Welcome to “Dear Dana”, our regular column to give you workplace advice and coaching. Please write in and tell me about a frustration or question you’re facing at the office or in your job search! – Dana Theus
Dear Dana: What is the protocol or LinkedIn best practice for connecting with the person who posted a position on Linked In? Should the applicant send the HR person a message via LinkedIn after submitting an application, if it isn’t possible to make a more personal connection via one’s own network? Thanks! — Puzzling in Virginia
I don’t think this is an either/or question. If you can make a personal connection, that’s always best, but if it’s going to take time to make that happen, don’t wait to make sure they know you’ve submitted.
The best use of a personal connection is for your mutual connection to reach out to your mutual connections and say that (a) you’ve submitted your application to Job XYZ and that (b) they think you’re a good candidate and encourage the recruiter to check out your application. That’s more personal (and includes a light reference) than just asking your connection to confirm a bureaucratic step. But your goal is to get your name in front of the recruiter, so if you can, why not do both? Ask your connection to help, but also reach out yourself.
Remember that recruiters are people too. Very busy people. These days many recruiters have artificial-intelligence-powered recruiting databases and apps helping them sort through the hundreds of applications they receive. This makes the first step in their jobs easier, whittling down the pile to the people who are truly qualified. But they still have to sort through the good matches and decide who to phone screen or bring in for an interview. You want to give yourself every advantage to be in that list.
The key to recruiter communications no matter how you do it is to be brief and action oriented. Give them the info they need (e.g., submitted it 5pm Nov 3rd), and anything you’re requesting (e.g., please confirm that you received it). You can ask about other info like next steps, or a chance to chat by phone to learn more about the position, but you probably won’t get an answer unless you’re a great match or your personal connection is someone the recruiter really likes (or both, and sometimes not even then.) Your main goal when you’ve already submitted an application is to put your name in front of them and create a positive impression. Be polite and professional.
Just because they don’t respond doesn’t mean you haven’t made an impression. Keep a positive attitude and know that when you’re professional, polite and action-oriented you’re helping them do their job and helping your resume have a shot at moving higher in their pile. Send off your request with an open heart and then move on to the next thing on your career transition list.
Executive & Career Coach
P.S. – Have a question you’d like anonymous support on? Write me!
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