Getting in touch with recruiters on LinkedIn can be a great way to find new job opportunities and advance your career. However, it’s important to approach LinkedIn recruiting the right way in order to make a good impression and stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips on how to successfully connect with recruiters on LinkedIn:
Optimize your LinkedIn profile
The first step is to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and portrays you in the best possible light. Recruiters will likely look at your profile before deciding whether to connect with you. Make sure your profile includes the following:
– A professional headshot photo
– A headline that summarizes your expertise and skills
– A current job title and detailed description of your responsibilities
– Key skills, certifications, awards, volunteer work, courses etc.
– Recommendations from managers, colleagues, clients etc.
– Examples of projects and accomplishments from each role
Also customize your LinkedIn URL to be more professional. The optimized profile will help recruiters quickly learn about you and determine if you could be a good fit for their openings.
Expand your network
Grow your LinkedIn network by connecting with more professionals in your industry. This will give you more visibility and access. Try joining relevant LinkedIn Groups based on your interests and professional associations. Look for alumni from your university or people who work at companies you want to work for. Avoid sending generic connection requests, and instead personalize each one with a message.
Follow companies you’re interested in
Follow companies you want to work for on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on their news, job postings and recruiters. This will help you learn about potential job opportunities and also give recruiters from those companies access to your profile. When they see you’re engaged with their company page, they may reach out about possible openings.
Use LinkedIn’s advanced search
Use LinkedIn’s advanced people search feature to find recruiters from specific companies or locations. For example, you can search for recruiters at your dream company. The advanced filters allow you to narrow down your search criteria to find the right people.
Craft a compelling connection note
When requesting to connect with a recruiter, avoid using LinkedIn’s standard template message. Instead, write a customized note highlighting why you want to connect with them specifically. Mention common ground you share, like attending the same university or working in the same industry. Provide an overview of your background that fits their openings. And express enthusiasm for learning about opportunities at their company.
Follow up after connecting
Don’t end the conversation after sending a connection request. Follow up with recruiters after they accept to start building a relationship. Send them a message thanking them for connecting and asking for a quick phone call to learn more about their hiring needs. Many jobseekers make requests but then never follow up, so this will make you stand out.
Position yourself as a resource
Rather than immediately asking about job openings, offer value to recruiters by positioning yourself as a resource. Share content with them that demonstrates your expertise such as articles, whitepapers, Slideshare presentations etc. Comment on their posts when you have something worthwhile to add to the discussion. Providing value builds credibility and gets them interested in you.
Watch for engagement opportunities
Pay attention if a recruiter likes or comments on your posts or content – this shows they are engaged. Be responsive if they comment or ask a question to continue the dialogue. Also look out for when they post about events, company milestones, hiring needs etc. and use these status updates as a chance to start a discussion.
Apply to jobs they posted
Check the LinkedIn Jobs section for openings from recruiters you’ve connected with and formally apply. Recruiters are more likely to notice and review your full application if they’re already connected and familiar with your profile. Applying also signals that you’re very interested in job opportunities at their company.
Request informational interviews
Many recruiters are open to informational interviews where you can learn more about their company, hiring needs and industry insights. Briefly explain why you’re interested in their company and ask if they’d be willing to schedule a 20-30 minute call. Come prepared with thoughtful questions that show you did your research on the company and role.
Avoid being too aggressive
While assertiveness with recruiters is good, avoid being overly pushy or aggressive. Limit yourself to one or two messages a week per recruiter. Don’t call/email multiple times a day asking about job openings. Be patient and focus on relationship building first. If they’re interested, they will engage with your outreach.
Leverage premium LinkedIn features
Upgrading to a premium LinkedIn account provides more ways to get a recruiter’s attention. For example, you can use InMail credits to directly message recruiters who aren’t yet connections. Premium also lets you see more profile views to know when a recruiter looked at your profile.
Best practices for contacting recruiters
Here are some top strategies to use when reaching out to recruiters:
|Personalize your messages
|“Hi [Name], I noticed that you worked as a recruiter at [Company] back in [Year]. I actually interned at [Company] that same year – small world! I’m reaching out because…”
|Highlight your common ground
|“Hello [Name], Like you, I attended [College] and majored in [Subject]. I’m reaching out because your experience really resonates with me…”
|Compliment their company
|“Hi [Name], I’ve been really impressed with [Company’s] innovative [products/services/culture]. In fact, it’s one of the companies I’m most interested in…”
|Express your passions
|“Dear [Name], What excites me most about your company is the opportunity to [work on XYZ]. I’m extremely passionate about [topic] and would love to contribute my skills…”
|Say why you’re contacting them
|“Hello [Name], The reason I’m reaching out is because I’m very interested in opportunities at [Company] focused on [job types or roles]…”
|Share your LinkedIn profile
|“Hi [Name], I’ve attached a link to my LinkedIn profile so you can learn more about my background and experience in [industry]. Specifically, I think my skills in [XYZ] would benefit [Company’s needs]…”
|Ask for advice
|“Dear [Name], I’m looking to break into [industry/role] at great companies like [Company]. You have an impressive background in recruiting for this field. I’d love your advice on how I can stand out and position myself as a strong candidate…”
|Suggest a quick call
|“Hi [Name], Thanks for connecting! I’d love to learn more about [Company] and your recruiting needs. Would you have time for a quick 15 minute call this week or next to discuss?”
|Follow up and show gratitude
|“Hello [Name], Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me yesterday and for all the helpful career advice. I really appreciate you sharing your insights about [topic]. Please keep me in mind for any [job type] roles that come up! All the best…”
What to avoid when contacting recruiters
There are also some things you’ll want to avoid when reaching out to recruiters:
– Using a generic template message instead of personalizing your note
– Contacting recruiters who have no connection to your industry or interests
– Asking about job openings in your very first message
– Contacting too frequently (more than 1-2 times per week)
– Communicating in an overly aggressive or salesy way
– Messaging recruiters just to expand your network without a specific purpose
– Contacting recruiters from a company you’re not actually interested in
– Asking for referrals or submitting your resume before building a relationship
By avoiding these mistakes and using the best practices outlined above, you’ll be on the right track for engaging recruiters that can help your career.
