Sending a LinkedIn message can be an important part of a job hunt.
After all, LinkedIn is pretty much the only place you can connect with someone from pretty much any job industry in pretty much any part of the world.
The last thing you want to do when sending such a message is to misrepresent yourself or come off as obnoxious and desperate.
- Using automated messages never works.
- Sending a prewritten template email always looks cold and, well ... like a template.
- Taking time to craft a unique and professional message can make all the difference.
In other words, it could help you land your dream job.
So, here’s how to write a LinkedIn message that gets read.
1. Be specific in the title
Do not leave people guessing.
Before you write, ask yourself, “Does this person know me and, if so, how? Why am I reaching out to this person and what am I trying to achieve?”
Perhaps you met them at a conference.
Or perhaps you attended a conference and heard them speak, but didn't have a chance to connect for more than a quick greeting and handshake.
Whatever the specific circumstances, use your answers to the questions above to write a specific subject line.
“Follow-up after meeting at CES conference.”
Communicating via written text requires that you clear up any doubt or questions about who you are and your reason for reaching out.
What not to do:
Never waste the opportunity that a message title gives you.
In other words, don't write, "Hi there," when you can add a specific purpose and answer the questions on the mind of the reader before they read the message.
2. It’s nice to introduce yourself
Never assume the person knows who you are because you have a profile on LinkedIn (along with about 500 million others).
- Take the time to write a brief introduction.
- Specify why you have a connection with them.
Recently, the founder of Find My Profession wrote a LinkedIn post that went viral. Many of the folks who messaged the founder directly introduced themselves and stated they had contacted him due to the post.
The messages usually went something like this:
“My name is [name] and I am the CEO of [company]. I enjoyed your post on Ageism and would like to speak with you further about it.”
Whether you use this sentence or not, tailoring your intro for a specific reason shows you have taken an interest in the person you are contacting.
What not to do:
Don't just write, "I hope you're having a great day!"
Although you might genuinely hope this, it doesn't give the reader anything concrete to go on as far as your reason for connective.
3. Get to the point sooner than later
More often than not, people are pressed for time.
When it comes to messages, shorter is always better.
Skip the drawn-out monologue and string of fancy adverbs and adjectives from a thesaurus. (Really, just put down the thesaurus.)
This is also not the place to refer to your resume or add information from a lengthy CV to impress the reader.
In this case, you show your intelligence with your ability to be brief.
When you craft the core of your message, keep a few things in mind:
- Why are you writing this message?
- Why are you connecting with this person?
Now, write a sentence along these lines, keeping it to one paragraph at most:
“I’m reaching out for advice. I’m in the midst of a job hunt and have questions about your service. Can we schedule a time to chat?”
What not to do:
Don't forget your relationship (or lack of one) with this person.
- Do not ask for a one-hour meeting if you never met the person before.
- Do not ask for too much if you barely know the person you are writing to.
4. Finish up and say “thank you”
Your message should end politely while being clear about what you want.
Show some class and grace, as in the following example:
“Would you be open to speaking briefly? I greatly appreciate your expertise. Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you.”
- Why you've connected
- What you are requesting
What not to do:
Avoid coming across as either demanding or desperate.
Never write a closing like this:
"I expect to receive a response from you within 48 hours."
"I really, really need a job and really, really can't wait to hear back from you to find out if you can help me with this!"
Remember, you are a professional, communicating professionally, with other professionals. Keep it (you guessed it) professional.
Does it take a tiny bit longer to write it yourself than use a template or preexisting draft?
Is it worth the time and effort?
If the recipient of your LinkedIn message knows they are worth your time and energy, they will be more likely to extend some time and energy back to you.
And overall, if you seek to give more than you take on LinkedIn, or anywhere in your professional life, you will find success in more ways than one.
Seek help from the professionals
By the way, here at Find My Profession, we would love to help you land the perfect career.
We are a top-notch resume writing service on a mission to create effective consulting resumes that convert into offers.
A major perk of working with our team at Find My Profession is that we assign you a writer based on your unique background and experience.
Simply tell us about your previous experience and we will do the research on where your skills could be best applied.
Get in touch today and let us help you navigate every step of your job search.
Our goal is to help you find vocational success.