What is the best way to reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn? – Arina in Mahwah, NJ
LinkedIn is a powerful platform that can connect people and lead to valuable career advancements. Recruiters will often reach out to people on LinkedIn whom they believe would be a good fit for a certain job opening or organization. But remember: The conversation goes both ways, and you can and should reach out to recruiters if they work within your industry or with companies you’re interested in.
Here are some guidelines on how to reach out… and how to stand out.
Step 1: Update Your Profile & Resume
Look through your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s up-to-date, accurate, and thorough. Be sure to add any newer projects or skills you’ve taken on since you last updated it. Check that you have a good profile photo, that your contact info is current, and that your privacy settings are correct. (You want your profile to be viewable!) Also be sure to proofread, checking for any typos or grammatical issues.
Do the same for your resume: Add new information, proofread it, and make sure it lines up with the information on your LinkedIn profile. You don’t want them to have contradictory details!
Finally, make it a habit to refresh your LinkedIn profile regularly. LinkedIn does occasionally change its format or add features – like the fairly recent cover photo option – so be sure to go in and make updates as needed.
Step 2: Find the Right Recruiters
Research recruiters based on industry and which companies they work with. Also pay attention to what kind of recruiters you’ve found – not all recruiters perform the same kind of job duties.
You need to know what industry you’re searching in, and even which companies you’d like to work at. This will help you narrow your search so that you find recruiters who can help with your specific career goals. If you want to work in the entertainment field, contacting a recruiter who primarily works with the medical industry won’t be all that helpful.
Pay attention to their public profiles, and also look into specific companies to find out which recruiters they work with.
Step 3: Get Connected
Once you’ve identified the right recruiters, it’s time to get connected. Send a personalized connection request. Don’t use the generic text; you must personalize your message when trying to connect.
How? Consider what sets you apart from others, what your goals are, and how you hope this connection can be mutually beneficial. Succinctly tell them who you are and why you’re reaching out to them specifically.
Before you send the connection request, make sure you proofread it at least twice. As with resumes, any typos or grammatical errors will give a poor impression.
Step 4: Send a Message
Once the recruiter has accepted your connection request, you’ll be able to send them an InMail message. If their email is listed, you may want to send an email instead.
Recruiters get a lot of messages every day, especially from people who want a job. You can stand out by saying something a little out of the box.
Consider asking them a question – but not one directly related to your job search or something that can easily be Googled. Ask about something they wrote, or their opinion on something within the industry they work with, or their advice on a specific job market. Ask about something they would know about, and make sure it’s a question that will engage them and call on their personal expertise.
However, some recruiters may respond better to a more direct communication, as opposed to dancing around the real reason you wanted to connect. If you do go the more direct route, be sure to give them enough detail to work with so they don’t have to look up more about you or ask numerous follow-up questions. Be specific about what you’re looking for, accurate about your background, and modest about yourself. A big ego won’t help here.
Whatever message you send, make sure you proofread it carefully. In so doing, don’t just check for typos. Also make sure your message isn’t too short or too wordy. Write enough that they know what you’re asking, but not so much that it’ll take too much time to read it. Be polite and considerate of how busy they are.
Know that connecting and working with a recruiter takes time, and you might not get results right away. Be prepared to nurture the relationship and stay in touch. With some patience, though, it should lead to valuable results.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of connections. If you and a recruiter have contacts in common or are part of the same LinkedIn groups, that can greatly improve your chances of connecting and starting a dialogue. As Jay helpfully shared in the comments on this post, according to recent stats, the response rate to InMail is 21% higher if the sender shares a group with the recipient. Great to know – thanks for the info, Jay!
Contacting a recruiter can be so helpful in advancing your career. Good luck, Arina!
- “The #1 Tip for Contacting a Recruiter on LinkedIn”
- “How do You Contact Recruiters on LinkedIn?”
- “Recruiters Explain Which Types of Messages They Actually Reply To”
- “How to Find Recruiters in Your Niche”
- “Do Recruiters Dislike Being Approached on LinkedIn or Facebook by a Candidate?”
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.