Should You Contact a Hiring Manager on LinkedIn?

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Job seekers often wonder if it's appropriate to contact the hiring manager on LinkedIn after they have applied for a job. Being proactive and making a personal connection can help your application get noticed. That's especially important for competitive positions where there are hundreds of applications. On the flip side, it can annoy someone who would prefer not to be contacted by applicants.

Here's what I heard from a job seeker who reached out:

For this job, I applied in the morning -- writing a targeted cover letter -- then reached out to the CEO via LinkedIn's InMail option a bit afterwards. I got an email from him a few hours later. And then an extensive phone interview by 5:30. He said he was really impressed by the fact that I reached out to him via LinkedIn. It seems like a simple thing to do, but I guess most people don't do that (he also said he was flooded with applicants, but almost none bothered to follow his instructions of submitting work links, social links and two ideas for content.)

Tips for Contacting a Hiring Manager on LinkedIn

Contacting a hiring manager is a simple thing to do, and it only takes a few minutes to send a message.

If you decide to follow up on LinkedIn, let the hiring manager know you have applied and reiterate your interest in the job. Mention one or two of your key qualifications to demonstrate why you are an ideal candidate for the position.

Keep your message as specific and concise as possible.

A brief message may peak the hiring manager’s interest in your application without annoying him or her.

Be sure to thoroughly edit your message before sending it. All of your contact with the hiring manager should be professional and polished; no message at all is better than a sloppily written one. Here is more detailed information on how to send LinkedIn messages.

Follow Instructions

The information the hiring manager shared about following instructions is important, too. If you don't submit all the required materials, you probably won't get considered for the job.

Throwing out applications from people who didn't do what was asked is an easy way to reduce the size of the applicant pool. Your application probably won't be missed. Another hiring manager told me that he gets so many qualified applicants that if he misses a good one while screening resumes, it doesn't really matter because there are many more strong candidates to choose from. So, take the time to give the employer what he or she asks for. Otherwise, you might as well not bother applying for the job.

On that note, if an employer explicitly asks that applicants do not contact him or her beyond their official applications, do not message the employer on LinkedIn. Sending a message would demonstrate that you did not listen carefully to the employer’s directions.

Check out the conversation on Google+ for some opinions on whether it's appropriate to message a hiring manager, and let me know what you think.

Read More: Is it Acceptable to Contact Someone Who Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile? | Follow the Job Application Instructions | 10 Seconds to Get an Interview

Related Articles: Job Search, Interview & Employment Advice | 10 Tips to Find Writing Jobs on LinkedIn | How do Hiring Managers Screen Job Applications?
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