LinkedIn is one of the most valuable recruiting tools you have at your disposal, as long as you’re using it correctly. It offers recruiters the ability to hand select candidates, rather than posting a job opening and allowing nature to take its course. One of the most important things to consider about LinkedIn is that InMail gives you the opportunity to make a meaningful personal connection. If you aren’t going about it the right way, everyone’s time is being wasted.
Avoid Generic Messages
Generic messages feel like spam, and candidates will be quick to disregard them. They’ve already heard every cliché relating to a job offer that you could ever imagine. If you want to get to someone before your competitor does, you need to be memorable. Give them something fresh and exciting to read.
Cold information without a tone isn’t enticing from any perspective. You need to be able to grab candidates with catchy subject lines and a message they won’t feel like they’ve read a hundred times before.
The potential candidate needs to know you’ve actually read their profile. Reference the pieces of information from their profile that inspired you to initiate contact. Let them know why you feel that they, personally, are a great fit for your open position. Tell them what you like about them, and set the groundwork for why you’re reaching out to them instead of any random person from a professional network.
What skills do they have that your company needs? How would these applied skills not only benefit your company, but feel enriching to the candidate? This is something you need to touch on.
Don’t Be a Stranger
Who are you? What do you have in common with this candidate? How does the recipient know that a real person is sitting on the other end of the screen? You aren’t a phantom. If you spend the entire email talking about yourself, you risk losing the candidate’s interest. Not enough, and you’re a complete stranger.
You need to properly introduce yourself. Who are you, and what do you do? A few basic tidbits should be sufficient. If the candidate has further questions, they can always ask or view your profile.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
You’re contacting someone about a job – not writing the corporate Iliad. It’s good to include a little bit about your company and some details about the position, but you don’t want to hit readers with a seemingly endless wall of text.
Insert a few blurbs, and include some links that the reader can click to satisfy any further curiosity. If the message is crowded with unnecessary information, the reason for the email may become buried under all of the superfluous details.
Craft a Strong Call to Action
What do you want the candidate to do if they’re interested in your position? Simple phrases like “let me know” or “hope to hear from you soon” aren’t terribly informative. Tell them where to go to submit a formal resume. If you’re looking to go straight to the interview process, tell them that and give them a number where they can reach you.
After a potential candidate has finished reading your email, he or she needs to know exactly what you expect from them. Be sure you aren’t inadvertently making it difficult for talented individuals to respond in your desired manner.
LinkedIn is a professional social network, but it’s still a social network. It’s perfectly fine to take a casual approach to messaging, as long as professionalism can be seen through your conversational tone. If you want to snatch up talented candidates before they travel elsewhere, being personable and genuine is the key to keeping your position at the forefront of their minds.
Tess Pajaron has a background in business administration and management. She currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator, and writes frequently about careers, marketing, and leadership.