When reaching out to a recruiter or hiring manager on LinkedIn about a job opportunity, the most important thing is to customize your message. Avoid generic outreach emails that could apply to any job. Instead, take time to research the company, role, and person you’re contacting so you can craft a message that shows you’re genuinely interested in that specific position.
Do Your Research
Before drafting your LinkedIn message, learn as much as you can about the job, company, and person you’re contacting. Here are some tips:
- Read the full job description – Make note of the required and preferred qualifications so you can highlight how your background fits what they’re looking for.
- Browse the company’s website – Get familiar with their products/services, mission, values, culture, and recent news. Mention something specific that appeals to you.
- Check out the hiring manager’s profile – Personalize your note by referring to their role, tenure, education, interests, etc.
- Look for connections – See if you have any shared connections who could provide insights about the role or introduce you to the hiring manager.
Craft a Compelling Subject Line
Your subject line can make or break whether your message gets opened. Some tips for writing an effective subject include:
- Keep it short and specific – Summarize the purpose of your message in a few words. For example: “Application for [Job Title] role at [Company]”
- Include the job title – This helps ensure your message gets directed properly and prioritized by the recipient.
- Highlight shared connections – If you have a mutual connection, mention their name to signal you’re part of the same network.
- Reference recent news – If the company just won an award or announced a new product, tying your note to current events shows you’re in the know.
Open with a Personalized Introduction
Your opening paragraph should establish who you are, why you’re reaching out, and what makes you excited about the opportunity. Be sure to personalize it with details about the recipient and company. For example:
“Dear [Name], I noticed your posting for a [Job Title] at [Company] on LinkedIn and wanted to express my strong interest. After reviewing your impressive background focused on [area of expertise], I’m certain my skills and experience in [relevant skillsets] would make me a great addition to your team.”
Summarize Your Qualifications
Succinctly explain how your background and capabilities align with the position’s requirements. Share a few highlights that aren’t fully conveyed on your resume, such as:
- Key achievements or projects that demonstrate skills needed for the job
- Specific technologies/systems you have experience with that the role utilizes
- Certifications, specialized training, or other credentials applicable to the industry
- Personality traits or soft skills that would enable you to thrive in the company culture
Be sure to match this overview to the specifics of the role. Don’t just generically list skills – connect them directly to needs called out in the job description.
Express Enthusiasm for the Company
Hiring managers want to know you’re genuinely interested in their company, not just blindly applying everywhere. Weave in some compliments on specific aspects that appeal to you, such as:
- Mission and values – Show you connect with the company’s purpose and principles.
- Culture and environment – Highlight aspects of the work setting you find attractive.
- Products/services – Share why you’re drawn to what they do.
- Leadership team – Reference executives you admire.
- Innovation – Compliment pioneering initiatives or contributions to the industry.
Back up these statements with evidence of why they matter to you personally.
Close with Next Steps
Wrap up by proactively asking for the chance to further discuss the opportunity. For example:
“I’d love to set up a call to learn more about the specific day-to-day responsibilities of this position and how my strengths would be valuable. Please let me know if you have any time available [next week/by the end of the month] to talk further about how I can contribute to [Company’s] continued success. I’m excited about the prospect of joining your team!”
Short closing statements like these show initiative but don’t demand too much of the reader’s time upfront before establishing mutual interest.
Proofread Before Sending
Be sure to carefully proofread your entire LinkedIn message before sending:
- Check for typos, grammar issues, and awkward phrasing.
- Read it out loud to catch flow and tone.
- Make sure you included relevant specifics instead of just vague generalities.
- Look for unnecessary repetition.
- Ensure the structure is logical and easy to follow.
Additionally, run your message by a friend or career advisor who can provide an objective perspective on how compelling and professional your outreach is.
Customize for Each Message
While the tips above provide a helpful starting framework, it’s crucial that you customize each LinkedIn outreach message extensively for the specific opportunity and recipient. Using a generic template over and over will be obvious and make your interest look superficial.
