The easiest way to message someone on LinkedIn is to add them to your network first. Once they accept your connection request, you can send them a message directly through LinkedIn’s messaging feature.
Step 1: Search for the person you want to message
Go to the LinkedIn homepage and type the name of the person you want to message in the search bar at the top of the page. Make sure you are searching for people, not jobs or companies. When you see the profile of the person you want to connect with, click on their profile picture or name to open their profile.
Step 2: Send a connection request
On their profile page, click the “Connect” button near the top right. This will open a window where you can send them a connection request along with an optional note. Keep your note short and personalized – introduce yourself and explain why you want to connect.
For example: “Hi John, I saw you work at Company XYZ. I’m interested in learning more about your experience there as I am also in the industry. I’d love to connect!”
If you already have some mutual connections, be sure to mention them in your note as that can increase the likelihood of your request being accepted.
Step 3: Wait for them to accept your connection request
Once you send the request, the ball is in their court. You will have to wait for them to either accept or ignore your request. If they accept, you will get a notification that you are now connected.
Step 4: Send them a message
Once you are connected, you can message them directly through LinkedIn. On their profile, click the “Message” button near the top right. This will open up a messaging window where you can type your message.
Keep your first message brief – introduce yourself again if needed and explain why you are reaching out. Ask if they have time for a quick chat or phone call to further discuss your reason for connecting.
If you are reaching out about a job opportunity, mention the role and why you think they would be a good fit. If you want to pick their brain about their experience or industry, let them know you would appreciate any insights they can offer.
Tips for messaging new connections
- Personalize each message with their name and provide context for why you want to connect.
- Ask open-ended questions to continue the conversation and show interest in learning more about them.
- Reply promptly when they respond to show you value the conversation.
- Respect their time – don’t over message them if they are slow to respond.
- Stay positive and professional even if they do not reply – don’t take it personally.
How to message someone you are NOT connected to
If you want to message someone you are not connected to on LinkedIn, you have a couple options:
Option 1: Send an InMail
LinkedIn’s InMail feature allows you to send a message to anyone on LinkedIn, even if you are not connected. However, you are limited in how many InMails you can send:
- Free accounts – Up to 5 InMails per month
- Premium accounts – Up to 25 or 30 InMails per month depending on your subscription level
To send an InMail:
- Go to their profile and click “Send InMail” near the top right.
- Compose your message – explain who you are and why you want to connect. Mention any mutual connections.
- Make sure to click “Send” to deliver the InMail.
The recipient will see the InMail in their LinkedIn Messages. They can choose to reply for free or ignore it. Note that InMails often go into a separate “Other” folder which people may not check frequently, so important messages may be missed.
Option 2: Connect through a mutual connection
If you and the person you want to reach out to share a mutual 1st level connection, you can ask the mutual connection to introduce you. This warm approach can be more effective than a cold InMail.
On the profile of the person you hope to connect with, see if any of your 1st level connections are listed as mutual connections. Reach out to one of those connections and politely ask if they can introduce you.
Let them know why you want to get in touch and ask if they would be willing to connect you. Most people are happy to make an introduction if they think it would benefit both parties.
Connecting with recruiters and hiring managers
When reaching out to recruiters or hiring managers you don’t know on LinkedIn, focus your message on your interest and qualifications for any open roles at their company.
Study the company’s current job openings and highlight your relevant skills or experience that make you a strong candidate. Let them know you have applied and are excited about the opportunity to further discuss the role.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated with all your key skills, achievements and qualifications. Recruiters will likely review your profile before responding to gauge their interest.
Following up after applying and expressing continued interest is a great way to get on a recruiter’s radar during the hiring process.
Following up with new connections
Don’t let new LinkedIn connections go stale. Following up and engaging with new connections is important for building relationships.
Schedule a 15-30 minute phone call to continue the conversation. Come prepared with 5-10 open-ended questions you can ask them to learn more about their background, interests, goals, and insights.
Share relevant articles or resources with them that align with topics you discussed. Comment on their posts to show you are paying attention.
Follow up any email or message threads in a timely manner to keep communication flowing. Over time, nurture the relationship by periodically checking in to ask good questions and demonstrate you care.
Building authentic relationships on LinkedIn takes effort but can pay dividends for your career in the long run.
Connecting with people on LinkedIn starts by sending them a personalized connection request. Once accepted, you can message them directly. To message someone you’re not connected to, use an InMail or get introduced through a mutual connection. Nurture new relationships by engaging regularly with valuable content and conversations.