Knowing whether someone has read your LinkedIn private message can be useful for a variety of reasons. As a professional networking and career development site, LinkedIn facilitates communication between connections for networking, job searching, recruiting, and more. When you send a private message to a LinkedIn connection, being able to tell if they’ve read it can help you know if your message was received, if you should follow up, and how to continue the conversation.
While LinkedIn doesn’t have a built-in read receipt feature like some other messaging apps, there are still a few ways to get a sense of whether your connection has read your private message. In this article, we’ll explore some of the main techniques people use to ascertain if a LinkedIn message has been read.
Check for a reply
The most straightforward way to know if someone read your LinkedIn message is to see if they reply. If the recipient actively responds to your message, you know definitively that they saw it and read through what you sent. This is the only surefire way to confirm on LinkedIn that your message was read.
If you don’t receive any reply at all, however, you won’t be able to confirm for certain whether they’ve read the message. Lack of response doesn’t necessarily mean they ignored or didn’t see your note – they may have opened it and still be formulating a reply. Unless they engage with you directly, you can’t assume they’ve read it based on no response.
While a reply is the only way to know conclusively your message was read, most of the time people do not directly respond, so you’ll need other signals to gauge if they’ve seen your note. Let’s explore some other techniques and signs that can indicate your LinkedIn message was viewed.
Check LinkedIn messaging timestamps
One helpful feature LinkedIn offers is timestamps that show exactly when a message was sent or received. When you pull up your messaging thread with a connection, you can see below each message the date and time it was sent/received.
Pay attention to the timestamps on your latest message. If the “Received” time switches from “Sent” to a specific time, that signals your recipient has opened the LinkedIn messaging window. The message will change from “Sent” to “Received at [time stamp]” once the recipient logs in and views the conversation, indicating they’ve at least opened your message thread.
This doesn’t definitively prove they specifically read your latest note, but opening the messaging window is a strong sign they may have seen it. Watch for this timestamp change to get a sense of if/when your recipient accessed the message conversation.
See if they viewed your profile
Another clue that someone may have read your message is if they view your LinkedIn profile shortly after you send it. LinkedIn shows profile visitors within the last 90 days so you can get an idea of who’s been looking at your page.
If you notice the recipient of your message viewed your profile a short time after you messaged them, they likely saw the notice of your message and opened your profile to read and respond. Profile views don’t confirm they read the specific note, but do signal they were recently active on the site after you messaged them.
Keep in mind LinkedIn only shows anonymous profile views, not which specific connections visited you. But if you messaged one person and then notice an increase in profile views soon after, you can reasonably deduce that person was among those viewing your page.
See if they updated their profile
Similarly, if your LinkedIn connection makes a profile update shortly after you message them, they were likely on the site and saw your message notification. Major profile changes like adding a new position, skills, education, etc. signify they were actively using LinkedIn.
Again this doesn’t prove they read your message, but any account activity increases the likelihood they were on the site and saw your note. People don’t commonly make big profile changes for no reason – if they update their profile around the time you message them, they were on the site engaging in some capacity.
Check relationship insights
LinkedIn’s relationship insights feature shows you your messaging history and engagement stats with each of your connections. This can provide clues about whether a connection tends to read and respond to your messages or not.
You can view relationship insights by going to your inbox, clicking the drop-down menu on a conversation, and selecting “View relationship”. It will show response times, your messaging frequency, and how long you’ve been connected.
Review this data after messaging someone to get a sense of if they regularly respond to you. If they historically reply within a few days, lack of response could signify they haven’t read your latest message. Or if they usually don’t respond at all, that reinforces they likely haven’t seen your most recent note.
Consider their LinkedIn activity level
When evaluating if someone read your message, think about how actively they use LinkedIn in general. Some users rarely login or check notifications. Others use it daily and tend to respond quickly.
If the recipient isn’t typically engaged on LinkedIn, the lack of response may simply indicate they don’t check it often, not necessarily that they’ve seen and ignored your message. Knowing their general activity habits can provide context on whether non-responsiveness means they didn’t see your note or aren’t active on the platform.
You can get a sense of a connection’s activity level from relationship insights and seeing if/how often they make profile updates. If they seem consistently inactive, they may simply not have seen your message yet.
Look for other indirect signs
While not definitive confirmations, there are some other subtle clues that could hint someone has read your note:
– They start following you or like/comment on your posts after you message them
– Their profile picture changes shortly after you send your message
– The notification dot appears next to the messages icon after you message them
– Your message thread moves up towards the top of their inbox list
– They add you as a contact or request to connect on another platform
Again these signs alone don’t solidly prove they read your message, and some could just be coincidences. But if you notice one or two indirect signals like these after messaging someone, they may suggest your recipient has been on LinkedIn and potentially seen your message.
Consider following up
If it’s been a few days and you haven’t received any definitive confirmation that your connection read your LinkedIn message, consider sending a polite follow up. Say something like “Hi [name], just wanted to make sure you received my earlier message below. Let me know if you have a chance to discuss further.”
This shows you’re interested in continuing the conversation and gives them a natural opening to respond if they haven’t read your initial note. Avoid harassing people with constant follow up messages, but one friendly nudge after a few days can be appropriate.
Use other communication channels
If you’ve messaged someone on LinkedIn and are really eager to get responses, use other channels to contact them as well. Try sending the person a direct email, or message them on Twitter, Facebook etc. Reaching out across multiple platforms makes it harder for them to miss your message and gives you more options to potentially get a reply.
Just make sure you’re not overdoing it across too many networks, which can come across as spammy. Stick to a couple relevant professional channels beyond LinkedIn to increase your chances of making contact.
Ask directly (politely)
If you have an important pending message where you really need a response, it can be appropriate to directly ask if they’ve had a chance to read your note. A message like “Hi [name], I sent you a message on [day] but wanted to check if you received it, as I have a time-sensitive request. Please let me know when you have a moment to discuss, thanks!” shows you have something urgent to address.
Make sure to only do this if you have a legitimate reason – you don’t want to annoy them with constant status checks. But a direct ask in moderation can work if you really need to confirm they’ve read an important message.
While the above tips can provide hints that someone has seen your LinkedIn message, there’s rarely an instant definitive confirmation. Recipients have busy lives and may take days or weeks to read and respond to messages, if they do at all.
Avoid harassing people with constant follow up pings – be patient and let the conversation progress naturally. If your request is time-sensitive, politely inquire or use other channels. But often you’ll just need to wait and see if they engage. As long as you’re professional and not overly demanding, getting no response isn’t necessarily an insult. Allow recipients adequate time to message back on their schedule.
Confirming if someone read your LinkedIn message requires some detective work, observation of signals, and reasonable patience. While only a reply provides 100% certainty, keep an eye out for profile views, timestamp changes, and other activity clues that increase the likelihood your message was seen. And don’t take lack of response personally – follow up politely if needed, but realize contacts have busy lives and conversations take time. With no read receipts available, you’ll need to do a bit of educated sleuthing.
|What it indicates
|Definitive confirmation they read the message
|Message timestamps change
|They opened the message thread
|Profile views increase
|They were recently active on LinkedIn
|They update their profile
|They were using LinkedIn around time you messaged
|Relationship insights data
|Their historical response rates and speed
|Their general activity level
|How often they tend to use LinkedIn
|Slight hints they *may* have read message
– A reply is the only sure way to know your LinkedIn message was read
– Look for timestamp changes, profile views, and account updates
– Relationship insights provide useful historical messaging data
– Consider their overall LinkedIn activity level and responsiveness
– Polite, reasonable follow up is okay if you need a response
– Have patience as conversations take time – don’t harass contacts