One of the key features on LinkedIn is the ability to directly inquire about open positions at companies by messaging recruiters and hiring managers. However, it’s important to approach these job inquiries thoughtfully and professionally to create a positive impression. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through best practices for inquiring about jobs on LinkedIn to help you land more interviews and job offers.
Should I use LinkedIn to inquire about jobs?
Yes, LinkedIn can be a very effective platform for inquiring about open positions. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Direct access to recruiters and hiring managers – You can message the right people at a company instead of sending your message into a general applicant tracking system black hole.
- Tap into your existing network – Leverage connections and relationships you already have on LinkedIn to get your foot in the door at a company.
- Convenience – LinkedIn provides user profiles, job listings, company pages and messaging all in one place to easily research and reach out about opportunities.
- Response rates – Recruiters and hiring managers tend to respond at higher rates to personalized messages through LinkedIn compared to traditional job board applications.
However, there are also some limitations to keep in mind:
- Not all companies and roles utilize LinkedIn for hiring – Some industries and companies rely more heavily on their careers pages and traditional applicant tracking systems.
- Can be time intensive – Reaching out and following up with contacts takes time and effort compared to quickly submitting an application.
- Requires an established network – You’ll see the most success connecting with 2nd and 3rd degree connections, so newer LinkedIn users may have fewer options.
Overall, LinkedIn is a valuable complement to a comprehensive job search strategy, but it may work better for some roles and industries compared to others. Focus your efforts where you have the strongest professional connections.
How to find relevant job openings to inquire about
Here are some tips for finding relevant job openings that you can directly inquire about through LinkedIn:
Leverage your network
Ask connections at your target companies to share insights on any open roles that would be a good fit based on your background and interests. They can often provide perspective that goes beyond a job description.
Follow company pages on LinkedIn to see newly posted job openings in real-time. You can also set job search alerts based on keywords, titles and locations.
Search jobs by company
Use LinkedIn’s jobs search to filter opportunities by company. Look specifically at positions posted by the company vs. through an agency or recruiter.
Look for “Easy Apply”
Jobs with LinkedIn’s Easy Apply option allow you to submit your existing profile as your application, making it easier to inquire and apply.
Search by recruiter
Look for open jobs posted by recruiters at your target companies and reach out to them directly.
Browse alumni pages
School alumni pages show you what companies classmates work at today, along with open opportunities.
Best practices for inquiring about a job opening
Once you’ve identified relevant openings, use these best practices as you reach out:
Personalize your message
Reference specifics on why you are interested in the company and role based on your background, passions and career goals. This shows you took the time to do your research.
Highlight relevant experience and skills
Draw connections between the job requirements and your own experience and capabilities. But keep it brief – you can go into more detail in an interview or future conversations.
Pose thoughtful questions
Ask smart, engaging questions that show your understanding of the company and role, while also prompting the recipient to respond.
Watch your tone
Even through digital mediums, be thoughtful about “soft skills” like etiquette, professionalism and language. Write messages as you would for an email introduction or cover letter.
Be respectful of their time
Keep your initial messages focused and concise. You can build rapport in future conversations once they’ve responded positively.
Mention next steps
Close your message by stating that you look forward to discussing the role in more detail and learning more about next steps in the process.
If you don’t receive a response within a week, send a polite follow up checking in and restating your interest. But don’t stalk or pester.
Who to inquire with about open positions
Here are the key players who you can productively reach out to about job opportunities:
Recruiters focus specifically on talent acquisition for a company. They will likely be very responsive to inbound inquiries.
While hiring managers are focused on broader team leadership, they are closely involved in key hiring decisions for open roles.
Inquiries to directors and vice presidents may get passed along to HR and recruiters, but it gets your foot in the door.
Old coworkers are invested in your success and can facilitate introductions.
Connecting with alumni at your target company can help you learn more about their teams and potential fit.
Friends of friends
2nd and 3rd degree connections can open doors through warm introductions. Don’t forget this powerful network.
– CEO, Founder, Top Executives (Too busy, inquiries unlikely to be seen)
– Random Employees (Will have limited ability to influence hiring)
– HR General Inboxes (Easy to get lost in the mix)
Templates and examples for LinkedIn outreach
The specific language will depend on the individual scenario, but here are some templates and examples you can use as a starting point:
Subject: Inquiry about [Role Name] at [Company]
I recently came across the opening for the [Role] position at [Company] and wanted to express my strong interest in this opportunity. I have extensive experience in [key skills and achievements relevant to role] that seem like a great fit.