How to build an ongoing relationship with recruiters
Successfully connecting with recruiters is just the initial step. To increase your chances of getting job interviews and opportunities, you need to cultivate an ongoing relationship over time.
Here are some ways to build a lasting rapport with recruiters:
Nurture the relationship
Periodically check in with the recruiters in your network just to say hello. Send them articles or content that would provide value. Share updates about accomplishments and projects you’ve been working on. Congratulate them when they get promoted or change roles. Stay engaged so you remain top of mind.
Meet at industry events
Attend relevant conferences, seminars, networking events and trade shows where you’re likely to interact with recruiters in person. Introduce yourself and continue the relationship offline. Exchanging business cards and meeting face-to-face can often strengthen the connection.
Connect on multiple platforms
In addition to LinkedIn, try connecting with recruiters on other major social media networks like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This gives you more ways to stay in touch, share updates and demonstrate expertise. Just make sure your profiles on other platforms are professional.
Offer to occasionally help recruiters in an advisory role based on your skills and experience. For example, provide feedback on their hiring process, employee retention strategies, workplace culture, etc. Answer candidate screening questions or review resumes. The more value you bring, the more likely they are to reward you.
Signal that you’re interested
Let recruiters know you remain very interested in job opportunities at their company. Periodically restate how you’re impressed with the company and how your skills would be a great fit. Say you’d love to interview whenever they have relevant openings. Stay on their radar.
Request informational interviews
Ask to occasionally meet up or chat over the phone to learn more about the company, hiring trends, and recruiter’s background. Come prepared with thoughtful questions that show your interest. These informal interviews help strengthen the relationship.
While you want to nurture the relationship, avoid reaching out too frequently where the recruiter feels overwhelmed or even irritated. Once a week or every other week is usually a safe cadence for proactively checking in.
Leverage your common connections
Pay attention if you share any common connections with the recruiter on LinkedIn. Reach out to those mutual connections to learn more about the recruiter’s needs. And consider asking those shared connections to make formal introductions where appropriate.
How to get a referral from a LinkedIn connection
Getting an internal referral from someone who already works at the company is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door with recruiters. Here are tips for getting referrals from your LinkedIn connections:
Select the right connections
Not all referrals carry the same weight – you want to be selective about who you approach. Target only close connections who could vouch for you. Senior level and well-connected referrers are ideal. Check if they have influence in the hiring process.
Send a personalized request
Avoid generic outreach like “Let me know if you hear of any openings!” Make it personal and explain why you are a great fit for the company. Mention how the connection knows your skills and work ethic. Share the specific role(s) you have in mind and interest in being referred.
Highlight the incentive
Explain that making successful referrals is encouraged and incentivized at most companies. They can get a bonus or additional compensation if the person they refer gets hired and performs well. This gives them added motivation to refer top candidates like yourself.
Make it easy for them
Do some legwork to make the referral process as turnkey as possible. Provide an updated resume and background info tailored to the role(s) you want to be referred for. Share links to your LinkedIn profile and other professional profiles that help sell you.
Follow up appropriately
After sending the initial referral request, follow up once or twice at appropriate intervals if you haven’t heard back. Send a thank you message if they agree to refer you and keep them in the loop on the process. Let them know the outcome and express your gratitude.
Referrals provided by connections do you a big favor. Be sure to show appreciation by sending a thank you card or thoughtful gift if you get the job as a result of their referral. Even if it doesn’t work out this time, they’ll remember your gratitude the next time an opportunity arises.
Mistakes to avoid when contacting recruiters
There are also some key mistakes you’ll want to avoid when reaching out to recruiters:
Using passive or weak language
Language like “I was wondering if you might have any openings at your company?” or “Let me know if you need any help with recruiting” comes across as passive. Use active language that states your value and interest directly.
Being too salesy or pushy
Avoid sounding like an aggressive salesperson pitching yourself too hard without personalization. Going overboard can make recruiters disengage. Focus first on building a relationship before your ask.
Contacting without research
Make sure you’ve researched the company, recruiter’s role and background before reaching out. Generic outreach without personal details will get ignored. Personalization shows homework effort.
Talking just about yourself
Don’t make the message all about you. Tailor it to the recruiter’s needs and how you can provide value. Show interest in helping their company succeed, not just advancing yourself.
Being dishonest or misleading
Never inflate your skills or experience in hopes of getting noticed. This will backfire badly if you lack proficiency in those areas. Honesty and transparency are key when networking.
Making it all about the job search
Focusing only on openings, referrals and submitting your resume prematurely can turn off recruiters. Build a relationship first and get them interested in you before any asks.
Not following through
Following up and continuing the nurture process is crucial. Many job seekers go silent after their initial messages. Set reminders to follow up and stay engaged over the long haul.
Making connections with recruiters on LinkedIn can be immensely beneficial for your job search and career progression. But simply sending requests is not enough – you need to lay the groundwork by optimizing your profile, expanding your network, and providing value to recruiters through high-quality engagement. Avoid common mistakes like being overly salesy or self-focused. Instead, focus on relationship building through personalization, expressing interest in the company, asking for advice, and following up. This will put you on the right path to get in touch with the recruiters who can help match you with exciting new career opportunities.