Even more than a decade and a half after its founding, LinkedIn is still considered the premier business networking site. However, it’s not just a tool to stay in touch with old coworkers and former supervisors. You should use it to actively expand your network. This includes using LinkedIn to reach out to recruiters.
Hiring managers are in the business of finding talent. If talent happens to find them, their job gets that much easier. As such, they will benefit from your proactive approach. They’ll welcome hearing from you – if you contact them in the right way.
In other words, don’t be shy about approaching a recruiter on LinkedIn or through other social media platforms. It’s part of the modern process of connecting positions with the right candidates to fill them.
However, you want to take the right approach. Don’t just blast out connection requests without formulating a plan first. With that in mind, here are a few tips when you are reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn:
Make a Connection
The first step to the process is finding the right hiring managers to contact. It’s not just a matter of finding open positions. In fact, you don’t need to target a specific job to seek out a hiring manager. You can reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn any time, even if they aren’t actively looking for resumes at the time.
Set the Stage
Take a broad view of the process. As you contact recruiters, you’re setting the stage for future communication. Even when you talk to a hiring manager who isn’t aggressively hiring, you gain a long-term edge. Presumably, they aren’t being inundated by other requests, and they will have more time to respond to you. This way, you have the connection when an appropriate role opens up.
Know Your Audience
Do your research before you start sending out feelers. Investigate your industry, so you know the major players. Seek out companies you admire and even particular hiring managers who seem well-suited to respond to your approach. This valuable information will let you proceed more efficiently.
Play the Numbers Game
Sure, you want to target your approach to maximize the chance you’ll get a response. But don’t narrow your focus too much.
Any single attempt is likely to be a bust. As a result, take a modified shotgun strategy. Contact multiple hiring managers, prioritizing them based on your research. That way, you increase the chances that someone will respond.
Keep Your Message Short
Don’t let your message fall into the TL;DR category. If a recruiter sees a chunk of hundreds of words, their eyes will gloss over, and they’ll move on to something more pithy. Keep your initial contact short and engaging.
Find reasons to follow up with your initial contact…without becoming a nuisance, of course. Once they accept your initial connection request, send a brief “thank you.” From there, you can open up the conversation.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Remember: you might not spark a true connection right away. Even online, it takes time to build a meaningful relationship. Your goal at this point is to make the initial connections, with an eye to finding opportunities down the line.
LinkedIn represents an amazing resource to contact experts and pursue your career ambitions. You can compliment your efforts with other connections as well. By teaming with a strong recruiting partner, like Recruiting In Motion, you maximize your chances of landing the perfect position.