June 23, 2021

Reaching out on LinkedIn

Every time I change my LinkedIn to say I am hiring, I typically get inundated with LinkedIn invites. Without premium, you can’t send messages to anyone you are not connected to and so I understand why many prospective job seekers send me connection requests. However, I do not accept the vast majority of these requests. I thought I’d write down why in a blog post and send it whenever this occurs. It’s much easier to send a link instead of ignoring. Writing an entire response doesn’t scale. These are the cases I usually come across:

Generic reachout

People will often reach out with a generic message. It doesn’t say what role they are interested in, why they are interested in it, why they are qualified for it and why they are reaching out to me. Examples include, I’d like to connect to explore opportunities at your company.” I’m going to quickly look at your profile and if you aren’t a fit for my team, leave it at that. Please connect with a recruiter at the company, look at the job postings on the career website and make connections highlighting the specific job you are interested in.

Requests for connections to an HM within the company

I saw this posting on your company’s site and I think I’d be a great fit for it. Could you connect me with the hiring manager for the role?” Unfortunately, I’m not going to do that. It takes time to figure out who is hiring for the role, ask them if they are actually interested in you and then make the connection. If you’d like someone that will eagerly do this for you, try reaching out to a recruiter at the company you are interested in. This is part of their day to day job and they’ll run the behind the scenes tasks I described above. Granted, some people may not respond to you entirely. This is likely because they don’t think you are a good fit.

Not qualified for the jobs I’m hiring for

LinkedIn recently added this great feature where you can specify the exact roles that you are hiring for on your profile. Prior to this, I usually wrote posts highlighting the jobs that I was hiring for. Unfortunately, these do not seem to deter unqualified candidates reaching out to me. If my posts say I’m hiring engineers with data experience, I genuinely mean it. If you do not have data experience, you are not qualified for the position and will not get a response from me unless you wrote a compelling connection message that warrants a response.

What requests do I respond to?

Job seeking can be very stressful and frustrating. You’d like that job ASAP and you are trying to find opportunities that are available to you. You may be applying or may have already applied to a lot of places and not heard a word back. That’s sucks and I’m conscience of how exhausting it can be as a job seeker.

However, I think it is important to recognize that people on both sides of hiring are spending a lot of time and energy on it and to be respectful of each other. I will typically respond to connections where it is clear someone has done their research i.e. put some effort and consideration into making the request. A request that calls out roles that I said I’m hiring for, and explains why you think you are suitable for them will get a response from me. Even if my response is to say that I checked your profile but unfortunately do not think you are qualified for the role, I’ll respond because I appreciate the time you put into the message.

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