Knowing what to write in LinkedIn messages is a crucial skill for using LinkedIn effectively and professionally.
As of 2017, a study showed 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates.
That's a lot of vetting!
Interestingly, only 48% of LinkedIn users see it as a social outreach tool.
If you send LinkedIn messages to find jobs, the purpose of every message you send needs to be targeted and defined!
Here are 5 tips to help you send LinkedIn messages that can help improve your use of LinkedIn as a job search medium.
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.
Using an automated message when connecting:
This famous message from LinkedIn really never gets a human reply:
“I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.”
That type of message often gets dismissed as lazy and uninspiring.
It might even offend some professionals.
After all, if the person who wants to connect cannot extend the effort to write a simple, personal message, what reason do they have to accept the request?
Using an automated message when replying:
The LinkedIn recipient of a message sees three options to reply with:
- Not sure
- (Thumbs up icon)
Again, here we have automated messages and replies.
It is a tech solution, obviously, and it is not how people really talk.
Using premade responses is a polite way of saying, “I am not interested.”
When people want to talk business, they do not hold up pre-written signs. We communicate by explaining why we should work together.
This requires genuine thought and action.
Whether you are requesting to connect with someone or accepting their connection, respond with anything other than an automated message.
How can you do this in a respectful and professional manner?
Read on ...
2. Introduce yourself with a targeted message
When you are requesting to connect with someone on LinkedIn, help them quickly understand who you are and why you are connecting.
- Say hello.
- Be polite.
- 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, whether it's from school or a former workplace:
“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 come across like you are looking for 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 by finding common ground or a personal connection:
“Hi, my name is [insert name]. I read your [profile, blog, etc.] and enjoyed it. I can relate to your experiences.”
Even when contacting someone from your college days or extending an invitation to a former coworker, make a point to establish common ground.
And keep it professional; this would not be the place to refer to all-night dorm parties or repeatedly showing up late to work back in the day.
3. Get to the point
Your LinkedIn message needs to get to the point ... and fast.
- Think about what people see on their screens.
- Remember our short attention spans.
- Also, be mindful of their precious time.
You do not need to write an autobiography or give too much information.
Explain why you are writing in one sentence:
“I am writing because we both [insert similar background].”
Yes, do your best to keep it to a single sentence.
You want the message preview to reveal your intent so they open your message.
This shows that you are respecting their time.
4. Finish things up and say thank you
Politeness always matters.
As one popular quote puts it:
"Politeness is an inexpensive way of making friends." - William Feather
There is no wrong time to be polite, and writing a message on LinkedIn is definitely a "right time" to express politeness and sincerity.
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 high 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)
The above LinkedIn messages only indicate that a person is unaware, unrealistic, frustrated, and desperate.
It does not have to be this way.
LinkedIn messages are supposed to be all about “give and take.”
So, make the best of every message and build your network on LinkedIn!
More LinkedIn tips for professionals and job searchers
The more you look into it, the more you realize there is a lot to learn about how to effectively use LinkedIn as a networking and job search tool.
If you have more questions about making the most of LinkedIn, check out these articles:
- How to Upload Your Resume on LinkedIn (and Vice Versa)
- LinkedIn Features to Boost Your Job Search
- The Benefits of Connecting with People on LinkedIn
- 5 Common LinkedIn Mistakes New Users Make
- 6 Things Few People Know About on LinkedIn
- How to Become a LinkedIn Influencer
Here at Find My Profession, our goal is enabling you to find vocational success by providing the know-how and services to help you land your dream job.