Most of us who have been in the search business for any length of time know that value of connections. When LinkedIn came on the scene, it was quickly embraced by our industry due to the seeming ease in which we could make new connection and establish relationships.   This whole idea lasted about three minutes!

What do I mean by this?  There are so many recruiters that have taken a great tool for establishing relationships, and turned it into a database to spam with poorly written InMails touting “great opportunities,” “join an industry leader,” “got referrals?,” and the like.   Instead of getting to know an individual to really find out if they are right candidate, we search a few keywords, blast to the group, and then wonder why our response rates continually decrease.

I have spoken with executive after executive recently that indicated they received no less than 30 InMails a week from recruiters and maybe respond to one!  Many of these same individuals have eliminated much of their LinkedIn profile in hopes of deterring some of these trolls.  Others have recently closed their accounts altogether.

So how bad is it?  Let’s take a look.  Following is an InMail that I received, copied word for word.  Oh how many ways is this just wrong!

Referral Request–Virtual Recruiter Training Manager
Lynn Buckman
Stephen Lowisz

Hi Steve,
Know anyone? Randstad Sourceright is hiring a Virtual Manager of Training Content & Delivery for our RPO Division. We are seeking a training professional to develop and deliver high quality cutting edge recruiter training content for professional recruiting team. Salary to $100K+ and Bonus. More information at (url shortened by Google) or contact search manager Lana Scott at
Not interested
View Lynn’s LinkedIn profile
You are receiving LinkedIn emails. Unsubscribe.
This email was intended for Steve Lowisz (Chief Executive Officer/Chief Trainier/International Speaker). Learn why we included this. © 2013, LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct. Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

What’s wrong with this message?  Where do I begin……….

  • Selfish – This note doesn’t even mention that I might have a background in training.  The entire InMail is about what they have and what they want.
  • Impersonal – I have never met this person, talked with this person, or even seen their name yet they take the liberty of opening with “Hi Steve”?
  • Unprofessional – In essence, this is marketing spam.  Someone who I don’t know InMails me a link to a job description along with an email address for someone else to contact – are you kidding me????????

I can go on but I’m sure that you get the idea.  This is the type of ridiculous approach that gives our profession a bad name when it comes to using a tool like LinkedIn.  In the upcoming months I plan to share more examples – feel free to share yours!


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