If you are on LinkedIn, you must have noticed that, when it comes to job search, it is a two-way street. You can look for jobs and apply on postings or jobs can find you. Well, you can get notified of a certain position if you choose to opt for it. Also, on LinkedIn, you can reach out to recruiters and recruiters can reach out to you. That is simply amazing because recruiters from pretty much every organization that you can think of are on LinkedIn, and so are the hiring managers. That means access to countless companies at your fingertips. Everything is instant and there is no limit on the number of people you can message. This gives you limitless opportunities to connect to them! So, let’s talk about how you can do it.
Trying to connect
Well, first of all, you need to know that recruiters on LinkedIn probably receive hundreds of connection invitations per day. So, if your connection invite is not accepted the same day, don’t despair.
Whenever you are sending a request, try to write a few words and make it more personal. Don’t simply send the invite. Take some time to introduce yourself and briefly describe why you think it’s good for you two to connect.
One option would be to say that you are in the same field and have followed the company they work for a long time. That you are looking into expanding your expertise and were wondering if they could direct you whom you should reach out to and follow.
Another approach would be a more direct one: tell them you’ve noticed they work as a recruiter and since you are at the moment looking for new opportunities, you think it would be mutually beneficial if you had a chat.
Once you get a reply
When the recruiter replies, you can take it from there. They will probably check out your LinkedIn profile and reach out with follow-up questions. If they simply thank you for your interest and say there is nothing they can do for you at the moment, make sure to reach out again in a few weeks or months. Try to find a legitimate excuse for that, like, an event at their company or an article that is related to the recruitment business. See if they will react to that, and again, take it from there.
It is important you don’t message them every week and ask for updates. That will cause them to stop responding and your networking attempt will fail.
What if they don’t reply
You have heard this one before: there’s plenty of fish in the sea. The same applies to recruiters on LinkedIn. Never put all your eggs in one basket and do not reach to one person only. Find several recruiters and reach out to each of them with a slightly different message. If you are really interested in a company, connect with people who work there and the recruiters. If recruiters see you have shared connections, you have better chances of getting a reply.
Keep in mind reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers is individual and there are no universal guidelines. Research their LinkedIn activity, their profile, and the company they work for. When reaching out and communicating with them, use your common sense.