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You’ve finished your job interview, and you think you did well answering the recruiter’s questions. You wonder if there’s a next step you consider: Should you connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn?
There are a lot of mixed messages about the etiquette of connecting with an interviewer on LinkedIn.
Here, we’ll talk about if you should connect with your interviewer and if you do, ways to connect on LinkedIn.
Some recruiters say it’s fine to connect with interviewers before an interview; others say to avoid it.
Ronald Kubitz of Forms + Surfaces suggests that one of the ways to connect on LinkedIn with your interviewer is before you even submit your resume to an open position.
“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, you could earn yourself a close look and possible interview,” he says.
Katia Dillon of TechnologyAdvice agrees, saying that it can be a smart move to connect on LinkedIn with hiring managers or recruiters you know will be reading your resume. Also, send along a personal message that mentions the position you applied for and why you’re excited about the job.
On the other hand, Tamara Sigerhall, a Korn Ferry Partner, disagrees, saying that job candidates should never connect with interviewers before the interview. Sure, you can check out their LinkedIn profile to get a better sense of who they are (they will probably be reading yours, as well), but, as Tamara says, “[if you send] the invitation too soon and you risk appearing too forward (or even desperate).”
Some hiring managers say not to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn before offering the job.
If you connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn after your interview, you may come across as overly confident – like you’re so sure you have the job you feel like you already work at the company.
One hiring manager warns that a LinkedIn connection before the offer was made might help them make up their mind – but not in the candidate’s favor.
“There is nothing inherently wrong with it. But it just feels like they are putting the cart before the horse. I feel uncomfortable because we don’t have a reason to connect. If I loved a candidate, it wouldn’t stop me from hiring them, but if I were on the fence, it would sway me to go in another direction,” they said.
So, if you’re unsure whether you want to connect on LinkedIn, you can skip this step – and focus on thanking the hiring manager via email instead.
Writing a thank-you note is a better bet during the hiring process than connecting with the interviewer on LinkedIn.
After you’ve been interviewed and haven’t yet been offered the position, writing a thank you is a more surefire way of connecting than risking a LinkedIn connect.
A strong thank you email after an interview should have the following components:
- A subject line that can just be a thank you – like “Thank You for Monday’s Interview!” or “Great to meet you today.”
- A greeting with your interviewer’s name. Don’t write “Dear interviewer” – use their name.
- The thanks to the interviewer – this can be as simple as “Thank you for meeting with me yesterday.”
- A reminder of your qualifications. In only a sentence or two, remind them of who you are.
- A reference to something you learned about the position in the interview. For instance, “learning about how the person in this role would be able to design some of its responsibility made me even more excited about this opportunity.
Feel free to connect with your interviewer after you’ve been offered the job – or even if you haven’t been.
One of the no-brainer ways to connect on LinkedIn after you’ve landed the job is by telling your interviewer how you’re looking forward to working with them.
If you’re not offered the job, you can still connect with your interviewer after you’ve been turned down for the position. If this feels right to you, you can send a personalized message with your request, telling them that you enjoyed getting to know them in the hiring process and that you would like to be considered for other positions that might arise at the company.
Never send a connection to your interviewer without some personalized note. Even if it’s a short message about how you would appreciate heads-up about future positions, you will make a positive impression, which can go a long way in developing a mutually-beneficial professional connection.
Ways to Connect on LinkedIn
Some hiring managers suggest that connecting with interviewers before or during the hiring process is effective. But if you’re unsure, the most measured strategy is waiting until after a hiring decision has been made, as sending an invitation to meet before the interview or before an offer has been made may come across as either over-confident or desperate.
If you’re in doubt about whether to connect on LinkedIn during the hiring process, take this advice: wait, and send a thank-you email instead.
Still, after you hear about the status of the position, feel free to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn. You can either develop a new contact at the company where you both now work or let them know you’re interested in new roles that crop up at their organization.
Many job seekers aren’t using LinkedIn to its full potential. Learn the “3 Secrets To Building Your Career Through Networking On LinkedIn” by watching our recent webinar with Yvonne Akinmodun, a certified Executive & Career Coach.