The Perfect LinkedIn Message: A Complete Guide

February 20, 2021
min read
Perfect Linkedin Messages

The Perfect LinkedIn Message: A Complete Guide

“The people you want to reach the most are the ones who, by default delete emails” – Seth Godin

What do you think the messages do you think top candidates receive every day from top recruiters?



Recruiting process has been democratized by social media platforms like LinkedIn and now you get access to everyone. Recruiters can buy LinkedIn InMail in bulk and can send messages to anyone they wish to.

This makes it difficult to ignore decreasing candidate reach to a number game. There are some recruiters who have mindsets that sending a large number of messages will fetch them results.

 LinkedIn metrics pointed out that it is very well enthusiastic about this mentality:

If you receive a 25% acceptance rate, the LinkedIn sales department will make you feel that you are hitting it out the park.

Wait a minute.

If we go by above stats, it’s a 75% failure rate. Will your boss be happy with you if you were unsuccessful ¾ time in any other business function?

There is 75% Failure Rate for LinkedIn In-Mails

One more important detail

The response is much lower though 25% candidates might be opening your LinkedIn messages.

What are the consequences?

The best candidates are actually choked out.

Every week top developers receive messages in large numbers. Most of these are repetitions, old templates which are used very frequently. This results in making recruiters immune to such messages. 

And it is also evident in some cases that these messages are so untargeted that recruiters send them to other recruiters. 

There are so many examples but discussion initiated by recruiter Jung Kim imitated in Facebook group caught my attention:

Jung Kim 

“I never thought a guy could be so fortunate. I got an InMail which read, “Hey Jung, I noticed you have great experience with .Net and thought you or someone in your network is interested in an exciting I have available in Chicago, IL”

Garick Chan What is it I’m supposed to say? You are lucky to have a skill-set in such high demand!

Jung Kim She was a millennial recruiter from a 3rd party shop. She didn’t even read my profile. Funny thing is the professional headline section of my profile states I do sourcing recruiting, so the person wouldn’t even need to read further. Only in recruiting!

We need to be different if we want to stand out to these candidates.

Advanced messaging techniques need to be used, and spend a little more time in composing templates that will at least look customized.

What skills do you need to use so that candidates can no longer ignore your messages?

1. Impressive messages begins with impressive subject text


How do you decide which ones to read and which ones to delete when you receive hundreds of emails and LinkedIn messages daily?

 The subject’s text.

Text of your subject will have a huge impact on open rates. 35% of candidates will only open your message if your message strikes a chord with them.

35% recipients will open messages only based on subject text.

Subject text becomes more important when you send an unsolicited, cold message. Make the best possible use of this opportunity to catch the candidate's interest.

Here, I will give you some tips to write subject text that will fetch results for you:

i. Tell about any mutual connections

It can prove to be a good start for unsolicited messages.

You can use the ‘How You Are Connected’ feature of LinkedIn to check if you have any mutual connection with the other person.

If you have any shared connection, mentioning them in the subject text can arouse the candidate’s interest.

Pro tip

Tell your mutual connection to directly introduce you to the candidate. This is even better. Below is taught to find mutual connections.

ii. Tell them that you have already met

Ensure you mention your previous meeting with the candidate, if you have already met.

Assuming that they will remember from your name is a waste of time. Reminding them about you in the subject text can make a big difference. 

Be very particular about your reminder. The best format is like:

“Met you at”

iii. Tell candidate’s name or what he achieved

• If you write personal information in your subject text, it ensures you are not sending a generic message.

• If possible, write their first name, their firm, or LinkedIn profile to see if they have recently published any news and a few minutes on Google to check if they made any big news recently.

A bit of research here can help you make a big difference, just including their first name increases open rates by 26%.

Including personal s in detail subject text will:

26% higher open rates

130% higher click through rates

2. Shorter the sweeter

Here are few things to keep in mind that you don’t end up writing essays for every candidate.

**i.  Don’t waste time in your personal introduction**

Wasting words by writing your personal introduction is not needed.

The candidate will be able to see who exactly you are as they can see your name in the header of the message. If they want they can click on your profile to know more about you. No need to stick to conventional format “Hello, I am…”

On the other hand, your first sentence should be framed in such a way that it immediately catches their interest in LinkedIn messaging.

