I recently read a piece on Time Money titled “Here’s the Cold LinkedIn Message That Prompted a CEO to Give the Sender a Job.” It’s about a guy who essentially got an offer through a LinkedIn message. At least it reads that way. I’m sure there were interviews since it’d be insane to hire someone off the strength of a LinkedIn message. This ain’t Tinder. Anyway, see the outreach below:

Hi Kathryn,

While slightly out of place, I attended the Women 2.0 conference yesterday with EatDrinkJobs and had the chance to see you pitch. I was blown away by you, your team, and most of all, your company.

I spent six years at Seamless.com , working closely with amazing leaders like Jason Finger (who you know well). I see such amazing potential in your company, and I would love to be a part of it in any way. My primary focus in marketing, with a lot of experience marketing to the same corporations and users you seem to be attracting. I’d love to tell you more about how my skill set could help you all reach and exceed your current growth goals.

Congrats on all your current success. Again, I’d love to find a time to chat more about the company and tell you how I could help.

Best,

Elliott

This is a very good message. I also believe it’s important to consider how you reach out to people and, more importantly, that you send the message! A lot of times we overthink it and end up not making that connect. So if you’re comfortable with the idea of pressing send, you’ve won a good chunk of the battle. The article does a good job covering that.

My challenge here is that the article oversimplifies how easy it is to get an interview and doesn’t address the importance of the mutual connect. As a Recruiter, I can tell you that the reference point carried more weight than anything else. The well-written message was icing on the cake.

I’d wager a small amount of coin that Kathryn spoke with Jason, who sung high praises of Elliot, which excited her to chat with him. By referencing this mutual contact, he tapped into the credibility of someone she already knew. That’s huge! Possibly massive!

This is a key lesson despite the article not emphasizing it. It’s one of the reasons you should always try to knock it out the park even if you don’t love your job or a client. It’s why you should attend networking events and a conference here and there (I recognize there are budgetary constraints). You never know who you’ll meet and where they’ll end up. Nor how saying hello and starting a dialogue could position you to politely leverage credibility when you need it most.

Depending on your sensitivity to asking for stuff, this could sound selfish and borderline conniving, but this is what’s necessary to get ahead. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed, so don’t feel bad about asking for something to eat. The format of the LinkedIn message is a good start.

Also, one of the my twitter peep’s pointed out that the message above surpassed the 300-character limit on LinkedIn connection requests:

It’s possible that in years past you could send longer invite messages, though I remember several moments of struggle where I had to reword an invite because the system told me nah. An Inmail message — usually meaning you’re already connected to the person or have a group in common — comes with 2,000 characters of professional fury.

So if you’re reaching out cold, you’ll need to be even more meticulous about your word choice…unless you upgrade to the premium service, in which case you can slide into anyone’s DM’s with a longer message.

Rich

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