Beware Recruiters — The Do’s and Don’ts of Using LinkedIn InMail

By Mona Berberich

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I remember shortly before I graduated from college I updated my LinkedIn profile. I was getting ready to be recruited by the top companies and I knew this was necessary in today’s world of active sourcing, skill shortage and GenY. The final step was to change my LinkedIn Summary and Status Update– the first thing that a recruiter or any other interested person would see on my profile.

Confident in my updates, I closed my computer and waited for the messages to roll in. Having received quite a few LinkedIn InMail after the updates, I’d like to share some Don’ts that I picked up and offer some Do’s in case you you’re using them as a recruiter. 

Don’t: Use the wrong subject line or miss one completely

Subject Line: Job XYZ, Your Job at Company X, Looking for a job? Those subject lines feel at best like spam. It might as well look like the prescription med ones you occasionally find in your spam folder and no one is going to open those or consider it an objective recruiting process. Never leave the subject line blank or generic. It’s unprofessional and won’t catch anyone’s attention.

Do: Give a compliment

Awesome Profile! or You have amazing experience listed in your profile! Offer something that the person is interested in (namely themselves). You might call this cheesy, but it works if you’re goal is to start a conversation or build up a relationship with the potential applicant.

Don’t: Provide an impersonal introduction or fail to include first names

Dear First Name (fail to actually insert the name), Dear potential applicant or Hello! It’s impersonal if your potential candidate immediately thinks that this message goes out to 500 other people. They want to feel special.

Do: Be personal and include first names

Take the time and go one step further and include a personal factor or connection: You have an outstanding experience in working with XYZ, I’d like to hear more about it.

Don’t: Be gimmicky

Call me today at xxx-xxx-xxx and secure your dream job. Yeah probably not going to happen. The gimmicky ones upset me the most. It’s a waste of time.

Do: Be casual and personable

This is what will establish a connection between you and the potential candidate. Would you be open to a brief discussion to discuss further? Simple and polite, no pressure.

Don’t: Include entire job descriptions and Employee Value Propositions (EVPs)

The more personalized your content is, the higher your chances will be to get a positive response. I highly doubt that candidates will go to your site and apply if you just send them a job description.

Do: Create actual content that clearly shows what your intentions are. And remember: Most people use LinkedIn on their mobile devices. Always make your messages short enough that they can be read and answer immediately while on the bus, waiting for a coffee or in between meetings.

Don’t: Include more than one Call to Action (CTA)

If your message contains more than one CTA, your potential candidate will be subconsciously confused.

Do: Keep it simple

Focus on one goal (CTA). Either ask a candidate specifically if you think that he or she is a good fit for your open position or company to call or send a resume or ask for a referral if you know that the person you’re contacting is not actively looking for a job but might know someone who could be.

Don’t: Ask them to contact you and fail to include your contact info. (Yes, I experienced that several times). Always remember, if there is no number to call or email address to mail the resume to, the candidate will most likely not hit the “reply” button to ask for the contact details.

Do: Offer to have them call you at their convenience.

Bottom Line: Recruiting and human resources is getting more personal. And nowadays, everybody is a potential brand ambassador. In a world where communication travels fast and competition is to get the top-tier talent’s attention is great, your company’s brand is pivotal to the success of your talent acquisition. Therefore, when using LinkedIn InMail, be especially careful. Use it to try to form relationships and create awareness but be aware of the shortcomings, especially when using it to source talent.

Send me some examples of your best messages to start the conversation - What are you using LinkedIn InMail for? Comment or share your Perspective!


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