Even in today’s tight labor market, posting a job on LinkedIn means opening the floodgates to a deluge of emails and résumés, so the question for jobseekers is a bit tricky: How do you stand out from the pack and express interest without letting your current employer know that you are looking to make a change?
Simply put, the answer is to put in some effort, avoid generic responses and contact the job poster directly, according to Hannah Morgan, a job-search expert who offers tips on the website Career Sherpa.
Morgan said jobseekers should avoid inquiring about a job by replying directly to the posting because your comments could be seen by someone at your current company. In addition, if a recruiter were to look at your LinkedIn activity and see a bunch of responses to job postings, she might assume that you are under duress at your current job and are desperate to get out, Morgan said.
Instead, Morgan offers the following tips for reaching out to the job poster:
Search for contact information in the job posting, in any files attached to it, and on the job poster’s LinkedIn and social-media accounts. This will allow you to reach out to him directly even if you are not a LinkedIn premium member or are not connected to him on LinkedIn. You also could try guessing the company’s email format. For example, Bill Smith’s work email could be some variation of “[email protected]” or “[email protected]”
Review the job poster’s LinkedIn profile and social-media accounts, as well as the job posting itself, to identify ways to personalize your message. Does the poster provide any information about herself? Where did she work and go to school? Do you share any common interests or support the same causes?
Look at the poster’s LinkedIn activity. What status updates has she liked or commented on? Has she written any articles that you could mention in your initial inquiry? Search on Google too to see if the job poster has written articles, won an award or been mentioned positively.
Follow the company on LinkedIn and other social-media sites and like or reshare just one or two of its best postings. Tag the company and comment on why this post was meaningful to you, then do the same thing for one or two of the job poster’s best status updates. Find a recent accomplishment or some other data point about the company that you can use to show why you want to work there.
Finally, send an email to the job poster, preferably to his work email address and not on LinkedIn since many users log in infrequently. It’s best to be brief, but the email should express interest in the position, explain why you’re the best candidate for it, include some personalized reference to the company or the poster to show that you’ve done your homework, and request to chat about the job when convenient.
If you don’t hear back in four or five days, change the subject line in the original message and forward it to the poster with a gentle, friendly reminder at the top saying that you still would like to chat if possible.
Lots of jobseekers likely will send bland, generic messages to the job poster to say that they are interested in the position and would like more information. But by going the extra mile, you just might put yourself atop the company’s list of qualified candidates.