How to get a Response From an InMail on LinkedIn

How to get a Response From an InMail on LinkedIn

If you are job seeking and have a complete LinkedIn profile, chances are you had received an “InMail” in the past. An InMail is LinkedIn’s messaging system for those who are 2nd or 3rd-degree connections. The LinkedIn InMail is a powerful networking tool. So, here is how to get a response from an InMail on LinkedIn the next time you write one.

LinkedIn states that more than 90% of recruiters use their platform to screen job candidates. They also state interactions between recruiters and members increased 40% over the past two years while InMail response rates are up 25% in 2017.

More people are finding jobs through InMails, but with the amount of InMails rising, you need to send InMails that are worthy of a response. Here is how to do it.

Keep it human

It seems the more we rely on technology to communicate the greater the demand for knowing a human is sending the message. Personalized, human-sounding InMails will increase your response rate by 50%.

Avoid canned messages and bulk messages. They are cold, impersonal and drive down response rates. If you do use a template...CUSTOMIZE it. People can tell whenever someone has sent a canned message. People have hated them since they first started being used in customer service canned replies.

Put emphasis on the right words

Yes, the word “connect” helps you increase response rates for InMail. More so, stating that you would like to “follow up”,  “talk,” “chat,” or “call” will help you improve InMail response rates.

However, you need to know when to pull back. Phrases related to scheduling, salary, and sharing email addresses, will lead to a decrease in your chances of getting a response.

Share what and who you know

If you are a job candidate you can build credibility and trust first by being more receptive to sharing referrals when recruiters write and ask.

These types of InMails from recruiters do not get a high response rate because job candidates typically like to only hear from people who have job offers, not requests for referrals. So, try something different and help a recruiter with a referral while stating your availability, too.  

If you can help someone it should eventually help you build a relationship with someone who can help you in the future. This is called "paying it forward".

Keep it short and simple

Being brief helps avoid grief with InMails, just like it does with emails. Subject lines can be short, and snappy. Make sure the InMail message stays between 200 and 500 characters. Here is an example:

Subject line:  [Job Title]

I’m currently seeking work as a marketing manager while employed at [company name]. I came across your job posting on LinkedIn and know a few people you should talk to. They fit your job specs perfectly. Here are their profiles. I only ask that you look at my profile and think of me in the future as I am eager to find employment. Maybe we can connect and grab coffee sometime?

-Pleased to help!

You can see from this InMail that the writer gets to the point, keeps it short, and remains friendly.

In conclusion

Writing InMails on LinkedIn to get a response involves many of the same characteristics we appreciate in all forms of communication, from devices to in-person business discussions:

  • Stay human
  • Emphasize your points with the right words
  • Keep it short and simple

All of these show you are human, know how to communicate, and have a respect for the other’s time. Try an example like the one below:

Hello [Name],

I am reaching out to you to see if you would like to chat over a cup of coffee next week. I am eager to find a new opportunity at [company name] for [position].

I had been speaking with a former colleague of yours who recommended I contact you. She expressed you have experience in [job function]. I checked out some of your posts and like how you think.

Maybe I can suggest some referrals? I believe we would both benefit from talking and connecting. Please let me know if you are interested.


[Your Name]

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