Critique of LinkedIn (Networking) Outreach and Favor

Lokesh Sharma is a smart SQL expert and JibberJobber user who currently lives and works in India. He is looking at a change and reached out to me. With his permission I’m sharing his message, and my advice for making this a better message.  First, his message to me:


Then, an example of what I could send to my contacts:


Before I go into my critique, I should mention that Lokesh and I have had communications before he reached out to me. This was not a cold contact, which is really quite important. Now, let’s go into this and talk about each part:

Hi Jason

Good day!

This didn’t bother me one bit… but if I were his coach I’d recommend he put a comma after my name, and use a different greeting. I get a lot of spam from people on LinkedIn and in email, and Good day! is not a common greeting for me (or, in the U.S.).  This isn’t a hard-and-fast thing, just my opinion.

I have been using jibberjobber tool and it is turning out to be very useful. Thank you spending time and money and coming up a tool that makes job tracking much easier. I might look to subscriber for the premium version in coming future.

There are a few spelling or grammar errors here but I’m not worried. I know he is from out of the U.S., and his message to me is real and meaningful. I have, over the years, had people thank me for creating JibberJobber, but no one has thanked me for spending time and money to create it.  He wins bonus points big time for just mentioning that!  The point here is, GET PERSONAL!!  Like I said, I get so much spam that I can smell it from a mile away. His introduction to me helps me know that he really knows something about me.  (Note: 100% of the crap PR pitches I get say something like “I love JibberJobber, I’ve been following it and ….” and then they pitch. They have never loved, or spent more than 8 seconds reading, my blog (which is not JibberJobber).

Hey I just wanted to say that I am exploring the IT market overseas. Can you introduce me to some of your contacts who work in this field and especially those who have made it from different countries.

I would change the first part to simply read: I am exploring…” and take out the stuff before that.

I like how he gets right to the point in the next sentence, however I would insert this before that sentence: “I’m looking for introductions to people who work in ___________” where the blank is something very specific. You see, most everyone I know works in IT, but not everyone would be great contacts for him. He should say “who work with databases,” or servers, or whatever more specific fields within IT he can. General is okay, if you can’t go specific, but in his case I’d go more specific.

Then, the final sentence would be a call to action, like he has, but shorter: “Can you introduce me to anyone like that?”  I like calls to action that are very short and without room to be misunderstood.

I’ve put an introduction below for you to doctor if its helpful.

Man, has this guy been reading my mind?!?!  This is so helpful. You see, I can send an email or invite someone to talk to him, but he takes all of the thinking out of it and makes it easy for me. I don’t have to use his wording, but it sure is nice for him to help me help him. And, I can easily see what his main points are so I can make sure I do it right.

Let’s critique the second part of his message, which is the suggested message I could use as I reach out to people to facilitate an introduction:

Hi [Name]

My business contact, Lokesh, is looking to chat about working in UK in the field of IT (Business Intelligence and Analytics). He is currently working as Tech Lead for Harman Connected Services, Bangalore India.

This is a great introduction. I would change it to this, just to clean up the English, but generally this is the right message:

Hi [Name]

My is looking to chat with someone about working in [location – note, I’m not in the UK] in Business Intelligence and Analytics. He is currently working in Bangalore.

I took out “in the field of IT” because the titles are better, and I changed the last line because, unless it’s a super huge company that people I’m introducing him to would know (like Microsoft, Adobe, eBay, etc.), it doesn’t matter.

Lokesh is considering expanding his work portfolio, and I thought you’d be a terrific person to talk with knowing your global experience.

I think I’d strike this entire line. It’s obvious that Lokesh is “expanding his work portfolio” (which sounds more like a gig/contractor than someone looking for a job), and the last part might not be true… the person might have great US or UK or whatever experience, but maybe not global. What they have is local expertise that Lokesh wants to tap into. Bottom line, strike that entire line. I’m after concise.

Here is his LinkedIn profile.

I’m on the fence on this one. Part of me says to not include it, the other part says it’s good. The reason I wouldn’t include it is that it just adds to being too much information… I don’t need my contact that hopefully knows and trusts me to click more… I hope that based on our relationship she’ll take the call.  The other part of me says sending a LinkedIn Profile is a good thing, and they could get info to prepare. Honestly, I think I’d NOT include it in this email, but if they say yes, then I’d send it in my follow-up email.  (Note: if you do include it, change period to a colon)

So what’s missing?  A CALL TO ACTION. There is no call to action here.  The message needs something like:

Can I send you an introduction email so he can start a conversation with you?


Would you mind getting on the phone with him in the next week or two?

The MAIN, NUMBER 1 point of this entire message to my contact is to get them on a call with Lokesh. Don’t send too much information that the call to action gets buried, and make sure that you have a simple, single action call to action.

Just a few subtle changes, but I bet these will help Lokesh get better results.

The next big thing is how well will he do on the phone? I can only hope that if he gets on the phone with someone I recommend that he does a great job, asks the right questions, etc.  To do that well you need to study “informational interviewing.” I have a course on that, of course 🙂

1 thought on “Critique of LinkedIn (Networking) Outreach and Favor”

  1. Thank you, Jason. Well, to everyone who is reading this post and are searching for a job, I ‘ll strongly recommend using jibberjobber as an efficient tool for your job hunt. You ‘ll have to learn to use it, but once you get the hang of it you would love it. Another one of many Jason’s courses which would help in making your LinkedIn profile stand out is available in pluralsight, Make sure you check that out too. I have been plowing various ways to reach my goal i.e. to get a job abroad. And this reach out email is one of them. Would love to know your strategies and whether it helped you in your quest for a job search?

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