LinkedIn can be an awkward platform to navigate. Although it’s a social channel, it’s still a professional platform that is intended to help its users make connections, build relationships, and widen their network. There's a way to send cold emails, also known as Inmails, via LinkedIn that is professional and achieves your connection goals. Avoid these mistakes and you'll be off to a great start.
1. No purpose has been stated.
A common mistake when requesting connections or sending InMails is the failure to state the reason for the connection. Instead, the below intros are typical:
Thanks for the connection.
When requesting a connection or sending an InMail, state your purpose. Tell them exactly what it is you want and why you wish to connect with them. If not, expect for your InMail to be ignored due to not providing a call to action.
2. Wrong audience when inquiring about a role.
Every HR professional is not a recruiter and cannot provide you with a status of your application. Just like every other function, Human Resources is split into several different departments. When it comes to sourcing for candidates and responding to job applications, you would be looking to connect with a Recruiter or someone within Talent Acquisition. Therefore, asking to chat and share interests with someone that is not, in most cases is not beneficial to you or them. If you’re going to connect with someone that isn't in the recruiting space, I recommend using that connection as an informational interview to learn more about their experience at the company, their thoughts about working there, and and any interview tips they may have.
3. Connection is too new to be of assistance.
Firing off InMails to the first person you find that works at the company you’re interested in or has the same title as the position you’ve just applied for can mean reaching out to someone who is fairly new at the organization and could be of very little help. Instead of just wanting to get in contact with someone, be intentional about that connection and what you’re asking of them. Give at least 6 months in a role AND at a company before asking for a referral. On a basic level, people need time to learn the structure of their organization and how to navigate it, on top of learning their new job. Allow them time to learn who the recruitment team is before jumping in their inbox. They also need time to build their credibility, reputation, and influence. If they’re not seen as credible sources, their referral can actually hurt you.
4. Failure to build a relationship.
LinkedIn is for relationship building; not just finding people who work at companies you are interested in. People are less likely to go out of their way to refer those they know nothing about. Engage with a connection by liking, commenting, or re-sharing their posts, before asking something of them.
5. No information about the job of interest has been provided.
When you’re reaching out via InMail about a role, provide the link to the job you are interested in and/or applied for. People will not hunt and research to help you get a job. Show that you’ve gone as far as you can to help yourself. If you don't have the link to the role, you can also provide the job number located on the job posting. This makes it easy for the connection to find the role and search their database for the recruiter and/or hiring manager to refer you to.
You want to leave a great impression when you're connecting with someone for the first time. State why you want to connect with them, be sure you're connecting with the right people at the right time, and that you've made it easy for them to help you with your job search.