Why Your LinkedIn Prospects Are Laughing At You…

William Tincup HR Technology, Recruiting, Social Media, Sourcing, William Uranga

The following InMail (Linkedin’s email-within-it users) was sent to several targeted departments at my company recently:


Dear {recipient’s name}

Good Afternoon

My name is {recruiter’s name} and I am a senior technical recruiter here at {company’s name}…while searching LinkedIn I came across your profile…I would love to speak with you.

We are looking for passionate engineers who are interested in joining a team of equally passionate high performers here at {company’s name}. I was hoping that you might be interested or you would know a few people that would be.

Please call my recruiting partner, {recruiting colleague’s name & phone number) at your earliest convenience, we would love to find out a little more about you. If you’d rather send your resume directly to {recruiting colleague’s name & email address), that would be great too. We will review your resume with the appropriate hiring manager to see if you would be a possible fit for any of the positions we currently have open. Within a week of receiving your resume, we will get back in touch with you via phone whether or not we decide to move forward with you in the interview process.

We look forward to explaining to you all of the exciting things going on here at {company’s name}!


{recruiter’s name}


Was I offended by my fellow employees receiving this InMail?  No, I use InMail to recruit too.  Was I embarrassed?  Yes, but for my fellow recruiter.  The above InMail was the subject of ridicule and laughter by the recipients.  Why?  Here are a few observations:


Understand your audience


Whether you’re writing a blog or email, the cardinal rule is “know your audience”.  The author doesn’t demonstrate that they know anything about their recipients.  Yes, the best way to identify recipients in Linkedin is by the company and title fields – but don’t stop there.  Tip: Linkedin demographics show that they aren’t dolts, so segment your list and tailor a message that will mean something to them in their language.  Have someone in your organization, of that skill set, help you write it.


Burnish your credibility


Including your title, especially if it’s a recruiting one, are empty calories.  In addition, the mentioning of your organization’s name will likely not be of substantial help.  Even a world renowned brand needs a compelling reason why someone should read your InMail.  Tip: Drop a name (hiring manager, key leader) that will have credibility with your audience or a remarkable product.


A clear request


This InMail does tell the recipient what they’d like them to do (refer or apply), but it’s pretty naked in its aggression.  1/3 of the InMail focuses on “resume” and the selection process.  If the recipient isn’t looking, you have 1) insulted them and/or 2) given the recipient nothing to intelligently refer someone from their network to you.  If they are looking, telling them the process and promise of responsiveness is also empty calories.  Tip:  Focus on what you do want them to do.  Be direct and lose the extra words.  If you do want referrals, include your direct email account and direct phone number.


Remember that: 1) InMails have a higher response rate than email because the trust people have in Linkedin.  Add that to the reality that you have a finite number of InMails to use each month.  To take every advantage of InMail and Linkedin, dig into Jason Alba’s blog and book all about Linkedin or take a Shally Steckerl webinar on Linkedin.


You have tips on InMailing?  Let’s hear them!  With a little effort, you can avoid prospects laughing at or, worse, ignoring your InMail.
William Tincup
William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He’s written over 200 HR articles, spoken at over 150 HR & recruiting conferences and he’s conducted over 1000 HR podcasts. William prides himself on being easy to find on The Internet, Google him and connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Not up to speed in the social media game? Reach out via email. William serves on the Board of Advisors for Talentegy, Wellocity, GlitchPath, Talent Ninja, Universum Americas, Engagedly, Echovate, VibeCatch, Continu, Hyphen, Bevy, Happie, RolePoint, Causecast, Work4Labs, Talent Tech Labs, and SmartRecruiters. He was previously an advisor to PeopleMatter (sold to Snagajob Q2 2016), Good.Co (sold to StepStone Q1 2016), Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight Q4 2014) and a board member of Chequed (merged to create OutMatch Q3 2015). William is a graduate of the University of Alabama of Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.