The best way to LinkedIn message a hiring manager is to first do your research and customize your outreach. Learn about the company, role, and manager’s background before reaching out. Mention shared connections, interests, or experiences to create a personalized note. Be clear on your intent, highlight your qualifications, and explain why you’re interested in the role. Ask if they’d be open to a quick call or coffee chat to learn more. Follow up if you don’t hear back after 1-2 weeks. Be persistent but polite in your outreach.
Do Your Research on the Company and Role
Before messaging a hiring manager, take time to thoroughly research the company, open position, and requirements. Understand the company’s mission, values, goals, products/services, and culture. Read the full job description and highlight the must-have skills and qualifications. This allows you to tailor your message and showcase how your background is a great fit.
Look at the company’s website, press releases, news articles, and reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Follow their social media accounts to get a feel for their voice and presence. Subscribe to their newsletter or blog. This research gives you insights to reference when initially reaching out.
Learn About the Hiring Manager’s Background
Beyond researching the role and company, spend time understanding who the hiring manager is. Look at their LinkedIn profile and bio to find shared schools, experiences, connections, skills, or interests you can mention. See which groups they are in or content they engage with. Doing this work upfront makes your personalized note resonate more.
For example, if you see the hiring manager went to your alma mater, you could say “As a fellow ABC University graduate, I was excited to see this opening.” Identify ways to make that initial connection.
Mention Any Shared Connections
See if you have any 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connections in common with the hiring manager. If there are connections through past colleagues, colleges, groups, or companies, mention this in your note. Say something like “Jane Doe suggested I reach out” or “I see we are both connected with John Smith.”
People are much more likely to open a message if it comes from a shared connection. Namedrop mutual connections to grab their attention. Just make sure to get permission first if mentioning someone directly.
Highlight Your Qualifications and Skills
With your research complete, your message should highlight qualifications and skills that make you a great fit. For example, “With 5+ years in product marketing, I was excited to see your opening for a Senior Product Marketing Manager.” Or “My experience driving cross-functional initiatives would be valuable in the Project Manager role.”
Pull out the must-have qualities from the job description and explain how your background stacks up. Show you have the hard and soft skills needed to succeed. Provide examples of relevant accomplishments or certifications.
You likely won’t cover everything in your initial message, but make it clear you have the capabilities they are looking for in top talent.
Explain Why You Are Interested
Sharing your “why” helps personalize your note and shows genuine interest. Explain what excites you about the company, role, products, growth opportunities, company mission, etc. Help the hiring manager understand your passion or motivation.
For example, “I’ve admired your company’s approach to social impact, and am excited by the chance to drive product strategy in the Education space.” Your rationale makes the connection deeper than just applying because it is the right next career move.
Ask for a Quick Call or Coffee
The goal of your LinkedIn outreach is ultimately to have a real conversation. After introducing yourself and sharing your interest, include a next step call-to-action. For example, “I’d love the opportunity to learn more about the role and your team’s priorities for this year. Would you have time for a quick phone call or virtual coffee in the next week?”
This shows initiative and gives a clear path to move the conversation forward. The hiring manager can then agree or propose an alternate date/time that works for them.
Keep Your Message Concise But Personable
Aim for a note that is about 3-5 paragraphs or 250-400 words. You want to be brief but also personable. Add some personality by asking a question, sharing something you admire about their work, or adding an emoji or gif.
Avoid formal generic language like “Dear Sir/Madam”. Use their first name and be professional but approachable. Your tone should feel like reaching out to a colleague versus a stiff formal letter.
Follow Up If No Response After 1-2 Weeks
Hiring managers are busy, so don’t be surprised if your initial LinkedIn message goes unanswered. A good rule of thumb is to follow up after 1-2 weeks re-expressing your interest. Simply say something like “Hi [Name], I wanted to circle back on my previous message below. I’m still very interested in…”, then re-copy a sentence or two from your original note.
You can follow up a second time if needed, but avoid becoming a pest by messaging repeatedly with no response. Follow up once or twice more, then focus your efforts elsewhere if the hiring manager remains unresponsive.
Send Connection Requests First If Needed
If you aren’t already connected with the hiring manager on LinkedIn, focus on sending a connection request before directly messaging. Many users opt not to accept messages from people not in their network. Sending a connection request increases the chances they will see your note.
In your invite, briefly explain you are interested in a role at their company. Then once connected, send your full message about the position. Just avoid coming across as spammy by using canned invites.
Craft a Strong Subject Line
To avoid getting lost in the hiring manager’s inbox, you need a compelling subject line. Summarize your intent in 6-10 words or fewer. For example, “Interest in Project Manager Role – Product Alumni”. Catch their eye but don’t make over-the-top claims.
Formatting subject lines like emails also helps ensure they know it is an important personalized message, not spam or an auto-generated invite.
Personalize for Each Hiring Manager
If applying to multiple openings at a company, tailor your message for each hiring manager. Never copy and paste a generic note. Take the time to research and customize for each person and role.
Managers want to know you care specifically about their role, not just getting in the door. Show this by personalizing your content and tone.
Watch Your Tone and Timing
Avoid informal language like abbreviations, slang, or over-familiarity unless you already know the hiring manager well. And only message during business hours – early morning or late evening notes can irritate recipients.
Keep things friendly but professional. And give them space if you reach out on a weekend or holiday – follow up on a normal business day instead.
Be Persistent But Patient
Have patience through your outreach process but don’t be afraid to nudge periodically if needed. Follow up if you don’t hear back after your initial message. Just avoid harassing the hiring manager with constant barrages of messages.
You never know when the timing may work out, so have persistence mixed with patience. Continue networking and applying elsewhere in case this opportunity doesn’t pan out.
Add Value and Build Rapport
Beyond just expressing interest in the role, offer up ideas to create value. Is there helpful industry research you could forward? Events or groups to connect them with? Advice on challenges they posted about?
Providing value helps build rapport and positions you as a connector. But ensure it is just an add-on, not the entirety of your message.
LinkedIn messaging hiring managers takes effort but pays dividends in getting that crucial face time. Do your research, make personalized asks, and follow up politely. With the right approach, you can turn online connections into conversations and get closer to landing your next dream job.