Discover more from Find a job with Annie
Messaging recruiters & hiring managers on LinkedIn
It's intimidating but it doesn't have to be difficult.
Hello friends! After a 2-month hiatus during which I made changes in my own career, I’m back to bringing you insider knowledge and tips to help you land your startup job. This issue was inspired by two conversations I’ve had with two jobseekers, so if there are questions you’d like answered, let me know! Many others are probably going through the same struggle, so you’ll be helping yourself and many others out there 💪
Do recruiters like when candidates message them on LinkedIn?
Jess is finishing up an internship and looking for her next full-time job. Jess messaged me one day:
“Hey Annie, if I want to apply to Company A and message their talent acquisition person on LinkedIn, do you think they’ll like when the candidate contacts them directly?”
First of all, why are you messaging them?
Let’s start with your goal. Why do you want to message their talent acquisition person? Is it to:
Ask clarifying questions about the position;
Ask clarifying questions about the hiring process;
Just to show your face and leave a good first impression
Turns out, Jess wanted none of the above. She wanted to know if the recruiter thinks she’s a good fit for the position. That’s the million dollar question right there…
This is a question I suggest you avoid asking, unless you are looking for senior leadership or executive roles where the potential talent pool is small so the recruiters need to build more personal relationships with the candidates. More importantly, the recruiters most likely won’t have an accurate answer to your question. Consider the following:
The recruiter barely knows you. Your CV and other application materials can only give an overview to your past experiences, and past experiences are only one of many aspects that are evaluated (others include technical skills, interpersonal skills, and motivation). If your past experiences look relevant enough, the recruiter will move you forward once you’ve applied. It’s double work for the recruiter if they have to tell you the decision separately on LinkedIn.
The recruiter doesn’t make the final hiring decision, the hiring manager does. The recruiter could think you’re a good fit, move you forward, and then the hiring manager could still think the opposite and reject you.
The hiring manager is the future boss of the role you’re applying to (if this is a marketing manager role, the hiring manager could be the Head of Marketing or CMO). The recruiter’s role is to make recommendations, and facilitate fair and open decision making processes around hiring. Think referees (or let me know if you have a better analogy)!
I get it, but what if I still want to know my chances before getting rejected?
Luckily, it is possible! Connect with a future peer (someone who will work closely with your role) or the hiring manager directly instead. If you’re applying to a Content Marketing Manager role, your peer could be the Performance Marketing Manager or Senior Content Marketing Manager. Your peer is incentivized to find great candidates by the hefty referral bonus (2000-6000 EUR at least), and your hiring manager of course wants to fill the position as soon as possible.
Still, this doesn’t mean you should throw out the million dollar question. Many jobseekers also go to the other extreme of being extremely vague to a point where the recipient has no idea what they want (“I’m a xx, I’d love to speak to you” and that’s it).
When connecting with a future peer or hiring manager, always make sure you’re friendly and clear. You could either ask to exchange via LinkedIn messages, email, or a Zoom call, and make sure to offer different options to accommodate the other person. Remember, networking is still a form of socializing, and a good way to proof your messages is to imagine you’re speaking to them face to face in person. Is it something you’d say to them in a real life conversation? If it’s not, you might want to scratch that. For example, things like “I’d like to add you to my professional network” or “I’d like to speak to you about this job at your company” would be strange to say because there’s not a specific action the other person can immediately respond to. Check out these four real emails that worked for inspiration.
Good luck on your journey 🍀