Professional networking site LinkedIn can make your job search easier and connect you to meaningful opportunities now or in the future. Indeed, you can save time, energy, and other resources when you work with recruiters to find the job you want.
But how do you make the first move and approach recruiters on LinkedIn? How do you talk to them or get them to notice you among the many others who also seek their assistance? This how-to article is for you.
1. Invest in Your Profile
It all starts with your LinkedIn profile that lets recruiters and employers find you. A well-put-together profile shows that you are ready for job opportunities.
Here are top strategies to leverage your LinkedIn profile to find a job:
- Touch up on your profile picture. Having a photo gets your profile noticed, but selecting an appropriate one is better. Choose one that shows your face, suits your profession, and uses a simple background. For professional results, hire a photographer.
- Enhance your headline. This line or two can be what you do, together with years of experience, industry, areas of expertise/specialities, achievements, goals, etc. You can make it creative and concise.
- Write a summary. It’s your story, which is understandably challenging to write. Still, this LinkedIn summary is a great opportunity to showcase your professional work and even personality. Consider it as an elaborate version of your headline.
- Build yourself up. Complete the sections for work experience, educational background and certifications, volunteer experience, skills, and accomplishments. It’s like your resume but with links and supporting documents.
- Activate “Open to Work.” You can set the job title and type, location, and other settings and control who sees this content, such as recruiters only. To enable the Open to Work feature, go to Me > View Profile > Open to > Finding a New Job to set preferences.
- Publish content. Tap your expertise or experience to produce relevant and valuable posts. It’s one way to engage and expand your network.
- Edit out overused words. Stay away from synergy, strategic, solutions, robust, utilise, passionate, driven, responsible, specialised, and other buzzwords. Instead, use specifics and action verbs in describing yourself.
- Update, update, update. Gained a new skill, completed a successful project, or received an award? From work dates to major milestones, make sure they are reflected in your profile.
2. Find Recruiters
They are tasked to fill positions in organisations or companies. While recruiters are not there to get jobs for you, they have access to openings or listings that may not be available in conventional platforms like job boards. More importantly, they have connections that make it beneficial to stay in their talent pool.
Still, recruiters vary, so do your research. The first step is to look up “recruiter” on LinkedIn’s search button. Consider these other search terms:
- Recruitment specialist
- Recruitment manager
- Talent specialist
- Human resources
You can streamline the results by people, company, location, industry, and other filters.
The tables have turned, and you can use the profile criteria above to assess recruiters and spot any red flags as well.
3. Reach Out to Recruiters
There are two main approaches to connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn:
- If you have a premium LinkedIn account, you can send an InMail to people outside your network. This is the more direct approach.
- If you have a free account, you need to be connected to them to send a message. Look for the “Connect” button on their profile page. If you see a “Follow” button, click on More and look for “Connect.”
Always send a personalized connection request. It piques the recipient’s interest and acts as a quick introduction. In your message, you can say how you came to know the person. You can also touch on commonalities, like attending the same university or belonging to the same professional group.
In this regard, it makes sense to look closely at recruiters’ profiles. You may be able to find mutual connections or interests and create custom requests for each of them.
How to Approach Recruiters the Right Way
To put things in perspective, consider these points when approaching or messaging them on LinkedIn:
- They are busy people and receive messages from a lot of people every day.
- They get put off by a “me” attitude from someone they barely know.
- Also, They work for their clients, but they can work with you.
You can do better and avoid being ignored by:
- Acknowledging their time and being sincere in your correspondence
- Offering something of value instead of demanding anything from them
- Asking a mutual connection to make the introduction.
4. Send a Powerful Followup Message
The recruiter’s acceptance of your connection request is only the beginning. They know you are looking for a job based on how you worded your invitation. So your next big step is to articulate that in your message post-acceptance.
How to message a recruiter on LinkedIn?
Compose a message that commands their attention with these strategies in mind:
- Begin by thanking them.
- Express your intent, e.g., you are interested in a particular job opening or want to be considered for future roles.
- You can try a more subtle approach that doesn’t concern employment, like seeing advice.
- State your pitch, such as why you are a good fit given your work experience or background.
- Do your research on the recruiter or the job posting.
- You may attach a resume, but ready your LinkedIn profile.
More pointers for an impactful message:
- Keep it short and sweet. You can cover the salient points in a few sentences. End your message with a call to action or signal for them to contact you for more information.
- Personalise the subject line. That’s it.
Sound human. Write as you would to a person. Your message can sound friendly and professional.
- Proofread and reread before you send it.
5. Be Reachable
You can reasonably expect to hear from the recruiters you contacted soon, so keep your communication lines open. Needless to say, indicate your latest contact information.
It’s a common pet peeve among recruitment professionals when applicants don’t respond to calls or emails or answer months-old messages just now. In a way, candidates and new hires ghosting has resulted in some changes like expediting hiring and HR being more communicative.
Nonetheless, it would be really counterproductive to “disappear” after initiating the contact. Your priorities may have shifted, or you have received better offers, but still respond even when it is to decline an interview or recommend other people who may be interested in the offer.
Nurture the Connections
Congratulations on your outreach.
Reaching out to hiring managers or recruiters doesn’t always produce favourable outcomes or instant results. There may be no opportunities available for you; they have missed your emails, and so on.
You can take this radio silence as a sign to make a move. Send them a message again. Follow up on an inquiry or application you made a week ago. If you were interviewed, ask for a status update.
You can be insistent while still maintaining a polite tone. And if you really have to reach out to them in some other ways, try to do so through their work emails and during business hours.
This is LinkedIn, where everyone networks and hopefully gains mutual benefits. Think that you are building long-term relationships with professionals who can help with your job search and other pursuits in the future.
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