIn.
As of 2017, a study showed 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates. But only 48% of LinkedIn users see it as a social outreach tool.
If you send LinkedIn messages to find jobs the purpose of your message needs to be targeted and defined!
1. Avoid automated messages and replies
The best way to say, “I have no time to reply to your message with my own thoughts”, is to use a LinkedIn automated message. There is this famous message from LinkedIn that never gets a human reply:
“I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.”
That message type of message often gets dismissed as lazy and uninspiring. The LinkedIn recipient sees three options to reply with:
- Not sure
- (Thumbs up icon)
So, here we have automated messages and replies. It is a tech solution and it is not how people really talk. It is a polite way of saying, “I am not interested.”
When people want to talk business we do not hold up pre-written signs. We communicate by explaining why we should work together. This requires genuine thought and action.
2. Introduce yourself with a targeted message
Say hello, be polite, and introduce yourself. Think about who you are reaching out to and why they should care. If you are writing someone you know, make sure you explain your common background:
“Hello, I am [name]. We both [talk about what you have in common]”.
If you are connecting with a complete stranger, be generous and specific. This way you will not look like you need a favor. People know why we use LinkedIn. We want to network or find work. This means you “want something” and have to break the digital ice. Help the person overlook the socially awkward feeling that comes with LinkedIn messaging:
“Hi, my name is [insert name}. I read your [profile, blog, etc.] and enjoyed it. I can relate to your experiences.”
3. Get to the point
Your LinkedIn message needs to get to the point fast. Think about what people see on their screens. Remember our short attention spans and their precious time. You do not need to write an autobiography. Explain why you are writing in one sentence:
“I am writing because we both [insert similar background].”
Keep it to one sentence. You want the message preview to reveal your intent so they open your message. You are respecting their time.
4. Finish things up and say thank you
Politeness matters. Your LinkedIn message should conclude with gratitude and thanks:
“I appreciate your time and expertise. It would be a pleasure to chat soon.
5. Messages you should never send
LinkedIn messages have a very high failure rate of reply. A social network centered around helping people work together means there is a population of users looking for a job. Unfortunately, there are those who will resort to desperate measures. Desperate measures never work in job hunting. Do not send messages like these:
- “Hi, If I give you my resume can you let me know when a job comes along.”
- “I am looking for work right now. Can you help?”
- “I need a job and I see we know the same people. Can you introduce me to [insert names].”
- (Dreaded mass emails with advertisements)
These LinkedIn messages indicate a person is unaware, unrealistic, frustrated, and desperate.
It does not have to be this way. LinkedIn messages are “give and take”. So, make the best of every message and build your network on LinkedIn!