LinkedIn is the largest professional social network with 756 million members in over 200 countries around the world. So, chances are that the hiring manager for the job you just applied to is on LinkedIn. But should you reach out to them?
Job seekers often wonder if it's appropriate to contact the hiring manager on LinkedIn after they have applied for a job. There isn't a simple yes or no answer. In general, though, it won't hurt your application to send a quick "I'm very interested" message.
Should You Contact the Hiring Manager on LinkedIn?
Whether it's worth reaching out depends on the company, the hiring manager, and how you contact the individual. Especially important for competitive positions to which hundreds of applicants respond, being proactive and making a personal connection can help your application get noticed. On the flip side, it can annoy a hiring manager who prefers not to be contacted by applicants.
Ultimately, unless the job posting says applications will only be considered through the employer's website or applicant tracking system, there's little to be lost in sending a brief, polite LinkedIn message to the hiring manager noting your interest in the job.
If an employer explicitly asks that applicants do not contact them beyond their official applications, do not message the employer on LinkedIn. If this happens to be the case, or if you're uncomfortable with the prospect of reaching out blindly, ask a colleague or collaborator who has contact with the company for an introduction or referral; this, as well, could provide an edge.
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Tips for Contacting a Hiring Manager on LinkedIn
Contacting a hiring manager is easy. Here’s what to keep in mind when you write your message:
- 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 get the hiring manager interested in your application without annoying them.
- 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.
Sample LinkedIn Message to a Hiring Manager
Here's an example of a message sent to a hiring manager.
I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you through LinkedIn. I’m applying for the junior graphic designer job at Go-Go Retro, and I wanted to take a minute to say hello.
I’m a big fan of the company, and my skillset seems like a great fit for the role. I gained lots of hands-on experience with Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator during my internships with Blarg Tees and Green Scene. I’ve included a link to my portfolio in case you want to check out my work.
Thanks for your time, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the position.
When to Send a Message
Depending on the company, it may take some time for your application to be processed.
If it's a small employer and you're sending your resume by email, it's fine to follow up shortly after you have sent it.
If it's a large company, you'll probably apply through an online applicant tracking system. In that case, wait until a day or so after you have put in your application so it will have a chance to get into the system and to the hiring manager.
Don't worry if you don't hear back. Not everyone checks their LinkedIn messages frequently. Some people don't bother at all. If you don't get a response, it doesn't mean you're not being considered for the job.
Follow the Instructions
Following the parameters provided by the hiring manager in applying for a position is important as well. Failing to submit all required materials will likely remove you from consideration.
Throwing out applications from people who didn't do what was asked is an easy way to reduce the size of the applicant pool, so take the time to address the employer's specific application requirements and meet them adequately. One hiring manager recently shared 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 from which to choose.