Spend time tailoring the details, praise, qualifications, and requested next steps to the particular job, hiring manager, and company culture. This thoughtful personalization will give your message the best chance of grabbing the reader’s attention.
Follow Up Politely
If you don’t get a response within 1-2 weeks of sending your initial LinkedIn message, consider following up. However, tread carefully to avoid coming across as pestering or entitled. Some tips on when and how to follow up politely:
- Wait at least 7-10 days before following up to allow a reasonable response time.
- Be gracious in acknowledging the recipient is likely very busy.
- Remind them briefly who you are and which role you had reached out about originally.
- Add a line or two reiterating your interest in and qualifications for the job.
- Close by thanking them again for their time and consideration.
However, if they continue not to respond after your follow up, it’s best to move on and focus your efforts on other opportunities rather than badgering the same person repeatedly.
Connect Online First If Needed
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn connection with the hiring manager you want to reach out to, focus first on sending an online connection request before messaging about a job. Here are some tips for effectively connecting with strangers on LinkedIn:
- Personalize the request by mentioning how you found their profile, your professional background, or a shared connection.
- Summarize why you’d value being connected, like exchanging industry insights.
- Keep your request short and don’t ask for too much upfront.
- Wait until your connection gets accepted before messaging about opportunities.
- Foster the new connection by liking and commenting on updates before reaching out.
Building a relationship online first means they’ll be more open to your outreach when you later message them about job opportunities.
Showcase Your Skills on Your Profile
To complement direct outreach, make sure your LinkedIn profile spotlight all relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments for the types of roles you want to attract. Recruiters and hiring managers will likely review your profile before responding, so optimize it to make the best impression, including:
- A professional headshot and header image.
- A headline focused on your specialties.
- A detailed, keyword-rich summary section.
- Showcasing key projects, certifications, publications, awards, etc.
- Recommendations from managers and colleagues.
- Skills and endorsements that reinforce your qualifications.
An impactful, up-to-date profile provides essential social proof and context when reaching out cold to new contacts about opportunities.
Sample LinkedIn Outreach Message
Putting all these tips together, here is an example of a strong LinkedIn message for applying to a job:
Subject: Application for Data Scientist role – Acme Co.
Dear Ms. Jones,
I was excited to come across your recent posting for a Data Scientist at Acme Co. on LinkedIn. Given your impressive background leading analytics initiatives at Fortune 500 retailers, I thought you would be the perfect person to connect with about this opportunity.
As a Master’s-educated Data Scientist with 3+ years of experience applying modeling and machine learning techniques to optimize supply chain operations, inventory planning, and sales forecasting, I believe I have the ideal blend of education and hands-on expertise to excel in this role at Acme.
Beyond my technical skills, I was particularly drawn to Acme’s commitment to leveraging analytics to reduce waste while also empowering suppliers through data insights. Having led sustainability focused optimization projects at my previous role, I’m passionate about data’s power to drive strategic decision making that creates shared value. I would be honored to bring my analytical knowledge and passion for positive change to your team.
Please let me know if you have time in the coming weeks to discuss further how I can contribute to Acme’s analytics initiatives as your next Data Scientist. I have flexiblity for availability and am excited by the prospect of working together. Thank you for your consideration.
Messaging hiring managers directly on LinkedIn about job opportunities can be an effective way to get your resume noticed. To maximize your chances of success:
- Research the company, hiring manager, and role thoroughly so you can personalize your message.
- Craft an engaging subject line focused on the opportunity.
- Open with a brief, customized pitch summarizing who you are and why you’re excited.
- Succinctly explain how your background aligns with the role’s requirements.
- Express genuine enthusiasm for the company and position.
- Close by proposing next steps for further discussion.
- Proofread carefully before sending.
- Customize each message extensively – no generic templates.
- Follow up politely if you don’t hear back after 1-2 weeks.
With a strategic, tailored approach, LinkedIn outreach can get your foot in the door and help advance your job search.