Connecting via Email vs. LinkedIn

Having a large and robust LinkedIn network is a great asset for your career and for your job search.

Connecting with others to get advice, referrals, share ideas, offer help, seek information or any other reason is an important resource for your career advancement and for finding the right opportunity for your next job.

How you connect with those people can often have an effect on your response rate and with the impression you create.

LinkedIn has tools that make it easy to send a message, either as an introduction through others, an InMail, or a direct message if they are a 1st level connection. While one of those options may make it easy to reach them… it’s not likely to be the best option for you.

Most anyone registered on LinkedIn tends to get a number of emails from the site. Especially if they are active, in groups, or pursuing other people themselves, it’s not unusual to get several emails per week, or even sometimes multiple emails per day. The more emails someone gets, the less personal they are perceived, and the less likely they will even get noticed before they end up in a junk mail folder or deleted.

When someone receives a number of emails from LinkedIn, they seem more like marketing pieces rather than important messages that deserve attention.

It’s always better to send an email to someone directly. You have more control of the content, the format, the subject line, and it doesn’t appear as a pre-canned message generated by large sophisticated marketing program.

  • If you are a 1st level connection to the person, their email address is available to you on their profile.
  • If you’re not a 1st level connection, check through their profile, many people include their email address anyway
  • Google their name and company, often you can find their email address through some other web presence
  • Google email addresses from their company domain in general, use the standard email format you find using their name
  • Use sites like: emails4corporations.com or JigSaw.com to find their address if other avenues don’t work
  • Send a direct email to the person that is your 1st level connection that’s between you and your target, ask them to connect you

A personal email will always be more effective, make a better impression, will more likely be noticed, and will more likely elicit a response than using a LinkedIn message.

Use what works!

Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.

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