Keep it short and relevant
The subject line is your first impression when messaging a recruiter, so you want to make it count. Here are some tips for crafting an effective subject:
– Keep it concise – Get to the point in 5-10 words. Examples: “Seeking UX designer role”, “Applied to ABC Company”.
– Include the job title – This helps the recruiter know right away what you’re interested in.
– Customize for each message – Generic subjects like “LinkedIn message” won’t stand out.
– Highlight relevant skills/experience – For example: “5+ years QA experience – Saw opening”.
– Ask for help – Such as “Seeking guidance on social media manager roles”.
– Reference previous conversations – Jog their memory by mentioning prior messages or meetings.
The key is being specific and relevant so the recruiter immediately sees why you are contacting them. Avoid vague, overly salesy or long-winded subjects.
After the subject line gets their attention, your introduction is important for making a strong first impression. Here are some tips:
– State your purpose – Get right to the point explaining why you are reaching out. For example, “I saw your job posting for a social media manager on LinkedIn and I’m very interested in this opportunity”.
– Note any connections – If you have a shared connection, mention how this person suggested you contact them.
– Highlight relevant background – Summarize your experience/skills that make you a great fit for the open position in 2-3 sentences.
– Express enthusiasm – Let the recruiter know you’re excited about the company/role and why it appeals to you.
– Ask about next steps – Guide the conversation and set expectations by asking about the application process or requesting a phone call.
– Thank them – Express appreciation for their time reviewing your background.
The introduction doesn’t need to be long, just make sure to communicate who you are, why you’re reaching out and how you can add value to their organization. Show genuine interest in their open role.
Customize for each company/recruiter
While it’s tempting to blast out generic messages to every recruiter you can find, taking the time to customize each message is worth the effort. Here are some ways to tailor your message:
– Research the company – Read their website, social media, news articles, etc. so you can comment on specifics you find interesting.
– Study the job description – Highlight the keywords and required skills that you possess. Explain how you’re a great match.
– Reference their background – If you went to the same school, worked at the same companies, or have other things in common, note this shared connection.
– Bring up recent news – Mention a product launch, expansion to a new market or other timely news about the company.
– Compliment their work – Notice if they were quoted in an interesting article or spoke at a conference. Appreciate their thought leadership.
– Adapt tone and style – Formal for corporate roles, casual for startup roles. Show you fit their culture.
– Avoid mistakes – Double check you have the right name, company and role details. Getting anything wrong looks sloppy.
– Keep it brief – Long messages can be overwhelming. Get to the point quickly while still being personable.
Taking just a few minutes to research each recruiter and company will go a long way. Your message will feel more natural and stand out.
Ask an insightful question
Simply introducing yourself and expressing interest isn’t enough. You need to engage the recruiter in a conversation. Asking an insightful, thoughtful question is an effective way to do this.
Here are examples of good questions to ask:
– “What qualities do you look for in a successful [job title] at your company?”
Demonstrates your interest in the role and what it takes to excel.
– “I saw you recently expanded to a new location in [city]. Are you currently hiring for that office?”
Shows you did research on their company growth and expansion plans.
– “I noticed [skill] is a top priority for this position. Could you share more about the projects this role would be involved in?”
Asks them to elaborate on key parts of the job description.
– “What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?”
Gains insight into their priorities and expectations for the position.
– “What is the timeline you have in mind for hiring for this position?”
Moves the conversation forward.
– “When would be a good time for a quick phone call to discuss the opportunity?”
Sets up next steps for following up.
Asking thoughtful, researched questions shows the recruiter you are truly interested. It gets a dialogue going so you can learn more during the response and interaction.
Close with next steps
End your introductory message by clearly stating any requested next steps, whether that’s scheduling a phone call, moving forward with a formal application or simply asking when you can follow up.
Here are some examples of closing with clear next steps:
– “I’d love to schedule a quick 15 minute phone call to further discuss my background and how I can contribute to your team. Are you available on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week?”
– “Please let me know if you need any additional information from me regarding my background and experience as it relates to this opportunity. I’m happy to provide references or anything else that would be helpful.”
– “If you believe I may be a good fit for this or any other open roles, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and formally submit an application whenever convenient.”
– “After reviewing the job description further, I believe I could add significant value in this position. I plan on formally applying through your company’s website within the next week.”
– “I understand you are likely busy with multiple searches at the moment. Please let me know if it would be better for me to check back with you in a couple weeks regarding this opening.”
– “Thank you so much for taking the time to read my message. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have or if you need any additional information from me. I look forward to hearing from you!”
The goal is to end the message with clear expectations of what you want to happen next, while still being polite and considering their time. This makes it easy for the recruiter to respond and keeps the conversation moving forward.
Proofread before sending
Before hitting send, always proofread your message carefully to avoid mistakes:
– Read it aloud: This helps catch awkward phrasing.
– Check for typos: Read word-for-word slowly.
– Review formatting: Use paragraph breaks. Avoid giant blocks of text.
– Confirm details: Double check company name, job title, person’s name.
– Check links/attachments: Test any hyperlinks or files are correct.
– Try the “24 hour rule”: Set the email aside for a day before reviewing with fresh eyes.
– Ask someone else to read it: A second pair of eyes can notice errors you may overlook.
– Keep it short: Look for any repetitive or unnecessary content to trim.
– Review on mobile: See how the recruiter will view it on their phone.
– Use a spell checker: But don’t rely solely on technology to catch everything.
Thoroughly reviewing and editing your message reduces the chance of mistakes slipping through that could leave a bad impression on the recruiter.
Follow up if no response
If you don’t receive any response from the recruiter after about a week, it’s fine to follow up. Here are some tips:
– Send a follow up email restating your interest in the role and referencing your original message date. For example:
“Hi [name], I wanted to follow up regarding the [job title] role we discussed last week on [date]. I’m still very interested in this opportunity. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
– Change the subject line – Adding something like “Follow Up” helps flag this is a second attempt to contact them.
– Keep following up about every 1-2 weeks if you continue to get no response.
– When following up by phone, leave a voicemail clearly stating your name, why you are calling, and request they get back to you.
– If there is a hiring manager, reach out to them after following up with the recruiter multiple times.
– Networking with other employees at the company could also provide insight into the hiring timelines.
– At a certain point, accept the recruiter is not interested or the company froze hiring, and move on.
Don’t bombard the recruiter with constant follow up messages, but periodically reaching out again if you don’t hear back is perfectly acceptable.
Thank them for their consideration
Whether the outcome is positive or negative, always send a thank you message to the recruiter:
If they move you forward in the hiring process:
– Thank them for their time and interest after interviews, phone screens, etc.
– Express your continued enthusiasm for the role and company.
– Acknowledge any helpful advice or resources they provided.
– Reiterate your qualifications and fit for the position.
If they reject you from consideration:
– Thank them for considering your background.
– Wish them luck with filling the role.
– Ask to keep in touch for future openings that may be a better fit.
– Inquire if they would be willing to share any constructive feedback on your candidacy.
– Express interest in other relevant roles at the company.
– Leave the door open for future opportunities to connect.
Showing gratitude makes a positive last impression with the recruiter. You never know when your paths may cross again in the future.
Messaging recruiters on LinkedIn to express interest in job opportunities can feel daunting, but following these best practices will help you craft an effective note. Research the role, company and recruiter. Keep your introduction brief but compelling. Ask smart questions and suggest next steps. Always thoroughly proofread before sending and follow up if needed. With a well-written, personalized message, you can stand out from the crowd and start a promising recruiter relationship.