What Is Your InMail Etiquette Saying to Employers?

If you’ve ever assembled a piece of furniture, you can appreciate the importance of reading the instructions (even if they appear to be written in cartoon hieroglyphics). When it comes to social and professional networking sites, most of us never read the instructions. We stumble around to get the general feel of the place and then start pressing buttons, but some of these buttons, namely one-click InMail replies, have unintended consequences.

Few things are as frustrating as working hard on something only to watch it fail at its intended purpose. We can’t help you with that bookcase, but here’s the quickest way to create positive impressions with InMail and convert them into high value professional contacts.

Clicking “No thanks” on an InMail

When you click “No thanks” on an InMail, LinkedIn tells you it has notified the employer that you are “not interested in learning more at this time”. However, LinkedIn tells the employer that you have “declined the message” and then blocks them from responding further.

Clicking “No thanks” kills this networking opportunity.

Not the best first impression, but the real misstep in this scenario is ignoring an opportunity to network. Instead, include a brief note in the message window that appears as soon as you click “No thanks”:
Dear Employer,
Thank you for thinking of me for your Human Resources Manager opportunity. I am happy with my current position but please keep me in mind for future openings.
Jane Smith

Clicking “Yes on an InMail

While clicking “Yes” on an InMail sends a more positive response to a prospective employer, LinkedIn is still sending different responses to each side. The system will now tell you it has notified the employer that “you’d like to learn more” about the specified opportunity. However, LinkedIn sends a blank message to the employer with a notification to follow up.

You would never send a blank email to a prospective employer. Why do that here?

Once again, the opportunity to network and make sure the prospective employer has your direct contact information is lost. The best practice when clicking “Yes” is to immediately follow up with a quick note addressing the message with your contact information, and availability. This is also a great opportunity to send a PDF version of your resume and get into the company’s talent pipeline.

Whether interested or not, respond professionally to create future opportunity.

When used appropriately, InMails present opportunities to create connections with employers and recruiters, even if the specified position isn’t a fit for you right now. In an ever-changing job market, making positive impressions on hiring authorities and converting them to connections is always a smart career move.