Some messages connect with me instantly; some don’t. Here, I share effective ways to capture my attention and stand out among other candidates.
1. Show what you can do for the company.
The best job candidates are the ones who show me how they will be problem solvers. Contact me about a specific position and then show me how you can fulfill my company’s needs based on your experience.
2. Attach your resume – always.
Anytime you send a message, you should attach your resume. It needs to be constant. Don’t assume that the recruiter has it, and don’t make them dig for it in a company database. They will tell you if you don’t need to include it in future messages. The preference, however, is to always send it.
3. Refresh my memory.
On any given day, I might have three to seven interviews, and I might review hundreds of resumes. By the time you send a follow-up email, I have likely considered many other candidates. It’s extremely helpful if you mention our specific interaction when following up with me. Here’s a great example from a University of North Carolina at Charlotte graduate student, who referenced our conversation at a career fair in the opening of his LinkedIn email:
“You gave me your business card and asked me to email you regarding my profile. We talked about open positions in the Ohio region and WebLogic deployment experience candidates.”
The reminder was brief, but it effectively illustrated our interaction with a couple quick nuggets from it.
4. Use templates.
It’s important to form a human connection when networking in the digital realm, but you also want to maximize your time. Templates are a great way to do that. I highly recommend checking out Joshua Waldman’s templates for job seekers using LinkedIn InMail.
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Prepare loose scripts that you can use any time you interact with someone on LinkedIn, including the first time you reach out. When you request a connection with someone on LinkedIn, don’t just click the button that explains how you know the person. Include a personal note before sending the invitation. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to write a message. Take it. I suggest something to this effect:
My name is Scott Albert, and I see that you work at XYZ Company. I found/applied for an amazing opportunity on your website, QA Analyst III. I would love the chance to discuss how my qualifications meet your company’s needs. Is there a good time for us to discuss how I might be a good fit for the position?
You can use these types of messages over and over again. All you have to do is change out the contact’s information and the company name, and you’re done.
5. Double check spelling of proper names.
If my name or my company’s name is misspelled, it stops me right away and taints the rest of the message. These kinds of errors can make recruiters think you have a lack of attention to detail, even if that’s not the case.
6. Invest in InMail.
If you’re on the job market, one of the best investments you can make is LinkedIn InMail. InMail allows you to send an email directly to a hiring manager or recruiter, and you aren’t restricted by word count, so you have a better opportunity to describe your strengths.
7. Strengthen your connections through the Advanced Search function.
I recently received a connection request and then a follow-up email from a candidate who applied for a job at Perficient’s website. She did great legwork and found me via LinkedIn search.
LinkedIn’s Advanced Search is invaluable for finding employees to connect with at the company you are interested in. Enter keywords from the job description in the search box and the company name, at the very least. Then, search for the people who would likely be your co-workers or your managers. Send them connection requests with a personalized note.
Sometimes you have to be creative with your search and try different keywords. It’s not always an immediate thing. Keep refining your search until you find the right people.
Perficient Talent Acquisition Specialist Scott Albert has 15 years of experience in career development, corporate recruiting and public speaking. He frequently contributes career advice to the Life at Perficient blog. Past articles have included Why High-Value Questions are Critical in a Job Interview and Why Interviewing is Like Playing a Game of Baseball.
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