Contacting a Hiring Manager on LinkedIn

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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 him or her 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 a simple thing to do. What to write and how to make the best impression is as easy as a few clear steps:

  • 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 him or her.
  • 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.

    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 management 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.