When reaching out to a connection on LinkedIn regarding a job opportunity, the initial message should be brief, personalized, and get right to the point. Clearly state the reason for your outreach, mention the specific role, and highlight why you think the connection may be a good fit or able to provide relevant insight. Share just enough to peak their interest before proposing a call, meeting, or asking if they would be open to further discussion.
Personalize the Introduction
A LinkedIn message about a job opportunity should always start by personalizing the introduction to the recipient. Mention how you are connected, whether you have met in person before, or reference a previous conversation or interaction you have had. This helps create a context for why you are reaching out specifically to this person.
For example, you could say “Hope you’ve been well since we last spoke at the XYZ Conference last month” or “I saw on LinkedIn that you recently joined Company ABC as a Director of Sales.” Personalizing the message in this way makes it feel less cold or random.
State the Purpose of Your Message
After a personalized introduction, get straight to the point by clearly stating the purpose for connecting. Say that you are reaching out because you saw they work at Company XYZ, and you are interested in or applying for a specific role there. Being upfront right away allows the recipient to understand the context behind your message.
For example, “The reason I’m reaching out is that I saw you work at Company ABC, and I’m very interested in the Senior Marketing Manager role listed on their website.” This level sets the stage for the rest of the message.
Mention the Specific Job Opportunity
When mentioning the job opportunity in your message, include the exact job title and provide some high-level details about the role. Share information like the department, focus areas, qualifications, or responsibilities. This shows the recipient that you have done your research and are serious about the opportunity.
For instance, you could say “The Senior Marketing Manager role with the brand strategy team caught my attention because of the focus on digital marketing campaigns and emerging social media platforms, two areas I have extensive experience in.”
Highlight Your Qualifications and Interest
Your message should highlight why you are qualified for and interested in this job opportunity. Mention 1-2 relevant skills, accomplishments, experiences, or strengths you have that align with the position. Share your enthusiasm for the company or role. This gives the recipient context around your fit and motivation to apply.
For example, “With my 10 years of experience executing integrated marketing campaigns and proven success driving lead generation through digital channels, I think I would be a great fit. I’m very interested in Company ABC’s innovative approach and rapid growth in the market.”
Ask for Advice or Insights
A key part of your outreach should be asking the recipient if they would be willing to offer any advice or insights about the role, hiring process, company, culture, etc. This gives them an opening to provide guidance if they are willing and able to do so. Make it clear you are interested in learning more from their perspective.
Some ways to ask this include: “I’d love to learn more about your experience working at Company ABC. Do you have any advice about the interview process or culture I should be aware of?” Or “As someone familiar with the marketing team, do you have any insights about the day-to-day responsibilities or skills that are key to success in this role?”
Suggest Moving the Conversation Forward
Towards the end of your message, propose moving the discussion to the next level at a time that works for them. This could mean asking if they would be open to discussing the opportunity further over coffee, phone, or video call. Or you can ask if they would be willing to connect you directly with the hiring manager or HR department.
For example, “Would you have 30 minutes this week to talk over coffee or phone about your experience and any advice you may have regarding the hiring process at Company ABC?” Or “If willing, would you be able to provide an introductory email connecting me with the recruiter or hiring manager for this role?”
Express Appreciation and Offer to Connect
Wrap up your LinkedIn job message by thanking them for their time and consideration, and offering to connect in other ways. Make it clear you appreciate any information or insight they can provide. Offer to connect on LinkedIn if you are not already connected.
For instance, “I sincerely appreciate any guidance you can offer related to this opportunity. Please feel free to connect on LinkedIn as well – I’d be happy to stay in touch going forward.”
Proofread Before Sending
Be sure to carefully proofread your entire message before hitting send. Look for any spelling errors, typos, or formatting issues. Ensure the tone is conversational but professional. Ask a friend or colleague to review it as well to get a second set of eyes.
Sending a thoughtful, personalized message increases the chances that the recipient will respond and offer helpful advice. With the right introduction and ask, many LinkedIn contacts are willing to provide guidance about opportunities at their organizations.
Sample LinkedIn Message Template
Here is an example template to model a LinkedIn outreach message on:
Subject: Opportunity at Company ABC
Hope you’ve been well! It was great catching up back at the Digital Marketing Conference last month.
The reason I’m reaching out is that I noticed on LinkedIn that you work as a Marketing Manager at Company ABC. I’m very interested in the Senior Marketing Specialist role currently open there and think it would be a great fit based on my background in content marketing and social media strategy.
With 5 years of experience running multi-channel campaigns and proven success driving lead gen through digital efforts, I’m confident I have the qualifications and experience for this position. Company ABC’s innovative marketing approaches have really impressed me as well.
I’d love to learn more from you about what it’s like working on the marketing team there and any advice you may have around the interview process. Would you have time for a quick phone call this week?
I really appreciate any insights you can provide! Please feel free to connect on LinkedIn too if we aren’t already. I look forward to staying in touch.
- Personalize the introduction based on your relationship or previous interactions.
- State the purpose of your outreach and mention the specific role right away.
- Highlight your top qualifications and interest in the opportunity.
- Ask for any advice or insights they may have about the role, hiring process, or company.
- Suggest moving the discussion to a call, meeting, or introduction to a hiring contact.
