Networking can be crucial for anyone who is job hunting these days (or who might be looking later on). Reaching out to other professionals and acquaintances can really simplify the search, and there are many different ways to connect. Whether you're catching up with a friend, a friend of a friend or someone you met at Starbucks, you can link up virtually anywhere. In fact, one of today's top networking resources for job seekers is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn allows people to apply for jobs directly from its website, without ever having to leave it. But there's more you can do on LinkedIn than just applying for open positions. A helpful feature you shouldn't overlook is LinkedIn's InMail tool.

Your dream job won't wait long.

In addition to enabling you to connect and network, LinkedIn InMail also gives you the opportunity, if handled correctly, to make a great first impression! Here are tips that will help ensure your LinkedIn InMail messages are doing their job.

Make the subject line direct, short and intriguing.
Catching the reader's attention--with their first glance--is critical. Two to four words should do the trick; for example, "Looking to connect!" or even something as simple as "Referral! -'name' ".

Personalize the note.
Be sure to review the potential connection's profile before sending your InMail. To increase your chances of getting a reply, include something in your message that the reader can relate to, such as similar experiences or skill sets that you share, or a brief reference to something that stood out to you in the person's profile. Don't be too hasty in hitting "send"--always read what you've written and check for missing words, etc.

Follow up.
Mention in the message that you'd like to follow-up the conversation with a phone call or meeting. This will improve the probability that you'll receive a response, as it makes you seem genuinely interested in building the connection. It also gives the person a suggestion for the next action.

Keep it short and easy to read.
Much like your subject line, the body of the message should also be short and sweet, stating who you are, what you do and why you are writing (your purpose). Limiting the length of your message to 100 words or fewer increases the odds of receiving a response. Since the reader will spend less time getting to the end, they can spare more minutes to reply.

These are just a few pointers that can help you be more successful at landing that dream position. The experts say that job hunters should think of the search as if it were their work. But you don't have to go it alone. Our recruiters have many suggestions to offer, and we work with talent every day to help them connect with their ideal job.