Reaching out to and connecting with LinkedIn recruiters

Whether you want to change your job to get a better pay package or are trying to begin your career with a new job, a LinkedIn recruiter could help. However, there are certain steps to reach out to such a recruiter. If you are at a loss about how to contact a recruiter on LinkedIn the right way, this post could help.

The first step to getting recruiters or hiring managers to notice you is to optimise your profile. This should be followed by searching for and finding the right recruiter. Once you shortlist a few, you need to connect with them.

You can do this by sending a connection request or InMail message. Your connection request or LinkedIn message sent via InMail should ideally be accompanied by a short introductory message that explains your career or job-hunting goals.

LinkedIn has above 850 million members spread across 200 countries and areas globally. More than 58 million companies are listed on it. Every week, 50 million people use the platform to search for jobs and 6 people get hired each minute. To get an idea of how tough the competition is to get a job, consider this: every second, a whopping 95 job applications are submitted.

If you are seeking a job actively and are adequately motivated to do what’s necessary to bag your dream position, it pays to take the appropriate steps to find and approach the right LinkedIn recruiters. If you feel all these are things you aren’t confident about doing the right way, no need to worry because this post is here to help you guide through the process.

If you are ready to make the most of the goldmine called LinkedIn for your job hunt, here are the steps you should follow to connect with recruiters on LinkedIn.

Invest in Your LinkedIn Profile

Make the most of your job search by connecting with LinkedIn recruiters

This is the first step that helps potential employers and LinkedIn recruiters find you. By optimising your LinkedIn profile well, you can indicate that you are ready for grabbing matching job opportunities.

Not sure how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile to get noticed by recruiters on LinkedIn? Here’s how you can do it:

  • Identify and use relevant keywords: Short-list the keywords relevant to your profile and the job you seek, and use them in your profile. For instance, if you are a software engineer looking for a suitable job, positioning “Specialist Programmer” along with “Springboot and Microservices, Java, Angular/React, or Docker and K8S” in your description and summary could help show proficiency in a specific area, thus improving your chances of getting a response when you reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn.
  • Set a profile photo: Choose an appropriate one as your profile photo that clearly shows your face, has a simple background, and matches the profession you are in or the type of job you seek. If you already have a profile photo, you can touch it up or change it if it looks dated.
  • Enhance your headline: Your headline could be a line or two that talks concisely and creatively about what you do and your industry, goals, job experience, achievements, specialities, etc.
  • Leverage LinkedIn summary: Use your storytelling skills to showcase your professional side and even give a glimpse into your personality. While writing this summary, you can think of it as a detailed version of your headline.
  • Build up your profile: Don’t leave the crucial sections of your profile incomplete. Spend some time filling up the sections for experience, education, licenses and certifications, skills, and languages known. It also pays to get endorsements and recommendations for your skills (from your teachers, past employers, etc.) and even take a skills assessment (or a few of these online tests) to get a “verified skill” badge that you can show off on your profile. All these will act as supporting documents for your resume.
  • Publish content: The more you expand and engage your network, the better will be your chances of finding and connecting with LinkedIn recruiters. If you seek effective ways to connect with recruiters on LinkedIn, publishing valuable and relevant LinkedIn posts as well as content on LinkedIn Pulse are effective ways that are worth trying.
  • Enable “Open to Work”: You can activate this feature by visiting your LinkedIn profile settings. You can set the type of job and job title, location, and other settings and exercise control over who sees this content, like making it visible just to recruiters.

Search for Recruiters on LinkedIn

LinkedIn recruiters are tasked to fill open positions in companies or organisations. Though these professionals won’t offer you your dream job on a platter, they will have access to listings or openings that you may not find on conventional platforms like job boards.

Still in doubt about why you should contact recruiters? Since these professionals also have a robust network of industry connections, contacting them and being listed in their talent pool will boost your chances of bagging more job offers so you can pick and choose. No wonder why job seekers try to connect with LinkedIn recruiters and once they succeed, leverage these connections.  

Since how recruiters work could still vary when you focus on the finer aspects, it pays to do your research diligently. Not sure how to conduct a search? You can use LinkedIn’s search button to find recruiters by using search terms like these:

  • Headhunter
  • Recruiter
  • Recruitment manager
  • Recruitment specialist
  • HR (or Human resources)
  • Talent specialist

By using the specific skill your desired job needs and the location you prefer, you can refine your search further. For instance, searching for a “software engineer recruiter Madrid” can give you the recruiters to reach out to in Madrid to expedite your job search. But the search results may not always show you just the recruiters as you can see in the screenshot below. 

LinkedIn search to find recruiters

In such cases, you need to scroll down the results a bit to shortlist whom to reach out to. You may even conduct searches with different variations of your keywords to prepare a final list of recruiters you want to reach out to.

Reach Out to the Short-Listed Recruiters

Now that you have done the necessary legwork, it’s time to connect with a few recruiters you have short-listed by crafting custom LinkedIn messages. You can do this in two ways:

Free Account Holders

You can send them a connection request. For this, you will have to visit their profile and look for the “Connect” button. If you just notice a “Follow” button, click on “More” and you will find “Connect.”

Premium Account Holders

You can leverage a more direct approach by sending the short-listed recruiters an InMail, even if they are LinkedIn users outside your network.

If you need LinkedIn message examples that you can tweak to fit your needs, you could search online to find a few.

If you and your target recruiter have a mutual connection and you interact with this connection frequently, you may even request the person to introduce you to the recruiter.

Whatever be the way you choose to connect, make sure to craft a personalized message (as part of your connection request or InMail message). This message should ideally be precise, in 75 words or less.

When messaging recruiters, you could say who you are and how you came to know about the individual, share your work experience (if any), and touch on commonalities, such as being part of the same professional group or attending the same university.

This way, you can pique the recruiter’s interest and even give a quick introduction about what you do and what you seek to achieve career-wise. If you want to continue with your free LinkedIn account, you can even do so, though the wait for finding the right job could be longer in this case.

When a recruiter accepts your connection request but doesn’t respond to your messages, it’s a good idea to engage with his or her LinkedIn posts, content, or even that person’s comment on others’ posts. By engaging with your target recruiters as much as you can, you can stay on top of their minds, which will help them think of you when a suitable position opens up.   

Don’t Forget to Follow-Up with a Recruiter

Once you connect with a recruiter, the person is likely to ask you to share a cover letter or resume, along with your portfolio, in case he or she feels interested in hiring you. When you send these things, focus on keeping your note positive, precise, and crisp, and ensuring it has your email, name, and mobile phone number so the recruiter can reach you easily.

If the recruiter doesn’t get back within 3-4 business days, you can send a short and simple follow-up message. The message should emphasise your continued interest in a particular field of work or job posting and ask if the recruiter has time to connect with you.

Wrapping Up

Reaching out to LinkedIn recruiters doesn’t always produce the desired outcomes or instant results. Several things can happen – they could have missed your emails, there may be no suitable opportunities available for you, etc.

If your follow-up message too goes unanswered, you should take the radio silence as an indication to make a move. For instance, you could send a second follow-up message and enquire about a status update on the job you were interviewed for. Just remember to be polite and precise to build and nurture long-term relationships with these professionals, some of whom could eventually help you with your job search and even other pursuits in life.

What other steps will you take to connect with recruiters on LinkedIn?

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