Welcome to my LinkedIn cold messaging tutorial, which is based on my hiring experience. LinkedIn Cold Messages ….
I’ve tested a variety of outbound messages myself to discover what works and what gets disregarded, and I’ve gotten hundreds of cold messages from job searchers. The most effective messages are those.
This essay will discuss:
- How to contact individuals about jobs on LinkedIn (including how to message a hiring manager)
- How to start a discussion for networking, introductions, or other reasons
- Samples and templates for LinkedIn messages
- Errors to prevent
Let’s get going…
What Does “Cold Message” Mean?
A cold message is one that is given to a person who doesn’t know you and isn’t anticipating hearing from you. This kind of outreach can be distributed via a number of platforms, including email, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Since cold outreach is getting in touch with someone you’ve never met, it can be challenging to elicit answers and calls for a certain approach to be successful.
These tactics will be thoroughly discussed in the following paragraphs. Although we’ll concentrate on LinkedIn, these strategies and the sample outreach messages you’ll see also work well with email and other channels.
How to Reach Out to Someone on LinkedIn About a Job: Tips to Follow
1. Don’t apologize
Don’t feel afraid or sorry about this, to start. As long as your message is professional, you have every right to send it as LinkedIn is a professional network.
Therefore, you should never begin a message with “Sorry to bother you” or “I realize you’re incredibly busy, but…”
Instead, make a confident first impression, omit the apologies, and start talking about what you wanted to talk about with them. You’ll capture the other person’s interest and attention more quickly if you are straightforward from the outset. (And their admiration).
2. Be clear about why you’re reaching out
Next, be certain that your message is clear regarding your goals. Say what you mean honestly and steer clear of jargon and flowery language.
You’ll get more responses if you’re more direct and concise.
For instance, I occasionally receive cold emails from job searchers asking me to review their LinkedIn profiles and provide feedback.
Alternatively, a request to “jump on a call” for 15 minutes will be made. without making it explicit what the goal would be.
That is just too broad. I normally don’t answer since I wouldn’t know what to search for without spending a lot of time on it.
Or perhaps I get a “Hello, how are you?” message.
If the sender is someone I don’t know and they don’t make it clear what they want, I won’t respond. I simply receive too many direct messages of this nature to respond and ascertain their goals, and it frequently results in a protracted dialogue with no discernible agenda.
However, if someone were to pose a direct, precise query like, “Do you think it would be better if I eliminated the first paragraph from my LinkedIn “About” section?” then I typically respond.
Coming up in the near future are more specific inquiries and messages you can ask!
3. Ask for one thing
Additionally, make sure your first cold mail only has one request, not several.
Too many requests or inquiries will make the document overly complex and confusing for the reader.
If you need extra assistance after they answer your initial query, you may always ask. But when cold messaging, the secret is to make it quick and straightforward at first. Make it simple for them, and you’ll get responses more frequently!
4. Make the message short and concise
Less than 100 words will be the ideal length for cold messages on LinkedIn. The ideal word count is 50–75.
If your outreach message appears manageable and simple to read when someone opens it, they are far more likely to read it (and respond to it). It should be inviting to read!
You can go a little further in an email, but I’d still limit it to four to six extremely succinct paragraphs, each with two to three phrases.
Always keep in mind to use adequate spacing. Instead of sending one lengthy paragraph, try sending two or three shorter ones. Email, LinkedIn, and any other online platform are all examples of this.
5. Customize your message for each person
To demonstrate to the reader that you are not simply copying and pasting the same message to numerous people, you should always add some modifications.
All of the upcoming examples and templates for cold messaging will demonstrate this. All of them offer customization and personalization because it increases the number of responses you receive.
Most people won’t take the time to respond if you merely take a few seconds to quickly paste a generic message to them.
6. Avoid attachments
Attachments/files/links are something you should avoid using in your cold LinkedIn messages. You’re better off keeping your first outreach text-only if you want to receive more responses.
On LinkedIn, when you send a message, the recipient will initially see the message’s bottom when they open it. You don’t want a lengthy PDF, Word document, or paragraph with two or three links to be the first thing they see.
Imagine getting that from someone with whom you have never spoken. It’s overly combative and will make a bad impression at the outset of the conversation. If you do this, it’s likely that they won’t respond at all.
Here’s an illustration: If someone emailed me with a particular query regarding their resume, such as, “Where would you say that the usual hiring manager expects to see a Skills section on your resume? Does it need to be near the top? Or near the bottom, following employment experience?
In contrast, if someone simply links their CV and asks me, “Can you take a look at my resume and tell me what to improve?” I’m less likely to respond.
