How to Contact Recruiters on LinkedIn

Reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn is a great way to get your name out there … as long as you do it right.

If you've been searching for a job for any length of time, you already know this cold, hard truth: Searching for a job is hard. It's not always fun, and sometimes it can be downright terrifying.

But although it might feel strange to be so direct, reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn is completely socially acceptable. After all, that's what the platform is for — don't be shy! 93 percent of hiring managers use LinkedIn to find candidates, so this is a platform you need to take advantage of.

If you're struggling with exactly how to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn, here are a few tips.

Make sure you have the right person

Before you can start thinking about how to approach recruiters or hiring managers on LinkedIn, make sure you have the right person in mind. The best way to search for recruiters is to type your industry and the word “recruiter,” e.g.“marketing recruiter.”  You can also narrow your LinkedIn search results by region to find local recruiters in your area. Just don't forget to make sure the recruiter or hiring manager is still active and hasn't moved on to a different job or field.

Don't start with LinkedIn

Although this may seem counterintuitive, you should make your initial point of contact on a platform other than LinkedIn, such as following a recruiter on Twitter, where he or she will receive a notification with your name. That way, when you do connect with that person on LinkedIn, they will recognize your name and face.

After connecting with a recruiter outside of LinkedIn, view his or her LinkedIn profile and make sure to tweak your privacy settings to allow others to see your name and headline after you've viewed their profile. This will allow the recruiter to view your full profile in return –– and sometimes the recruiter might even ask to connect with you before you can request to connect with him or her.

Send a personalized connection request

You've reached out to a recruiter on another platform, you've viewed their LinkedIn profile, and you're finally ready to connect. But before you click that blue “Connect” button, wait! First, you have to figure out what to say.

Adding a message to your connection requests is essential. If you get a connection request with no message from someone you've never met, do you accept it? Probably not. Including a message will give you a much better acceptance rate as you begin reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn.

What's the best way to start this message? When it comes to how to contact recruiters on LinkedIn, it's essential for job seekers to start out with something personal to catch their attention. Maybe you and this recruiter went to the same college, or maybe you have a mutual connection (if so, ask that person for an introduction).  An example LinkedIn connection request to a recruiter:

“Hello, John. I noticed you live in Atlanta! I grew up there, and I miss it, but I am now a financial advisor based in New York and looking for new opportunities in the finance niche. I would appreciate any guidance you could give me. Would you like to connect and speak further?”

Send the recruiter or hiring manager your resume

Once the recruiter or hiring manager accepts your connection request, it's time for a more direct approach via email or a LinkedIn message. Find a recruiter's email address under “Contact info” on his or her profile; if it's not there, send a message through LinkedIn.

Send the recruiter a message describing your experience, qualifications, and what you're currently looking for in a few concise sentences, and attach your resume, too. Ask if it would make sense for the two of you to connect via phone.  An example LinkedIn message to a recruiter:

“Hi (Recruiter), My name is (Name), and I'm a (Title). I'm currently working for (Company), but looking to take on a new challenge and transition to a new company in (Industry). If you have a minute, I'd love the opportunity to discuss how my (Skills) and experiences in (Industry) might match up with positions you're recruiting for. Would love to hop on the phone to discuss. Please feel free to reach out to me at (Number). Looking forward to chatting with you!”

Stay in touch

Now you know how to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn, but what happens afterward? Often, reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn won't produce results right away. You may get a response along the lines of “I'll keep your resume on file,” which isn't very encouraging.

But you can do something to ensure you stay at the top of this recruiter's mind: stay in touch. Don't be obnoxious — it's a bad idea to email the recruiter every week asking if he or she has anything for you. Instead, simply circle back every couple of months in a casual, friendly way. Maybe you come across an article about a new trend in the recruiter's industry. Send the link along with a quick note: “This made me think of you. Hope you're doing well!”

Keeping a relaxed and warm conversation running will help a recruiter remember your name, which could lead to them thinking of you as a friendly and knowledgeable person who is always ready to help. That sounds like the kind of person a company wants to hire.

Contacting recruiters on LinkedIn might seem scary, but if you stay friendly and professional throughout the process, there's no need to worry about how to approach recruiters on LinkedIn. In fact, you just might end up with a new job.

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