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I'm applying for an entry-level software engineer role at a 15-person company. I've found the engineering team leader on LinkedIn.

Is it appropriate for me to connect with him and send a message in addition to my application, so that I stand out? What should I be trying to say or prove in that message?

I have heard that this is a good idea, but I'm at a loss as to what, specifically, my message should include.

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As someone who gets a ton of LinkedIn messages from applicants trying to find a way in to my company, I can tell you that it has close to 0 affect on the hiring process. While I (personally) wouldn't consider it to be a negative, it does get kind of annoying. I've even had people I don't know contact me on LinkedIn asking me for a recommendation which is just ridiculous. Apply through the proper channel. Make sure your resume is well formatted and contains the right information. If the hiring manager(s) think you have the credentials, they will contact you. Don't try and cheat the system--it won't work.

The only possible exception is if you really go above and beyond researching the company and go into specific details about how your unique skill set could benefit the department. Even with this approach, though, the chances of it having an impact are probably 1 in 100 and almost zilch for an entry level position

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Is it appropriate for me to connect with him and send a message in addition to my application, so that I stand out? What should I be trying to say or prove in that message?

Don't know where you heard it was a good idea, but I would suggest you don't send such message, at least not with those intentions and content.

Surely, there is no problem in you connecting with them, as it is quite common to connect with people you don't necessarily work for/with but are part of the industry and area of knowledge you are.

However, sending such message "to stand out" could be perceived as you trying to bias their decision process in your favor. This could be frowned upon and affect your chances of landing that job.

In any case just connect with them and send a friendly and professional message (or just connect), but I would suggest you don't try to bias their processes in any way; your application and qualification should speak for yourself, without having to recur to lobbying techniques.

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  • "In any case just connect with them and send a friendly and professional message" With what contents? Apr 28, 2018 at 1:43
  • @DanielPaczuskiBak you can also just connect (no msg) as suggested. Personally, I would connect after they made a decision, to avoid such bias and any possible misinterpretation that could harm you. I think that the question you commented here is worthy of it's own post, if not one out there already (not in pc to check now)
    – DarkCygnus
    Apr 28, 2018 at 2:46
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Well that's the purpose of LinkedIn isn't it, to connect with hiring managers or people from company you want to work with, so you should connect with him and just send plain text politely asking about your application e.g " It would have been pleasure if i got this job as it's been my dream to work with so please look into my application and if that's what you looking for consider my application. Thank You".

I hope you will find this information worthy.

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