[04.05.13]
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LinkedIn InMails: 7 Ways to Get Responses

This is a guest blog post by Lisa Rangel about getting LinkedIn InMail help.

LinkedIn InMail help, Expanding Your Network, Social Networking, Writing a Job Search Email, Exploratory Interview

Need LinkedIn InMail help?

As one of the Moderators for the LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker Group, I offer this LinkedIn InMail help. To increase the likelihood that your InMail will receive a response.

As a former executive recruiter, I used the InMail feature to reach out to candidates. And as a prolific networker, I often use the InMail feature when it makes sense to do so.

The use of InMails can help you reach out to people who you have had difficulty reaching otherwise. It is not the magic elixir of communication. And it should not be the first means of contact for most people, in my opinion. For that, read the 7 Quick Fixes to Accelerate your Job Search.

Now consider the following tips/steps for to help you optimize the use of your LinkedIn InMail help:

Before you send an InMail, see if the person is active daily on LinkedIn

If the prospective contact has a sparsely populated profile, that person is probably not a prolific user of LinkedIn. Examples include no status update activity and very few connections. If not a daily user, the person will unlikely to see your InMail until they log into LinkedIn. And who knows when that will be. Send your InMails to active users of LinkedIn to increase your chances of it getting read. Those users probably have LinkedIn emails forwarded to their regular email account. This increases the likelihood of the email being read.  (One Great Tool to Expand & Enrich Your Network.)

When crafting your InMail content, use the same social norms that you would use in cold calling, in-person networking, emails, and many other forms of relationship development communication tools

Those same relationship etiquette rules apply to the use of InMails. Be polite–‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way.  Be specific. Don’t embark on your whole professional history in this initial email. Don’t be too forward too fast–but be direct. Keep it short and sweet. Show interest in the person you are speaking to by including why your request is beneficial to them (if it truly will be).

Be sure to ask for appropriate-level information (about their experience, advice, or opinion) in a short, actionable request

For example, if the person you are InMailing is someone you never met before. If you have no mutual connections. Asking that person if they know of any open jobs to refer to you is too forward. Most people receiving this type of InMail will ignore it (I would, anyway) and you will not receive a response. Use flattery in a modest manner.

Think about your approach and how others will perceive you

To drive this point home, would you ask someone to marry you upon meeting them for the first time? Would you want someone to ask to vouch for them in a professional setting, when you have not met them before?  Again, use LinkedIn InMail as a relationship starter with new contacts (5 Secrets for Using Industry Groups in Job Search). Don’t use it as a transactional exchange or a deal closer.

Keep your request short and sweet: Less is more

Long manifesto requests will be ignored. Think about it, how motivated are you to read lengthy emails from people you do not know? Ask a short, actionable question that makes it easy for the person you are asking to say yes and help you. I suggest:

  • asking for an exploratory conversation
  • commenting on a post they made
  • suggesting a 10-15 minute call, in a short note

Optimize your profile

When the recipient looks at your profile attached to your InMail, they are impressed with your background and your choices made to present yourself. When I am approached with an InMail, I look at the person’s profile. If they are not the most professional in their LinkedIn presentation, it can make me wonder about their judgment. And it can slow down my response. See Cleaning Up & Polishing Your Online Image for help.

Before sending the InMail, see if you can find other contact information on the person and reach out to them using that other means

Reach out to the person using another medium. Maybe a medium the person tends to use more. If you can, you are preserving your InMails for times when you really need it. You are also increasing the chance of you getting a response—which is what this game really is all about.

Access to LinkedIn InMail help is important. And, given the limited amount members receive and the limitations the format brings, it is important that to use them properly. Access is not the answer. While you are guaranteed responses for the allotment allowed, you can receive credit from those InMails that do not receive a response. Send InMails to different contacts until you receive a response. And write the best possible InMail to increase your chances of getting a response from the first person.

Use InMails selectively and wisely. Ensuring you position yourself properly to attract the right people.

Photo via 123RF.com


Written by: Lisa Rangel
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Categories: Using Social Media

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