Should You Contact a Hiring Manager on LinkedIn?

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Job seekers often wonder if it's appropriate to contact the hiring manager on LinkedIn after they have applied for a job. There isn't a simple yes or no answer. In general though, it won't hurt your application to send a quick "I'm very interested" message.

Should You - Or Shouldn't You - Contact the Hiring Manager?

Whether it's worth reaching out depends on the company, the hiring manager, and how you contact the individual.

Being proactive and making a personal connection can help your application get noticed. That's especially important for competitive positions where there are hundreds of applications. On the flip side, it can annoy someone who would prefer not to be contacted by applicants.

That said, you don't have much to lose by sending a brief and polite LinkedIn message to the hiring manager mentioning your interest in the job. However, if the job posting says applications will only be considered through the employer's website or applicant tracking system, don't send a message. Instead, see if you can get a referral from someone who has a contact at the company.

Here's what I heard from a job seeker who reached out:

For this job, I applied in the morning -- writing a targeted cover letter -- then reached out to the CEO via LinkedIn's InMail option a bit afterwards. I got an email from him a few hours later. And then an extensive phone interview by 5:30 pm. He said he was really impressed by the fact that I reached out to him via LinkedIn. It seems like a simple thing to do, but I guess most people don't do that (he also said he was flooded with applicants, but almost none bothered to follow his instructions of submitting work links, social links and two ideas for content.)

Tips for Contacting a Hiring Manager on LinkedIn

Contacting a hiring manager is a simple thing to do, and it only takes a few minutes to send a message. Review these tips for what to write and how to make the best impression.

  • Let the hiring manager know you have applied and reiterate your interest in the job.
  • Mention one or two of your key qualifications to demonstrate why you are an ideal candidate for the position.
  • Keep your message as specific and concise as possible. A brief message may get the hiring manager interested in your application without annoying him or her.
  • Be sure to thoroughly edit your message before sending it. All of your contact with the hiring manager should be professional and polished; no message at all is better than a sloppily written one. Here is more detailed information on how to send LinkedIn messages.

When to Send a Message

Depending on the company, in can take some time for your application to be processed. If it's a small employer and you're sending your resume by email, it's fine to follow up shortly after you have sent it.

If it's a large company, you'll probably apply through an online applicant management system. In that case, wait until a day or so after you have put in your application so it will have a chance to get into the system and to the hiring manager.

Don't worry if you don't hear back. Not everyone checks their LinkedIn messages frequently. Some people don't bother at all. If you don't get a response it doesn't mean you're not being considered for the job.

Do Follow the Instructions

The information the hiring manager shared about following instructions is important, too. If you don't submit all the required materials, you probably won't get considered for the job.

Throwing out applications from people who didn't do what was asked is an easy way to reduce the size of the applicant pool. Your application probably won't be missed. Another hiring manager told me that he gets so many qualified applicants that if he misses a good one while screening resumes, it doesn't really matter because there are many more strong candidates to choose from. So, take the time to give the employer what he or she asks for. Otherwise, you might as well not bother applying for the job.

On that note, if an employer explicitly asks that applicants do not contact him or her beyond their official applications, do not message the employer on LinkedIn.

Sending a message would demonstrate that you did not listen carefully to the employer’s directions.

More Ways to Follow Up

Read More: Is it Acceptable to Contact Someone Who Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile? | Follow the Job Application Instructions | 10 Seconds to Get an Interview

Related Articles: Job Search, Interview & Employment Advice | How do Hiring Managers Screen Job Applications?