After reviewing the job description, I’m very excited about the chance to [mention 1-2 specific aspects of role that interest you]. [Company] appeals to me because [detail 1-2 reasons you’re interested in company mission, values, team, etc.].
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my background aligns with your needs for this position. Please let me know if you have time for a phone call to talk further about the role and your hiring process.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to learning more.
Following Up Template
Subject: Following Up on [Role] Inquiry
I wanted to follow up on my previous message inquiring about the [Role] position at [Company]. I remain very interested in this opportunity and the great work your team is doing.
Please let me know if you need any additional information from me or would like to schedule a phone call to discuss further. I am very flexible to accommodate whatever works best for you.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Junior Business Analyst Role Example
Subject: Interested in Junior Business Analyst Role at XYZ Company
I’m reaching out because I saw that XYZ Company recently posted a Junior Business Analyst role that looks like an amazing fit based on my experiences in data analysis, project management, and operations.
As a recent Master’s graduate with experience interning at high-growth tech startups, I’m eager to jump into a role where I can leverage my research, data modeling, and process improvement skills to drive business impact. XYZ Company appeals to me specifically because of your focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility.
I would love to schedule a call to discuss how my capabilities could support your Business Analysis team’s work and goals for this year. Are you available for a 20 minute intro call next Tuesday or Wednesday?
Looking forward to connecting further about this opportunity. Thank you for your time.
Marketing Manager Role – Following Up Example
Subject: Following Up on Marketing Manager Inquiry
I wanted to follow up on my previous message inquiring about the Marketing Manager role at ABC Company. I’m extremely interested in joining your fast-growing team.
Please let me know if you need any additional information for your hiring process. I can also provide references from previous employers and samples of campaigns and projects I’ve managed if helpful.
If there’s someone else on your team I should connect with about this position, I would greatly appreciate any introductions you can facilitate as well.
I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you again for considering my application.
Following up on your inquiry
Here are some best practices for following up if you haven’t received a response:
– Wait about 1 week before following up the first time. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy and need time to review inquiries.
– Send a brief, polite message restating your interest in the role and asking about next steps.
– Only follow up 2-3 times maximum. Any more than that risks becoming annoying.
– If they ask you to apply officially, send a warm thank you and submit your application through their portal.
– Don’t take a lack of response personally. Many factors outside your control contribute to their ability to respond.
– Continue applying to other opportunities in parallel rather than waiting on one application.
With persistence, professional follow up and by targeting the right roles and contacts, you can absolutely land job interviews and opportunities through proactive LinkedIn outreach. But it requires research, personalization and patience for your efforts to pay off with a positive response.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
To maximize your success rate and credibility with LinkedIn job inquiries, be sure to optimize your own LinkedIn profile as well.
Here are key tips for profile optimization:
Use a high-quality, friendly photo in business or professional attire against a plain background. First impressions matter.
Claim a unique LinkedIn URL using your name to look credible and be easy to remember. Ex: linkedin.com/in/yourname
Your headline should describe your current role and professional focus. Include key skills, industries and job titles.
Be sure your location is filled in accurately to surface relevant opportunities in your geographic area.
Use the About section to provide an overview of your background, experience, skills and goals.
For each role, briefly describe your responsibilities, achievements, contributions and skills gained and used.
Skills and endorsements
List key skills on your profile and ask colleagues to endorse you for those relevant to your field and goals.
Include all degrees, certifications, training programs and study abroad programs and highlight relevant coursework.
Supplement experience with projects, publications, patents, presentations, awards, and other achievements.
Ask managers, colleagues, professors, etc. to write recommendations highlighting your capabilities and work ethic.
Look to build your network by connecting with colleagues, classmates, coworkers and industry professionals.
A complete, detailed profile will significantly improve your visibility and credibility for recruiters and hiring managers reviewing your job inquiries.
LinkedIn provides a powerful platform to proactively reach out to companies and contacts about open positions that you are qualified for and passionate about. By thoroughly researching opportunities, personalizing your inquiries, targeting relevant decision makers and contacts, following up politely, and optimizing your own profile, you can expand your job search network and unlock new roles through LinkedIn outreach. With a mix of persistence, patience and professionalism, inquiring about jobs directly can take your career to exciting new heights.