- Express appreciation for their time and offer to connect on LinkedIn.
- Carefully proofread before sending your message.
Dos and Don’ts
- Keep the message concise yet personable
- Mention common connections or shared experiences
- Highlight relevant qualifications and interest
- Ask how you can get in touch with the right hiring contact
- Thank them for considering your request
- Make it too long or formal
- Use a generic outreach template
- Overshare irrelevant details about yourself
- Come across as desperate or overly pushy
- Forget to proofread
Following Up After Initial Outreach
If the recipient of your LinkedIn outreach does not respond within a week, consider sending a follow up message. Here are some tips for following up effectively:
- Wait at least 5-7 days before following up.
- Quickly restate your original ask such as discussing the job opportunity.
- Share any relevant additional context or updates about your application status.
- Consider asking if they received your initial message in case it got lost in their inbox.
- Remain gracious and appreciate any support or insights they can provide whenever possible.
- Only follow up 1-2 times maximum. Don’t continue reaching out if they remain unresponsive.
An example follow up message could be:
“Hi [name], wanted to check back regarding my previous message about the Senior Marketing Specialist role at Company ABC. I’m moving along in the application process and have an interview scheduled next week. No worries if you don’t have availability, but I’d still appreciate any insights you may have around interview prep or recommendations for success in the role. Just let me know if you have any feedback to share. Thanks again for your time.”
When is it Appropriate to Reach Out?
As a general rule, it is appropriate to reach out when:
- You have a prior relationship, have met previously, or are connected on LinkedIn.
- The contact works at the target company you are interested in.
- You are qualified and aligned with the job opportunity.
- You have specific questions or are seeking referrals to hiring managers.
- The message is personalized and professional.
However, avoid reaching out if:
- You have no relationship or irrelevant connection to the contact.
- You are spamming all their employees with generic messages.
- You have no specific job or purpose identified.
- You are unqualified for opportunities at their company.
- The message sounds overly salesy or promotional.
InMail vs Regular Messaging
On LinkedIn, you can choose to message connections through regular LinkedIn messaging or use InMail to reach anyone, even if you are not connected. Here is an overview of the differences:
- Free to send and receive messages
- Can only message 1st degree connections
- Lower response rates
- constrained to 1300 character limit
- Requires premium account to send InMails
- Can message anyone on LinkedIn
- Higher response rates due to perceived exclusivity
- 10,000 character limit
In general, InMail may provide higher visibility and response rates. But regular messaging works for reaching out to your existing professional connections. Test response rates and optimize based on your results over time.
Leveraging Your Network
Beyond direct outreach, leveraging your overall network can also help uncover job opportunities. Here are some ways to do this:
- Let your connections know you are looking and ask them to keep you in mind if they come across relevant openings.
- Join LinkedIn Groups focused on your industry or niche to stay on top of discussions and job postings.
- Follow companies you are interested in and build connections with their employees.
- Attend relevant industry events, conferences, and networking meetups.
- Connect with recruiters and headhunters in your space.
- Join alumni and professional associations to expand your community.
By actively engaging your network, you can open up your awareness of potential jobs before they are formally advertised. A broad network improves your visibility to key hiring decision makers.
Tips for Crafting Your Profile
In addition to thoughtful outreach, taking time to optimize your LinkedIn profile can increase visibility and recruiting opportunities. Here are some top tips:
- Use an up-to-date professional headshot for your profile photo.
- Include a succinct but impactful headline and summary.
- Showcase relevant skills, certifications, and accomplishments.
- List key responsibilities and achievements under each experience.
- Get recommendations from managers, colleagues, clients.
- Follow and engage with relevant companies by liking content.
- Join targeted LinkedIn groups and build your community.
- Share content and thoughts to establish yourself as an industry thought leader.
A complete, detailed profile displays your full professional brand and credentials to prospective employers. Invest time in crafting a compelling personal showcase through your profile.
Additional Job Search Strategies
In addition to connecting through your network on LinkedIn, incorporate these other job search strategies:
- Look beyond job postings – Many roles get filled through backchannel recruiting before making it to public job sites. Leverage your network for unposted opportunities.
- Tap into the hidden job market – Build relationships with managers, founders, or executives in your target field. They often know of openings before they are advertised.
- Attend industry events – Conferences, meetups, and association events are great for making face-to-face connections.
- Find insiders and informational interviews – Reach out to people in roles or companies of interest to gather intel and ask for referrals.
- Watch for companies in growth mode – Rapidly expanding companies often have many open positions not listed publicly yet.
- Take smart risks – Apply to stretch opportunities and highlight transferrable skills from other experiences.
- Offer your expertise – Provide free consultancy or advice to demonstrate your abilities to key hiring managers.
- Work with recruiters – Specialized agency recruiters often have access to unadvertised roles.
Being creative, proactive, and tapping your connections goes a long way in accessing opportunities that are less picked over and competitive.
Reaching out through LinkedIn about job opportunities requires a personalized message clearly stating your intent, qualifications, and interest. Ask for relevant advice while proposing moving the discussion forward. With a thoughtful approach, many contacts are willing to provide guidance to support your search process. Combine networking outreach with an optimized LinkedIn profile and involvement in other channels to maximize your job search success.