In the dating and relationship world, being “ghosted” typically refers to not hearing back from someone. Ghosting can also happen in professional networking. It’s never a good feeling when you don’t hear back from an employer or potential new contact at your dream company. Not hearing back can be frustrating, disappointing and unmotivating. According to Senior Editor for Job Search & Careers at LinkedIn News Andrew Seamen, hundreds of applicants may apply for a single position, making contact even less likely. Here are a few creative and strategic ways to avoid being ghosted while networking.
Personalize your Connection Request
Many think it is enough to simply reach out via LinkedIn by clicking the “Connect” button. However, this doesn’t tell the recruiter why you wish to connect. When connecting with someone on LinkedIn, be sure to choose “add a note” and write a short description of why you are reaching out to them. Try something like this:
Try Connecting on Different Platforms
Sometimes, it’s helpful to reach out on multiple platforms. For example, if you haven’t heard back from your LinkedIn message, try emailing your contact. Resources like Mailscoop allow you to easily find an email address for someone. This shows the initiative that recruiters look for without being too pushy.
Here’s an example of an email you might send to a recruiter by looking them up on Mailscoop, or another platform:
Great to meet you!
I just applied to the [HR & Culture Coordinator] position at [Boardriders], and I wanted to introduce myself.
I have experience in [building culture programs like the Big Little Program (professional mentorship), have planned team building events, and have my hands in all HR administration at my internship]. I am particularly excited by [Boardriders] because you are so focused on [creating a culture of belonging], which is a personal value of mine.
Attached is my resume. Please let me know if there’s anything else you need from me. Let me know if you’d like to speak further.
Once you have connected with a recruiter, be sure to stay consistent with your responses. A follow-up every few months to check-in and provide an update about your professional life is appropriate. Maintain a professional tone, and respond promptly to their messages.
Unfortunately, some recruiters won’t respond to anyone. This is to be expected. Don’t let a few bad experiences stop you from reaching out and networking. The payoff of connecting with just one recruiter is worth a few “missed calls.”
This process is an opportunity to put your best foot forward, make an impression and advance in the hiring process. While you cannot eliminate the possibility of being ghosted, focus on the ones that respond, and let go of the ones that don’t.
If you aren’t hearing back, keep these things in mind:
- Many recruiters receive upwards of 100 messages a day. Try to stand out and be clear in your communication.
- If you’re reaching out during the summer or around a holiday, they might be out of the office.
- If you interviewed for a position and didn’t follow-up within a few days, they may have already moved on.
- If you did follow-up after your interview but haven’t heard back after a week, it might be time to move on and try reaching out to another recruiter.
Finally, it is important to be prepared for when you hear back from a recruiter. Check out this Informational Interviewing guide for next steps.
Ryan Dea is a Career Specialist in Career Development, specializing in the Arts and Entertainment industries.