Recruiter Inmails – let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly!

Dear ,

I came across your profile and feel you could be a match for a position I am working on. Our client is a founding-stage startup in the SaaS HR, Resource Management and Business Execution Software sector. We are seeking a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to develop, refine and roll out the company’s marketing strategy and plan to the global market. This is both a strategic and “hands on” tactical role, requiring a prior successful track record in innovative market strategies, unconventional inbound marketing campaigns, a rapid product adoption cycle, and growing brand recognition. You will lead key initiatives while defining and managing the necessary steps to launch and grow the company toward global market success.
Reporting to the CEO, the CRO will be a part of the company’s founding executive team and will be responsible for leadership and management of all global marketing activities. The core objective will be focused on developing the commercial success of the SaaS product, and generating rapid awareness and demand in the marketplace. In addition, the CRO will shape the brand, and position the company as the emerging leader in SaaS-based HR and Human Capital/Resource Management arena. Previous participation in and contribution to successful VC funding of a San Francisco Bay Area venture is a plus.
If this sounds like you, and the kind of opportunity you have been seeking or hoping for, please send your resume and cover letter to:

I look forward to hearing from you,
Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx

Some of you may be wondering why I would have a bone to pick with this inmail. Seems to be well written. And I agree that it is. But has this recruiter thought through who the recipient of this inmail will be? I doubt it. Her client is looking for a Chief Revenue Officer so the first thing she should be thinking about is who that person is, what they like, don’t like, what their day looks like, etc. – the things marketers think about when they discuss relevance. Relevance is the secret sauce in effective engagement.

So let’s examine the inmail again. She opened up with one sentence acknowledging me – that she came across my profile. Congratulations Ms. Recruiter, you can search LinkedIn. My profile tells you quite a bit about my career. So instead of writing one or two more sentences about my profile – acknowledging that I have sales leadership experience in HR software, that I’ve worked in start-up environments, etc, etc, etc, all the things her client is looking for – she spends the next two paragraphs with an obvious copy and paste from the job description (the JD could have been provided as a link to the job their careers site). So now assuming that I’ve read two paragraphs in an inmail from someone I don’t know (which is not likely anyway) she then closes by asking me to send her my resume and cover letter if I’m interested. Are you kidding me?!?! I’m not even close to considering a new job and am senior enough for her to recruit me for a CRO position and she’s asking me, as a next step based on her two paragraph email, to send her my resume and cover letter (which I don’t even have). I’ve never met her, don’t know her, don’t know anyone that knows her, know very little about the job and nothing about the management team at the company, etc. Hell, I don’t even know who the company is!! And she wants me to blindly send off my resume and cover letter? Yikes! No thanks.

So take my advice and stop using LinkedIn inmails as a lazy way to blast out a message to a bunch of people. You’re not doing yourself any favors. Being social means creating value for the network before you take from it. Take the time to build relationships and understand the person and make sure they know you’ve taken the time to understand them. It’s an intimate thing so treat it like that. Get smart and make the message about them and their career first and the job you’re pitching second. It’s classic consultative selling technique – discover the prospects needs first and then position the product accordingly. And never ask for the business too early or you’ll blow the sale. In other words, don’t ask a prospect for their resume and cover letter in your first inmail.