When (if at all) should I connect with my potential boss on LinkedIn?

Looking for a job is not a piece of cake – especially during CV-19 times, when everything happens dynamically and in a non-standard manner. We can easily get lost in the labyrinth of all the do’s and don’t’s of the job search process. Candidates often ask themselves (or Career Angels): what’s the right thing to do in this situation? What should I do in that case? Sometimes only one (mis)step can decide whether we will be accepted or rejected.

Those questions can include:
Should I contact my boss directly? Is it better to reach out to companies or headhunters? When should I send a follow-up? Aren’t I too pushy? Just to mention a few that we receive every day. We’d like to address one specific question:

“When should I send an invitation to my potential boss on LinkedIn, if s/he replied to my email? On the same day, the day after or should I wait one week?”.

Well, our answer is: it depends on…

the answer of the potential boss.

Based on what kind of reply you receive from them, you need to act accordingly. There are basically two possible replies you can receive from your potential boss after having sent an email:

1. A negative reply.

In other words, they clearly communicated that they are not interested in hiring you. In that case, we suggest to send a LinkedIn invitation to your potential boss 2-3 days later AND thank them for their reply. You can also mention that in case something changes (e.g. a new recruitment project), you are open to be contacted again.

2. A positive reply.

First of all, you have to ask yourself: what does “positive” mean?
• if they send you a link to apply to the job offer, it’s not an explicit positive reply, BUT it is a good signal, but definitely read between the lines – how is the tone of the email? Is it an actual, “Hey, I want to see you in my team, but there are procedures, please apply!” or a “Thank you – all our recruitment process go through this link.”
• if they invite you to further recruitment process steps, e.g. a screening call or an interview: that’s definitely a positive reply.

In both cases, we advise to send an invitation (personalized!) after 2-3 days OR do it a couple of weeks later. In case you get ghosted or the communication with your potential boss gets “stuck” at some point, a LinkedIn invitation is a good way to strategically remind them about you.

One thing that never changes: your invitation must be personalized! Reasons for that:
• you won’t be perceived as a spammer who sends out random invitations to hundreds different people
• it shows that you care and that you pay attention to your reader.
• it’s good to let them know why you are connecting. You already know your potential boss, but they don’t know you: there’s a risk that you can be perceived as a spammer. Providing some context is always a good idea and it might make them remember you

How to personalize your LinkedIn invitation?

• via the LinkedIn application on your mobile device:

• via browser:

If you are a manager with at least 10 years of experience who would like to discuss their job search strategy or strategic next steps, don’t hesitate to contact us! Fill out the form here or send an email to Bichl.Sandra (at) CareerAngels.eu. Subject: Free Career Consultation.