Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding best practices for contacting people via InMail, part of Up and Running with LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker.
- As I mentioned earlier, when you upgrade to a Job Seeker account, one of the benefits you receive is the ability to send three free InMail messages per month. Again, InMail is the LinkedIn messaging system that allows you to send messages to people outside of your network. Meaning people you're not directly connected with. It allows you to contact people like hiring managers without having to first connect with them. If you don't use your three InMails each month, they'll roll over into the next month for up to 90 days. On the other hand, if you need more InMails, you can purchase more, and use up to 10 InMail credits each month.
Now, there's a reason that InMail credits are not doled out to everyone with free accounts, and why extra credits cost money. InMail isn't supposed to be used casually, or worse, for spammy purposes. You should always have a clear reason for sending an InMail that should be obvious to your recipient. For example, you might be contacting someone to ask for their expert advice, or assistance with a business matter. Or you might use InMail to directly contact recruiters to inquire about a job you're interested in. So to see how this works, I have a profile open for someone James is not connected with, and since they're not connected, I see the button to send Robert an InMail.
When you send an InMail, you're required to specify a reason for contacting this person. To increase the odds you'll get a response, try to be as specific as possible about why you're contacting them. Next, include a subject line, again keeping it concise and to the point. And then compose your message. Notice the InMail Tips here to the right, for increasing the chance you'll get a response. You'll see recommendations here to mention someone you have in common, or to limit your message to 100 words and make it direct and to the point, or you might see a tip here to show that you've done your research by referencing something in the recipient's profile.
Again, the idea here is to be as specific as possible about why you're contacting this person. Some people, especially hiring managers and recruiters, receive tons of InMail every day, so don't waste time and words. Keep it professional, but conversational in tone. I'm just going to cancel this for now. And just so we can see what this looks like from the receiver's end, I'll go to the Messages button at the top of my screen and I can see an InMail message that I've received here.
Now, when you're on the receiving end of an InMail message you're given the option to reply, just like with a regular message, but you also have this "Not Interested" button available. I'll click that, and this allows you to choose from a couple of pre-canned replies. "Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm not interested," lets the sender know that you're not interested in what they're offering or asking, with the implication that this is the end of the conversation. "I'm not interested right now, but let's keep in touch," on the other hand, lets them know you're leaving the door open for future communications.
In either case, you're at least providing a reply of some sort, which can be nice since you always have the option of ignoring or deleting messages as well. You can also click the "Compose custom reply" button if you'd like to be more specific about why you're not interested in what the sender is asking or suggesting. Whichever option you choose, just click "Send" when you're done, to send the not interested reply. And by the way, you can customize what types of messages you're willing to receive, if you go over to your account, and "Privacy & Settings." You'll most likely be prompted to sign in again.
Here, click "Communications," and then click "Select the type of messages you're willing to receive." At the top here, the default is to recieve Introductions, InMail, and Open Profile messages. Open Profile messages let anyone on LinkedIn send you messages for free, without an Introduction or InMail. So basically, if you prefer that not just anyone can send you a message, choose one of these other two options to receive just Introductions and InMails, or just Introductions only. Below that, you can check the types of messages you want to receive, so for example if you don't want to receive messages regarding job inquiries, or personal reference requests, you can uncheck those options, and people won't be able to send you those kinds of messages.
This is why when you compose an InMail you're asked to select from that menu to specify what type of message you're sending. If you choose a type of message that the recipient has chosen not to receive, you won't be able to send it. Now, down here you can also type a few sentences about the best ways to contact you, which senders will see. For example, it says you can include advice on your general availability, the types of projects that interest you, and what information you'd like to see included in a message. And then just click "Save Changes." Okay, so that's a little about working with, and using the proper etiquette with InMail.
He then covers such features as Insights, which show how you stack up against a company's employees and other applicants. He also explains best practices for sending InMail to people, finding companies of interest, and using tools to reach key contacts and hiring managers. Finally, put it all to work by learning how to apply for a job directly on LinkedIn. Using these tips and LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker, you can find, apply, and network your way to your next dream job.
- Optimizing your profile
- Growing your network
- Upgrading to Job Seeker Premium
- Understanding Insights
- Contacting people via InMail
- Applying for jobs
- Accessing Lynda.com with Job Seeker Premium