Is it OK to connect with a potential employer on LinkedIn? Why or why not?
Here are nine things to consider when connecting with a potential employer on LinkedIn:
- Worst case scenario, you get ignored
- Create a connection strategy
- Is your LinkedIn profile up to date?
- Always add a message
- Connecting is one of LinkedIn’s main purpose
- Consider a thank you note
- Know who you’re talking to
- Explain your value and how you’re beneficial
- Have you spent time cultivating your LinkedIn?
Worst case scenario, you get ignored
The worst-case scenario is the potential employer ignores your connection request. I don’t see a problem with making the connection request. Just know that when you press “Connect” and send the request, there’s a chance the request may be ignored. Try to avoid getting offended if that’s the case, as employers have hundreds of candidates applying to positions who may be doing the same thing.
Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
Create a connection strategy
It shows a keen interest in the company’s goals and puts you in a good position to stay in touch with them. It’s a good idea to carefully draft a connection strategy (beyond merely letting them know you’ve applied to an open job). You could engage with their posts, offer new ideas aligned with your career expertise, or like their updates. You can also follow companies on LinkedIn that interest you, which will be apparent to their hiring team if you apply to one of their posted openings on LinkedIn.
Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume
Is your LinkedIn profile up to date?
Extending a connection request on LinkedIn is like extending the job interview. Just like a candidate should be cognizant of their physical appearance in a job interview, candidates should accurately represent themselves through information on their profile. Before connecting, make sure that your profile contains a “summary” about yourself that reads like an objective statement on a resume. Make sure your headshot is professional, as you’ll be representing the company you’re applying to online. By taking the time to ensure your LinkedIn profile best represents you and your abilities, you’ll be able to continue to make a positive impression on your potential employer.
Always add a message
Yes, you should connect with a future employer on LinkedIn! There are, however, a few caveats with that statement such as who you are connecting with, what you are saying, and the position. Only connect with someone who will be looking at your resume such as a recruiter or hiring manager. Additionally, when connecting always add a note. This can be as simple as, “Hi Katia, I have applied to your open recruitment role, and wanted to express my utmost interest and excitement. I would love to connect!”. Additional best practices for outreach includes reserving this only for roles you are truly excited about and that align with your career interests.
Katia Dillon, TechnologyAdvice
Connecting is one of LinkedIn’s main purposes
By all means yes! Remember, one of the main purposes of LinkedIn is to make new business connections. If you have targeted a company for hire and see that a Hiring Manager at that target company is advertising a role that you’re interested in then yes send a request to connect. If you do it in a professional (do not beg) manner then you could earn yourself a close look and possible interview. Certainly, make sure you use LinkedIn to its full potential in the job search!
Ronald Kubitz, Forms+Surfaces
Consider a thank you note
Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes for a second. She is interviewing not only you but many others, trying to determine who will be the best person for the job and the company. Connecting over LinkedIn before a decision has been made can come off as both pushy and over-confident—like you’re certain that you’ll be the one who’s working closely with the interviewer over all those other candidates. What should you do instead? Write the perfect thank you note. It’s still the best way to follow up and let the interviewer know how much you want the job. If you really want to grow your network on LinkedIn, it’s okay to request a connection with your interviewer, just wait until after a decision has been made.
Mark Christensen, People & Partnerships
Know who you’re talking to
It’s more than OK, that’s definitely a way to stand out from the crowd of resumes. I’m speaking here from the employer’s perspective and I hired many people that showed me the courage to approach me and talk to me. The most important thing is to show interest, know who and why you are speaking to. Personalize your message, show that you understand what the company does and how they can benefit from hiring you.
Tom Winter, Eye One
Explain your value and how you’re beneficial
Don’t connect with a potential employer on LinkedIn unless you have an irresistible offer to help the company. Otherwise, employers might get annoyed with you, which can lessen your chances of getting hired. Before connecting with a potential employer, create a proposal that is beneficial for the company. Doing so establishes your value right off the bat. If you connect with them without any concrete idea, you will be wasting your efforts since employers won’t even waste their limited time conversing with you.
Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress
Have you spent time cultivating your LinkedIn?
It is appropriate to connect with a potential employer on LinkedIn if you’ve spent time cultivating your LinkedIn content and brand and it gives insight to a potential future employer about your professional experience and approach to the position. It will give them access to your recommendations, digital resume, and your interactions and posts. If you’ve made it decently far into the recruiting process, I think it’s appropriate to connect. Also, even if you don’t receive the position, there’s value in keeping the dialogue going, because you never know what the connection will yield.
Eric Mochnacz, Red Clover