7. Look for an existing connection before reaching out
Look for any existing relationships you may have prior to sending any cold outreach. Asking for an introduction will increase your chances of striking up a conversation with this new individual if you have any mutual ties.
If the other individual and you are connected to some of the same people on LinkedIn, you can check this out (this is known as mutual connections).
Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable asking for an introduction, you might still say: “Hi Dan. I noticed that in 2018, we had both worked with James Anderson at Verizon. What’s up? I had a query regarding…
Your chances of getting a response from someone just by providing a name or the business you both worked for will frequently increase.
You might also bring up any further similarities in your background, such as going to the same university.
The message templates and examples that will be provided in this article can be used to make a cold call if you are unable to make any connection at all. You can still be successful that way.
8. Give before you get
The following advice is not always feasible. However, it’s a terrific method to get more responses if there’s a way to make the other person’s life easier before asking for a favor.
Here’s a recent instance from my own life to illustrate: One of my Facebook postings was posted by a company in the career guidance industry, and I was tagged in the post.
The following week, they repeated the action! They and I had never spoken.
They emailed me a few days later to inquire about a prospective alliance.
Even though I ultimately decided against doing it, I was able to recognize their brand and gave their email some critical thought when it arrived in my inbox.
Before doing the direct outreach, they essentially “warmed up” our connection so that I would already know them when I received their message.
This also benefits from the law of reciprocity. The main tenet is that you will have a strong psychological drive to repay someone who has helped you or shown you kindness.
How to Ask Someone for a Job on LinkedIn: Cold Messaging Samples
Let’s look at examples and messaging templates for various scenarios now that we’ve looked at the measures to take for effective cold messaging.
How to approach someone about a job at their firm when you’re not the recruiting manager is the first scenario we’ll examine. (Frequently, even if they aren’t doing the recruiting, staff can recommend you to the hiring manager.)
However, if they don’t know you at all, most people won’t recommend you for a job or give you a referral to a hiring manager. Consequently, you must first get to know them. How to…
Messaging an employee to get referred for a job:
I saw you joined Apple two years ago. How have you enjoyed the work environment in the engineering department since moving over? I’m beginning a job search myself, and Apple is one of the top companies on my list. But I always like to ask first-hand about the work environment at a company.
If the other person replies, you can thank them for their information and exchange one or two more messages before posing the following query:
By the way, do you know if the Senior Data Engineer position that’s posted on Indeed is within your group? Or do you know who typically does the hiring for that type of role? I was thinking of applying for the position but I didn’t want my application to get lost in the shuffle online.
They might then offer to introduce you or give your resume or CV to someone else. If not, you may still leave a message.
Directly requesting an introduction:
Great. Would you be willing to float my resume over to them? I’m very interested in learning more about the role.
Note that these are only examples and that you should modify the language and level of formality depending on your sector and the circumstances.
Another crucial point is that lots of businesses reward staff members financially when they recommend a candidate they hire. Therefore, while you shouldn’t ask for a referral in your initial communication, it’s acceptable to do so after building rapport. You might even be assisting that person in making a profit!
If you like this basic strategy, here are some other things you could bring up to start a conversation:
- How do they feel about the future and direction of their business
- If they believe the business has provided them with worthwhile possibilities for development and growth since they joined
- How it differs from their prior employer
- How they initially obtained the position
Messaging a hiring manager directly:
Next, you can be a little more direct in your approach if you think that person is the recruiting manager for a position.
Even so, it’s still preferable to inquire as opposed to presuming that they are in fact in charge of the position.
The first message should still be sent without a resume attached unless you are very certain that they anticipate getting resumes for this position in their mailbox.
(For instance, it would be different if the employer requested that all applications be sent to the email specified on the actual job posting.) However, avoid attachments if you’re only contacting the hiring manager to initiate a cold call.
As an illustration, consider how you may approach the person you think is the recruiting manager for a position:
I came across your LinkedIn while researching job openings at <Company Name>. Does the Senior Staff Accountant position that’s posted on LinkedIn report to you? I’ve spent the past six years in public accounting and can offer you a mix of expertise in <Area 1>, <Area 2>, and <Area 3>. If you’re the person in charge of hiring for this role, I would love to share more with you and learn a bit more about what you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that the items in Areas 1, 2, and 3 of the form above should preferably be those that are included in the job description or those that you believe are extremely important to the particular role in question.
An employer will be most likely to want to interview you if you do that. Don’t only talk about your past or what you believe is significant; consider what their particular function will need of them.
Employers ask themselves, “How will this person’s skills fit into my job?” when speaking with candidates.
Messaging an industry expert to see how they got where they are:
You might also meet someone that you want to learn from, develop a long-term friendship with, or ask to be your mentor.
A excellent strategy in this situation is to start with a compliment and then ask a specific inquiry.
