As I’ve continued my job search this year, LinkedIn has become my go-to resource to find the best jobs and job contacts. From updating my profile, sharing pertinent news and info of the day, contributing to groups, or finding the right contact to address my job application, LinkedIn’s where I go.
Those who don’t utilize LinkedIn may ask, “Why not just use email?” Well, if the dynamic is right and if you feel the topic, situation, and your status with the person calls for it, feel free. When you’re networking, though, a cold email might not be the best route. LinkedIn messaging can be a better fit when trying to make a connection to a fellow professional you don’t necessarily know well.
The problem is when you want to connect with someone or message them on LinkedIn but don’t have their required email address. You could use Google and hope to get lucky, but that might be a little on the creepy side.
Here are 4 easy steps to send a message to a contact while bypassing the traditional “Connect” button.
1) After clicking on your potential contact’s profile, find a group near the bottom of their profile page of which you’re both a member. (NOTE: If you don’t share a mutual group with your contact, this messaging option won’t work)
2) When you land on the group page, find the number of total group members located just to the left of the gray “Member” button on the upper right of the group page. Click on it.
3) When the member page comes up, type in the name of your contact in the search box and hit Enter.
4) When the contact’s name comes up, click on the 3rd option under their position title, “Send message.” The message box will show up. That’s it. Type up a tone-appropriate and friendly message!
A lot of people might think this is just as creepy as sending a spam email to someone you don’t even know. In some situations, yes. But again, It’s a whole different medium than email. It’s a social world now, and networking in this way is the name of the game. It’s also up to you to know the dynamic of the situation, conduct the right tone, and know when the right time is to direct message that connection who can make all the difference in your job search.