Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah as he walks PhDs through the 5 common mistakes they make on LinkedIn that leave their messages on read

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains that there’s a right and a wrong way to connect with networking contacts
  • Next, he walks us through five common mistakes that PhDs make in their messages to networking contacts
  • Finally, Isaiah wraps up the finer points of finessing your messages to ensure you’re making a productive connection with your network contacts

From This Week’s Show…

There Are Five Common Mistakes PhDs Make In Their Messages On LinkedIn

Are you sending messages on LinkedIn yet getting zero responses? 

You see the little check mark indicating they’ve read it, yet nothing happens. 

I know the pain of this experience.

“Maybe they’re just busy,”  you think. “Eventually they will get around to replying.” 

Don’t assume this. 

Chances are, there’s something wrong with your approach. 

There are five common mistakes PhDs make when messaging people on LinkedIn.

First, they don’t know anyone. 

Sure, connecting with people will increase the size of your network, but a bloated network full of strangers isn’t effective – and it’s certainly not going to help you in your job search. 

People won’t help those they don’t know or care about. And why should they? 

To make connections that’ll help you in your job search, find the people they do care about. 

Look to see if you have any shared connections. If you don’t have shared connections, create them. 

It may sound tedious, but consider the phrase “six degrees of separation.” 

This is the theory that any person in the world is connected to any other person by no more than five intermediary connections. 

Think about it – if you’re only five people away from every other person on this planet, how many intermediary connections exist between you and someone in a related field? 

Once a mutual connection is established, ask for an introduction. 

At the very least, ask your shared connection for permission to use their name when reaching out. 

Second, they don’t say why they’re connecting. Many PhDs think they need to start slow. 

They send off a, “Hi! We both know so-and-so. I’d love to connect!” 

Why should they respond to this? Why should they bother with a dead-end conversation?

On the other end, many PhDs will immediately ask for help. 

They write something like, “I like your job and your company. Can you help me get a job?” 

Again, why should they bother? They barely know you and you’re already way too needy. 

If You Want To Establish A Connection With Network Contacts, Send Messages Them With A Strategy In Mind

The third common mistake is not showing you care about them. 

To get people to respond, your message should answer the question, “What’s in it for them?” 

If your message doesn’t immediately provide value, it’s going to be ignored. This doesn’t mean you have to provide anything tangible, like money or help. 

Value can be something as simple as appreciating their time, complimenting them on a recent accomplishment, or asking for their advice. 

Look at their profile. Have they recently published a paper? Received special recognition at work? Recently got a promotion? 

This small and seemingly meaningless action elevates their credibility. 

And that’s exactly what you need to do to show you care. 

The fourth mistake is writing too much. 

A LinkedIn message isn’t your thesis. Keep it short – no more than 50 words. 

Don’t make them wade through a word salad to find the point of your message.

This takes us to the end of today’s Transition Report. As always, remember your value as a PhD and start thinking and acting like a successful industry professional.  

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

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