The Secret to Sourcing and Connecting on LinkedIn Without Using InMail

LinkedIn announced phenomenal second quarter results last week with over 238 million users on the world’s professional social network. They are a revenue generating machine who has a lock right now on the recruiting market. They are the recruiters tool of choice when searching, sourcing and connecting with job seekers and business professionals everywhere.

The Secret to Sourcing and Connecting on LinkedIn

With that in mind, I’m always a little surprised when job seekers, business professionals, internet sourcers, and recruiters fail to provide their contact information as part of their professional profile making it harder for me the person seeking the connection to message that person directly. Why would I go to all the trouble of optimizing my LinkedIn profile, then putting up a roadblock to keep you from connecting with me? Sometimes I just want to pick up the phone or send an email that’s from me and not LinkedIn. After all, relationships and conversations are the secret to great business networking.

Just last week I got an email from a professional career coach asking me to help provide referrals for Rene, a HR and Recruiting professional who is looking for a job. He suggested that I connect with Rene on LinkedIn and refer potential employers to her profile.

Having met Rene a time or two, I figured I would try to connect with her on LinkedIn myself so I could see who she was connected to and if I might be able to help send a job lead or two her way. When I tried to connect, I encountered my first roadblock in connecting with the supposed active job seeker. You can see the screen below.


Connecting with Rene on LinkedIn wasn’t going to be easy. The career coach who sent me the email message about Rene looking for work, failed to provide me Rene’s email address so I was forced to take a different approach in order to connect. I returned to Rene’s profile and selected “Send InMail” and discovered this simple secret to bypassing the tired and often unread LinkedIn InMail so that we may connect immediately.

LinkedIn InMail Secret to Internet Sourcing

As a LinkedIn paid member, I have a set amount of InMail messages that I can send without being connected to a user every single month. The challenge is that a growing number of users are experiencing email overload from recruiters and those looking for sales opportunities through LinkedIn making InMail a form of internet junk mail. Personally, I have an email folder that houses all my LinkedIn communication so I never see it in my inbox. Instead, I have time scheduled on my calendar to visit LinkedIn. Even though Rene is actively looking for work and might be interested in a position I have available, she might have similar filters and will never see the LinkedIn InMail from me. Plus, I can’t really personalize a LinkedIn InMail message to Rene that’s unique.


At the bottom right hand side of the graphic above, you can see Rene’s preferred email address. Please note, I changed Rene’s email to protect her identity. She is not Rene Waters. Just someone named Rene who lives in Oklahoma City. With a quick copy and paste, I can connect with Rene without sending the InMail and even send her an email from me bypassing LinkedIn.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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