Here is an illustration of how this might sound:
I’m impressed by how quickly you advanced from Senior Staff Accountant to Director of Finance at Verizon over the past six years! Are there one or two things you did that you feel contributed most to this success? I’m hoping to follow this type of career path myself, so anything you can share would be a big help.
Here’s one more example of this same type of approach:
I loved your article on LinkedIn last week about AI and which industries you expect to be impacted most. I just completed my degree in Computer Science and am considering following a career path similar to yours. Is focusing on AI and Machine Learning something you’d recommend for someone just beginning their career in technology this year?
Template for cold messaging a recruiter:
Here’s how to send a message to a recruiter with whom you’ve never spoken. This strategy will help you get their attention because it demonstrates that you’ve done your research and have a purpose in mind for reaching them.
I saw your profile while searching on LinkedIn for tech recruiters here in Austin. I’m thinking of testing the market as I wrap up my third full year here as a back-end developer at Adobe. My main skills are Java and Python development. Does that fit with the type of roles you recruit for? If you think it’d be a good fit to work together, I’d love to talk.
Cold emailing to request an informational interview:
When I indicated that I was writing this essay on LinkedIn, several people asked for this topic. But it’s not really my strongest area of knowledge. In order to support your request for an informational interview, I’ve included three links to in-depth articles from other websites below:
- Email Informational Interview Requests (with Samples)
- How to Ask For an Informational Interview
- A Simple Email Template for Landing Informational Interviews
I advise contacting instead of cold messaging on LinkedIn for this as all of these publications encourage a longer initial message, which does seem like a smart technique here. Long, in-depth messages don’t work well in LinkedIn’s inbox or message system.
Don’t Begin With, “Can You Help Me Get a Job?”
After reading thus far, you might be thinking, “Hold on, Biron… None of these model cold emails make a job request!
The idea is that, though. If your initial message to someone on LinkedIn is such a huge request, you won’t get any responses. No one recommends a stranger for a job.
How can they tell if you’re a productive employee? What if you enter the interviewer and act impolitely, lack preparation, or lack competence? That will not be good for the individual who recommended you.
Therefore, in your initial message, you should strike up a conversation. Then, in your next message, you should concentrate on gaining the job interview.
Can I Cold-Send My Resume on LinkedIn?
Before exchanging a few messages and getting to know someone on LinkedIn, you shouldn’t send them your CV in a cold email. If you email your resume after the second or third message, you’ll receive more responses. It’s essential to use your initial message to verify that the person is available to speak with you and able to assist you.
(For instance, verifying that a recruiter works in your sector or that a particular person is the hiring manager for a specific post.)
Bottom line: Your CV won’t be well received in a first cold communication if the recipient isn’t expecting it.
Because of this, no mention of a résumé, CV, or other attachment is made in any of the aforementioned examples of cold outreach messages. When sending the initial message to a stranger, you shouldn’t attach anything. Without exceptions
Likewise with email. Don’t attach a resume right away if you’re intending to contact someone for a job and they haven’t indicated that they expect to hear from you or that you can send your resume to their email address.
Start a genuine conversation first!
How Do You Send Cold Messages on LinkedIn? InMail vs. Connection Requests
You will have a few options for actually distributing your message.
Once they accept your invitation to connect, you may send them a small personalised note along with the connection and then follow up in their inbox.
Alternately, you can send an InMail, which enables you to access the mailbox of LinkedIn users who aren’t your immediate connections.
Finally, you may be able to find some people’s email addresses on their LinkedIn profiles (often after connecting with them).
Email is thus an additional method for cold outreach once you’ve found someone on LinkedIn.
Final Step: Test and Fine-Tune
For contacting people about jobs, the actions and examples above should serve as a solid beginning point. However, it’s crucial to test out a few various strategies to determine which ones are most effective for you.
Your region, industry, and other factors will determine which strategy is ideal for you. Additionally, you don’t want to send out the same message as everyone else because many people will read this article.
Therefore, utilise this post as a beginning point while continually considering what else you can test or how you can adjust things for your industry and circumstance.
then keep tabs on your progress (I recommend doing this in an Excel spreadsheet). Keep track of the number of people you reach out to and the answers you receive for each approach or message type.
With the use of this information, you can improve your outreach efforts and see greater outcomes over time.
If you have read the information above, you are aware of how to cold message on LinkedIn (or elsewhere) to obtain more responses, more interviews, and more assistance with your job hunt.
It’s true that practise makes perfect in everything. Therefore, don’t worry if you find it difficult to write the first few outreach pieces you send. It’s acceptable to write and modify for 30 minutes before sending!
Spend some time drafting each line, make it short and to the point, and take your time. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating engaging communications that elicit responses.