Artwork by: Kate October
Set the tone for a prosperous connection by sending a personalized message on LinkedIn. We’ll tell you how!
Having a LinkedIn profile is a great way to kick off your professional networking. There are so many functions to the tool, yet so many people simply use it as another form of social media. To do so is a great disservice to its potential though.
Lurking behind all the job postings, surveys, and articles is a recruiter for just about every company you could name.
If you can connect with a recruiter, you have increased your odds of landing a job. It doesn’t have to be a recruiter though, you can also use LinkedIn to connect with other staff at a company that you are interested in or peers from your industry.
Keep reading to learn about the most effective ways to write an introductory message on LinkedIn.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
What is a LinkedIn intro message
How to interact with recruiters using LinkedIn messaging
Examples of intro messages for different scenarios
So what are we referring to by a LinkedIn introduction? Overall, it is the first message you send to someone who is not already in your network. There is an emphasis on writing a great introduction message because it’s the first impression you give a potential employer.
When you’re speaking to someone in person, that person is socially obligated to engage with you. But with LinkedIn, a message can easily go without a response. Writing an effective LinkedIn introduction means creating a compelling enough reason for that person to continue engaging with you.
LinkedIn connections are with people who you know and trust. Initially, this might mean that you know them from work, school, or life in general. They are tangible beings in your life.
As you progress through your utilization of LinkedIn, you’ll likely end up connecting with people who you haven't physically met, but trust in a theoretical way. Perhaps they’re part of the same career track as you, you’ve seen their postings and agree with them, or they’ve created some of the courses you participate in through LinkedIn Learning.
When you press the connect button, a pop-up box will appear that says, “LinkedIn members are more likely to accept an invitation that includes a personal note”.
While you’re not required to send a personal note, sending along a greeting will help solidify the connection. Whereas connecting without an intro message will expand your network by number, including an intro message will deepen the quality of your network. You are more likely to be remembered if you add the personal touch, which will benefit you in the long run.
When you find someone on LinkedIn who you don’t know, but you want to reach out to, the first thing you need to do is press the button below their name that says ‘message’.
Previously there were limitations on who you could message. However, now you can message anyone for free, whether they’re already a connection of yours or not.
Following someone on LinkedIn is different from connecting with them. It allows you to view their postings and happenings without giving them access to yours.
If you see a ‘follow’ button below someone’s name, it means that they have submitted published works to LinkedIn or have changed their privacy settings to be viewed by the general public. In a way, these are like the influencers of Instagram and other social media sites.
If you’d like to rapidly grow your LinkedIn network, giving public access to your profile is a great option.
If you are asking yourself this question, pat yourself on the back because you have discovered the best utilization of LinkedIn!
Now, let’s discuss the do’s and don'ts of contacting a recruiter via LinkedIn.
You can reach out to a recruiter any time you’d like, and it will typically not hurt you to do so. However, there is one instance where it’s absolutely pivotal to reach out to a recruiter: right after submitting a job application for their company.
You want your application to stand out when you’re applying for a job, and the best way to ensure that is to multiply your points of contact. Once you reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn, you’re giving them a snapshot of your background, interests, work history, and connections.
If you are connected to similar people as the recruiter, it will show when they pull up your profile. If you are in the same LinkedIn groups, it will show. You want there to be as many similarities as possible with a recruiter in order to pique their interest in you as a candidate.
When you reach out to a recruiter immediately following your submission of an application, try using the following format.
I saw you are the hiring manager at [company name]. I just submitted an application for [position name]. I am an expert in [skill/industry] so this sounds like an excellent fit! I’d be happy to send my resume directly to you if you’re open to it.
Looking forward to connecting,
The main point of personalizing a message is that it compels the recruiter to connect with you. A recruiter’s whole job is finding valuable team assets; they truly care about finding the perfect candidate. By initiating contact and presenting your skills quickly, you’re actually making their job easier.
So when you do make that initial contact, it should be more than a simple, “Let’s connect about the job!”. You do need to provide a hook. In other words, you need to personalize your message.
The best way to personalize your LinkedIn intro message is to state a quick fact about your current role or your credentials. Try something like the phrase “I’m an expert in…” from the example above.
Another way to personalize your message is to relate to the person somehow. Look at their profile, did you go to the same school, have a mutual connection, or were at the same event? Add this to your greeting to make the best LinkedIn intro message.
Let’s say the roles are flipped and one day you get a message in your inbox from a recruiter. Your profile came up for them when they were searching for keywords, and they’d like to connect. How excellent!
In their message, the recruiter will likely give you a brief overview of the role they are searching to fill. They will also probably indicate which of your skills stood out.
Before you respond, do some research. Go to the recruiter’s profile and the company’s profile. Explore both pages to get your preliminary information on what’s being offered. Once you feel ready, go ahead and respond. Let’s look at two scenarios.
To begin, let them know that you’ve done some research. Not only does this tell them that you’re interested, but also that you agree that you’re a qualified candidate.
Follow up by saying you’d like to learn more about the position. Offer to connect via video and suggest a good time for them to reach you.
Here’s an example of how you can word it:
I’m so pleased that my profile came up in your search. I’ve looked into the position and company, and I am excited by the prospect. I would love to hear more about the opportunity. I am available any day this week between 2-3 pm EST. Let me know when you’d like to connect.
LinkedIn allows us to connect with professionals all over the world. Because of this, always include your time zone!
As with every aspect of the job search, your goal is to open up as many doors as possible. To achieve this, always be courteous, grateful, and open to working it out under different circumstances.
If the position they mention is not something you’re currently interested in, that’s totally valid. While it can be easy to get excited by being scouted, it’s important to still think critically about the opportunity. If you wouldn’t have applied to the job posting on your own, there’s a good chance that it’s not the right fit for you.
Follow this example to politely decline an offer to connect:
Thank you for considering me, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Unfortunately, this isn’t what I’m looking for at the time, but please keep me in your system should another opportunity arise in the future.
One of the top utilizations of LinkedIn is for growing your network. Whether you are in a job hunt or securely in a position, there are so many reasons to want to initiate a connection. Use the following examples of ways to format the best introduction based on different professional scenarios.
We met briefly at [name of event]. I really appreciated what you said about [reference your conversation]. I’d love to connect more about it. Is there a good time in the next week to hop on a call?
I’m really impressed by the [concepts/results/approaches] you shared in your article [name article] and I would love to hear more. Let’s connect about it!
I’m new to [company] and wanted to reach out to my colleagues. I look forward to working together!
A lot of this will depend on the industry and company that you’re applying for, as well as how you want to represent yourself.
For executive roles, it’s best to lean into full professionalism. For creative industries, you can lean towards a more catchy style. For most other cases, it’s best to somehow create a cohesive message that blends professionalism and the humanness of being catchy.
If in doubt, go professional. It runs a much lower risk of being seen in a poor light.
The best time to send a message to a recruiter is immediately following a job application submission.
Personalize your message to make it stand out the best.
Different professional scenarios require different message formats.
Emma is a certified employment specialist with over six years of experience in career mentorship and employment training. Emma is passionate about nurturing professional growth and helping people gain momentum in their field. She uses her writing and strategic career planning skills to help her clients fulfill their aspirations and reach new chapters in their professions. In 2020, she helped design Colorado’s first state-certified training program for people with disabilities entering the workforce.