Go through their LinkedIn profile to check if they have published any posts and see if they made any personal achievement recently.

Using these in the beginning of your message is more effective than boring introductions.

**ii. It eliminates the feeling of buttering**

I felt it was nice to give a compliment to a candidate by a recruiter for the first time on LinkedIn.

It is so common these days. It is included in most generic templates by recruiters. Sometimes it is seen as insincere.

I will recommend you to leave this if you will not be specific about your flattery and what the candidate has achieved.

**iii. Ensure you don’t roam around and come to the point immediately**

 You will lose your candidate if you don’t come to the point immediately as an average reader 15 to 20 seconds scanning your message.

The average reader spends 15-20 seconds reading your message

What amount can be digested in such a time? 20 seconds are taken by an average English reader to scan 50 words.

50 words are not that much!

That is why it is crucial to bring important matters to the beginning of your message. This way you will not lose a candidate's interest.

State very clearly why you are messaging them and tell them about the opportunity you are offering them so as to have best results.

3. Huge is not always good 

Message only those candidates who suit your criteria.

In LinkedIn it is so easy to search for candidates that it is tempted to go for broke with your message.

Instead of playing a number game, the recruiter should focus on a small group for better results.

Recruiting for a particular skill?

Ensure that the candidate you are messaging is capable of doing that. It may look obvious but if you follow this policy, you can create a bond with the candidates.

There is a possibility that may take no interest; still it is known to them that you sent them an appropriate opportunity and the probability of opening your LinkedIn messages.

You have an incentive if you send messages to a small number of candidates; you now have extra time to design your message with a personal touch.

Pro tip

Before messaging them, start a conversation with them on social media. According to LinkedIn data, if you follow this chances of them accepting an InMail increases 2x.

Engaging Candidates Boosts LinkedIn In-Mail Success

2x your LinkedIn In-Mail acceptance rates by using Social Media to engage candidates before you message them.

4. Be certain about your further steps

How you sign off your each message is of utmost importance. You have to provide certainty about your further steps.

Make sure the candidate knows that you are sending them a message for a specific purpose, i.e. a job or an opportunity.

Next steps can be:

• Simple reply from them

• A call for Follow up

• Personal meeting

• An interview

A good candidate will not get convinced for an interview with a vague message. Psychologist Robert Sutton’s research suggests if given proper directions, people are more willing to help and respond.

How to put this into action?

Be specific about your further steps. If you want a call from them, give a few times that work and tell the candidate to choose.

This lessens the work to be done on their end. This increases the chances of their responses.

5. Follow up is important

The power of follow up is known to every good recruiter.

Like every great salesperson, every great recruiter knows the power of ‘Follow Up’

In spite of this, sometimes follow up doesn’t get its deserved attention.

2 major reasons for this are

i. It may seem pushy

You tell yourself if the candidates are interested in your job, they will themselves reply to you. If you think this way, follow up will seem pushy to you.

ii. Nobody likes rejection

Feeling rejected after failed follow up attempts is very common. According to studies, rejection and physical pain have the same effect on the human brain. To avoid this, recruiters try not sending follow up messages.

There may be a number of reasons why the candidate failed to reply to you.

For the beginning, they are occupied. Replying to you is not a priority for them, especially if they already have a job.

There is also a possibility that they haven’t seen your first message. Your message might have gone unnoticed as the best candidates’ LinkedIn inbox is already full.

** Key Point: How much time you should keep between your follow up messages?**

 Follow up once or twice if your first message was completely cold and you never had any conversations with them. You can’t do much more than this because you don’t have a relationship with them. 

If you didn’t get a clear NO and you had some sort of conversations with them, follow up till you get a reply.

Don’t stop until you get a reply.

A great timeline for you:

The Perfect Follow up Formula for Success

• Day 1: first follow up (+2days)

• Day 3: Follow up (+4days)

• Day 7: Follow up (+7days)

• Day 14: Follow up (+14days)

• Day 28: Follow up (+30 days)

• Day 58: Follow up (+30 days)

… (from there on once a month or until the role is filled)


LinkedIn if used thoughtfully can be a very useful tool for recruiters to connect with candidates.

We have given some points to write LinkedIn messages that will fetch you results.