On the other side of that blank LinkedIn box on your screen is the message-weary candidate annoyed at receiving yet another inquiry about whether they’d be keen to learn more about a "perfect opportunity at XYZ Inc."
Among all the competitive LinkedIn clutter, how do you stand out from the crowd?
We’ve analyzed blogs from recruiters and hiring managers, and we've successfully recruited passive candidates from all over the Internet to bring you the top tips for writing messages to get the attention--and the time--of the candidates you really want.
1) Go for quality over quantity.
Maybe you have your own tried-and-true methods. Perhaps you have templates that seem to be working? Is it because you’re smashing through 100 candidates a week in the belief "it’s a number’s game" or that if you throw enough mud at the wall something’s bound to stick?
Far and wide, the emails that get the attention of highly sought-after candidates are those that are incredibly personalized. This takes time, but your success rate will be much higher. Choose quality over quantity.
2) Do your homework.
The number one frustration of candidates targeted through LinkedIn is messages that show the employer or hiring manager hasn’t done his or her homework:
- Check their background: Look for any shared histories between your organization (or your client) and the candidate. You will look very stupid if you approach someone who has already worked with people in that organization.
- Check their strengths and skills: For example, just because they did events management the year after they finished high school doesn’t mean that’s what they want to do in the future. You are wasting the candidates’ time and your time by pitching roles they have no interest in doing.
3) Be concise (but not too concise).
The ideal-tailored message is 150–250 words. Less than 150 words and you risk coming across as if you don’t care enough. More than 250 words and the candidate won’t read it or will assume you don’t value their time. Keep it simple and straightforward.
4) Use the words You, 'Your, and Yours A LOT.
As with any well-crafted job ad, the best LinkedIn messages are those that focus on the candidate. Show your familiarity with their career history by highlighting the skills and experience that stood out to you.
Don’t launch into too much detail about the opportunity. Rather, paint a picture of the person’s suitability within your organization. “You’ll be working . . . ," “You’d be responsible for . . . ," “It would give you the perfect opportunity to. . . .
5) Throw away personal introductions.
“Hi, I’m . . . ” is unnecessary. Your name is in the header.
The first sentence is your first impression and invaluable in grabbing the attention of the passive candidate as quickly as possible. Begin with a sentence talking directly to them or about them. Save the other information for later.