Linkedin Recruiter

How to Contact a Recruiter on LinkedIn

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.

Ask Lynn - LinkedIn Recruiter - Creative

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.

Ask Lynn - LinkedIn Recruiter - Conversation

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. 

Final Tips

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!


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Comments 3

  1. Hey Lynn,

    I came across this piece as a person helping out a friend with her job-hunt.

    I’ve seen multiple similar articles, but what made yours stood out were your insights on contextual power words. She’s been sending pretty plainly worded messages as of yet, but now that I’ve shown her this article, she’ll start using some of those power words pretty soon. Will let you know the results 😉

    Reading your post, Lynn, I couldn’t help but recall a very, very relevant stat I came across recently – “Response rate to InMail is 21% higher if the sender shares a group with the recipient”.

    I felt this was bonkers! So useful to get noticed by a recruiter, and I bet almost no job-seeker knows of this! I couldn’t stop thinking “How great it’d be for a job-seeker to find that info in this article!”

    So I thought how about I send you this email, and tell you to perhaps put that stat in there? Really think it can help a lot of job-seekers cross that first hurdle 🙂

    Anyway Lynn, just my 2 cents! Great post overall 🙂

    Come to think of it, I recalled the stat so vividly because we just updated one of our posts ( on Zariance with that exact stat. Happy coincidence!

    1. Jay, thanks so much for sharing your uplifting anecdote and the current stats on InMail response rates! We’ve added that to the article, and linked to your post with the data. 🙂

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