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If you want to learn the ins and outs of sending LinkedIn cold messages as a college student or recent graduate, you’re at the right place.
We made a post about this a little while back, but we wanted to delve deeper into the subject and concentrate on LinkedIn.
When it comes to cold messaging on LinkedIn, the reality is that the majority of them get ignored.
However, this isn’t because sending cold messages on LinkedIn is inherently a losing proposition; it’s because most people simply send out poor cold messages.
Some messages work, while most others don’t.
In this article, we’ll go over how to create ones that do.
Let us begin…
The Basics: What are cold messages?
Cold messages are sent out to people you likely haven’t had any recent interaction with. In the context of college students/recent graduates, the people you cold message could be recruiters/employees at your dream company, or professionals in the industry you intend on pursuing.
When you’re drafting a cold message, it is important to truly understand that these people aren’t anticipating any sort of message from you. This creates a hit-or-miss element to the cold messaging game.
Now, professional cold messages aren’t only sent through LinkedIn, but also through email and other mediums. Although this article will be focused on LinkedIn, these strategies are more or less applicable to cold messaging via email as well.
The problem with cold messages?
It’s quite difficult to see high response rates when you don’t utilize an effective cold messaging strategy.
But guess what? You’re in luck!
Throughout this article, we will be sharing these proven methods with you in detail.
Key points to keep in mind when cold messaging a professional on LinkedIn:
1. No need to be apologetic
You may be tempted to start your message off with something along the lines of “I don’t mean to bother you, but…”, or “I know you’re probably super busy, but…”…
This type of language is completely understandable.
After all, you’re a young individual reaching out to an industry professional who likely has many years of experience, and you don’t want to be a burden on them.
However, LinkedIn is meant for professional networking and relationship building – sending out cold messages is simply part of the game. Starting off the message with confidence and getting straight to the point will result in higher response rates for you.
2. Mention your education & reach out to alumni
As a college student or recent graduate, stating either the school you’re currently attending or your alma mater is crucial in LinkedIn cold messages.
More often than not, professionals love to help out motivated individuals who are either still in college or have just graduated. As a bonus, reach out to your school’s alumni who are working at a company you’re interested in, or an industry you’re considering.
3. Be straightforward about your intentions – never be vague
Make sure that you’re direct about what exactly it is you want. Something common we’ve noticed among the younger generation on LinkedIn is that they feel like they’re asking for too much when they ask for something specific.
It’s actually the other way around.
When you’re straightforward throughout your whole message, it makes the professional’s job much easier.
4. Don’t ask for too much
While it certainly is crucial to specify exactly what it is that you want in your first cold message, it’s also important that you only ask for one thing.
Sending a cold message with loads of information and questions will overwhelm the recipient.
Note that asking for more after you’ve already been exchanging several messages back and forth is a completely different story.
However, when your first cold message is only asking for one thing and is easy to digest, there’s a significantly higher chance that you’ll hear back.
5. Keep it short and sweet
Short, sweet, and to the point.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to keep your LinkedIn cold messages anywhere between 50 to 100 words. If you’re able to get your point across in under 50 words, go right ahead, but don’t jeopardize the content of your message for the sake of trimming down the word count. Contrarily, if your cold message is over 100 words, we strongly encourage you to cut it down.
Take a moment and think…
I’m sure that during your relatively short period of time on the platform, you’ve noticed that LinkedIn is filled with spammy messages from people trying to sell you stuff.
Think about how many of these messages the professionals you plan on reaching out to get. [Hint: a lot]
When you send out cold messages on LinkedIn, the recipients are far more likely to open, read, and respond to them if they are of viable length and accessibility.
It’s also crucial that you space out your writing reasonably, rather than sending one jumbled up message without separate paragraphs or sections.
6. No copy and pasting cold message templates
A huge mistake many college students and recent graduates make is sending the same exact cold messages to lots of different professionals, only changing fields such as the person’s name, their company’s name, etc.
While there’s no issue with using a template for your cold messages, it’s imperative that you don’t fall victim to the aforementioned trap.
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it’s that you must always add some customization to your cold messages. Highly tailored cold messages don’t only increase response rates, but they will also illustrate to the recipient that you genuinely care about whatever it is you’re reaching out to them about.
Quality > Quantity; sending 25 deeply customized cold messages is far more effective than sending out hundreds of copy and pasted ones.
As is true in essentially every aspect of your internship/entry-level job search, what you put in is what you get out.
Here’s a secret: there’s no shortcut.
If you quickly mass send generic cold messages, almost all recipients will be well aware of your tactics, which will result in little to no responses.
7. No links, files, or any other attachments
Going back to those spammy messages you’ll often come across on LinkedIn…
What’s something they all have in common?
There is always some sort of link or attached file in those messages.
Thus, people are conditioned to seeing cold messages with attachments and instinctively ignoring them.
Moreover, the first part of your cold message that the recipient will see is the bottom of it, which is where these links or other attached files are located.
The absolute last thing they’d want to see is an attached file or link of some sort, due to the association made with spam messages.
With all of this in mind, we highly urge you to not attach your resume in your cold messages.
After the conversation ensues, however, you can send your resume based on how the discussion is flowing. That’s totally okay. Just not in the first message you send.
8. Leverage mutual connections
Mutual connections on LinkedIn between you and the person you’re cold messaging could go a long way.
Seriously, they could almost guarantee you a response.
Prior to hitting that send button on your cold messages, be sure to check if you have any mutual connections that you could reach out to first.
If you do, shoot them a message and ask for an introduction with the professional you want to get in contact with.
An introduction acts as social proof and is a similar concept to getting an employee referral for an internship/entry-level job.
Simply put, introductions are arguably the single best way to increase your chances of hearing back from cold message recipients.
This is because after an introduction is made, the “cold” message is no longer cold.
It’s lukewarm now.
Definitely take advantage of shared contacts.
Thanks for reading!
We appreciate you taking the time to read our value-filled article. Utilize all of these tips, and we guarantee that you will see an increase in responses to your cold messages over time.
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Our blog is here to provide you with the practical tips you need to successfully land an internship/entry-level job.
The process isn’t easy, but resources like this are definitely a huge help.