Your Guide to LinkedIn Messaging: Connections, InMail and Direct Messages

Guide to LinkedIn Messaging

Did you know that 830 million people use LinkedIn? In addition, 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to fill open positions. If you’re not using the platform, you’re missing out on many opportunities to land your next role. LinkedIn offers many messaging features to connect with other people on the platform. But what is LinkedIn, and how can you use its many messaging features effectively?

What Is LinkedIn?

Launched from Reid Hoffman’s living room in 2003, LinkedIn is a global professional networking site. Instead of “friends,” LinkedIn users have “connections” to network with, share industry knowledge, and find new jobs or opportunities. It’s free to join and can be a critical tool in your career success. 

LinkedIn has several messaging features that are powerful ways to network with other professionals, recruiters, and even companies. Below we’ll go over the benefits of LinkedIn messaging, different messaging features, and what you need to know about sending messages on the platform. 

The Benefits of LinkedIn Messaging

You can’t assume that just because you created a LinkedIn profile, you’ll somehow land a new job or opportunity. You need to connect with other users on the platform. And one of the best ways to do that is through LinkedIn messaging. LinkedIn messaging can be beneficial for numerous reasons, including:

  • Finding a new job
  • Connecting with professionals in the same industry
  • Sharing industry knowledge
  • Connecting with recruiters
  • Finding freelance clients
  • Changing careers or industries

Before You Send a Message

Before you even send a message, make sure you fill out your LinkedIn profile completely to achieve “All-Star” status. Include a professional photo of yourself, write a brief “About” section and a strong headline, and include some key skills. Give the person you’re messaging a sense of who you are professionally.

Think about it if the situation was reversed. If you got a message from someone with no photo or “About,” would you feel confident that the message was from a legitimate professional connection? Or, would you be wary of a scam or bot? Fill out your profile completely to let people know there’s a real person behind it. 

LinkedIn InMail

LinkedIn InMail is a feature unique to LinkedIn Premium (paid) accounts. LinkedIn InMail allows you to message people you’re not connected with on the platform. For example, you might receive an InMail from a recruiter about an open position at their company. Or, you may InMail a recruiter to follow up on a job application. A university may send you an InMail about their online MBA program. 

When sending an InMail, LinkedIn recommends following a few best practices:

  • Keep your message concise.
  • Share any mutual experiences or connections (Did you both go to NYU? Do you love the Yankees?).
  • Keep it conversational.

LinkedIn Direct Messaging 

Direct messaging allows you to send a message to people you’re connected with on LinkedIn. You can send a direct message (or DM) to one person or multiple people. With direct messaging, be professional, keep your message concise, and include a call to action.

With that in mind, here are a few things to never do in LinkedIn direct messages:

  • Don’t immediately ask for a job.
  • Don’t immediately make a sales pitch.
  • Never use LinkedIn messaging as a dating service or romantic connection!
  • Avoid sending a lengthy message that spans multiple paragraphs.

Sending a Note With a Connection Invite

Rather than simply clicking “Connect,” you can personalize invitations to connect. To do this, search for the person’s profile, click “Connect,” and then choose “Add a note.” 

Who should you invite to connect? You might choose to connect with old classmates, former coworkers, your university professors, professionals in your industry, or recruiters. You can connect with up to 30,000 individuals on the platform. You can also send a note to strangers. However, LinkedIn will ask how you know the person if you choose to do so.

Harness the Power of LinkedIn Messaging

LinkedIn messaging can help you build relationships and network effectively to uncover new opportunities and jobs. By using different messaging features and following these best practices, you can use LinkedIn to drive career success. 

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