The short answer is no, there is no definitive way to tell if someone has read your LinkedIn message. LinkedIn does not have read receipts for messages like some other platforms. However, there are some signs and methods you can use to make an educated guess if your LinkedIn message has been read.
1. Check if They Viewed Your Profile
One of the best indicators someone may have read your message is if they viewed your LinkedIn profile around the time you sent it. When you send a message on LinkedIn, it includes a preview with your name, headline, and profile photo.
If the recipient is intrigued enough by your message preview to click into your profile, chances are they took the time to also open and read your full message. Keep in mind profile views could also indicate they wanted to learn more about you for other reasons unrelated to your message.
2. Look for Link Clicks
If your LinkedIn message included a link, check your analytics to see if it was clicked after sending the message. Services like Bitly allow you to create tracked shortened links to monitor clicks. Link clicks are a strong sign the person clicked into and read your message.
Of course, it’s possible they could have clicked the link without reading your full message, so it’s not 100% definitive. But a timely link click is still a good indication your message was seen.
3. Monitor Profile Updates
See if the person you messaged makes any updates to their LinkedIn profile shortly after you sent your message. Things like new positions, skills, recommendations etc. could indicate they were active on LinkedIn around the time of your message.
While not a sure sign they specifically read your message, recent LinkedIn activity increases the likelihood they would have seen it in their inbox versus if they were inactive for weeks.
4. Check for Added Connections
If your LinkedIn message was a connection request, see if they accept it. Accepting your connection is a strong sign they read your customized invitation message and made the choice to connect.
Of course, they may have also accepted your request without reading the message. So it’s not 100% foolproof. But adding you back shows your message resonated enough for them to connect.
5. Look for Profile Photo Changes
If the recipient suddenly changes their LinkedIn profile photo after you message them, it may indicate they were recently active on the platform. People often update their photo when they are using LinkedIn more.
Again, not a sure sign they read your specific message, but increased activity makes it more probable they would have seen your message in their inbox.
6. Watch for Added Skills or Jobs
If your message highlighted certain skills, experiences or expertise and the person later adds related items to their profile, it could indicate your message prompted them to update their LinkedIn profile.
For example, if your message praised their social media skills and they soon add “Social Media” to their skills section, it may be in response to your message even if they don’t directly reply.
7. See if They View Your Profile Again
Check if the person you messaged revisits your LinkedIn profile multiple times after receiving your message. Repeated profile views typically mean they are engaged and interested in learning more about you.
These recurring views signal your message caught their attention enough to keep returning to your profile. They likely read your message and are looking to dig deeper into your background and credentials.
8. Monitor Their Increased Activity
Pay attention if the person begins posting and engaging on LinkedIn much more actively after you message them. Things like sharing new posts, commenting more, liking content etc. can indicate they are active on the platform.
While not necessarily a direct response to your message, more frequent activity makes it more likely they would be checking messages and engaged on LinkedIn content.
9. Look for Shared Content Interests
See if they begin sharing LinkedIn content that’s similar or related to topics mentioned in your message. For example, if you shared a link on a specific industry trend and they soon post about that same trend, it may indicate they read and engaged with your message content.
Related shares do not automatically mean they read your message, but it shows overlapping interests brought up in your conversation. This increased relevance makes it more probable they opened your message.
10. Watch for New Connections in Common
If you and the person you messaged both begin connecting to new people in the same circles after your message, it can be a sign they read your message and are expanding in related areas.
Gaining common connections not long after messaging someone indicates they may be networking based on shared interests brought up in your conversation and content.
11. No Direct Response Isn’t Definitive
Lack of a reply does not automatically mean someone did not read your message. There are many reasons a recipient may read but not respond, including:
- They plan to reply later when they have more time.
- They don’t feel the message necessitates a response.
- They want to connect in other ways beyond LinkedIn messaging.
- Your message got lost in a busy inbox and they forgot to reply.
- Personal circumstances prevented a response.
So while an eventual direct reply is the clearest sign your message was read, no response does not definitively prove it was ignored. Look for indirect signals too.
12. Ask Open-Ended Questions
One technique that can increase response rates and gauge if someone read your message is asking open-ended questions. For example, “What are your thoughts on X trending topic?” or “What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?”
Thoughtful questions that require answers longer than yes/no increase the odds the recipient will engage with your message and respond if only to answer your original question.
13. Follow Up With Another Message
If you don’t receive any response after your initial message, consider sending a polite follow up message several days or weeks later. Say something like “Hi John, just wanted to follow up on my previous message in case it got lost in your inbox. I was interested in connecting with you about…”
A follow up message gives them another chance to engage if they truly did miss your first message. If they continue not to respond, then it’s a sign your messages are likely being ignored.
14. Look for Offline or External Responses
Keep in mind some LinkedIn members prefer to connect and respond outside of LinkedIn messaging. Watch for responses by email, phone, other platforms, or in person if you have each other’s contact information or share connections.
They may read your LinkedIn message and choose to continue the conversation on a different channel rather than directly within the LinkedIn messaging system.
15. Turn On Read Receipts If Both Parties Agree
While there are no read receipts for LinkedIn messages by default, you can mutually agree to turn them on with another user. Only do this if you both consent to sharing read data.
To enable read receipts, tap the profile photo of the person you’re messaging and hit “Turn on read receipts.” If they also opt in, you’ll see when messages are read. This removes all doubt but should only be used with consent.
The Bottom Line
While LinkedIn unfortunately does not have definitive read receipts, there are still observable signals that can give you a good idea if your message has been seen. Things like profile views, link clicks, added connections, increased engagement, and related content are strong indicators your message resonated. Pay attention to indirect signs they read and engaged with your message even without a direct response. With no way to know for sure, look for patterns that imply your message caught their attention enough to read and consider responding.