If you are conducting a job search and are not connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn, you are probably missing out on many recruiter-only openings. Follow these steps to find and successfully connect with a recruiter that is right for you.
Reset Your Privacy Setting and Status
Allow others to see your name and heading when you view their profile. Update your status to ‘actively applying’ and make sure the job titles and industries you are interested in are also updated. LinkedIn searchers are driven by job titles so try to be comprehensive in titles that match your interests.
Type in your industry and the word recruiter. You can sort the results by location if you prefer working with local recruiters. At this point don’t contact anyone. Assess the recruiter profiles for a match to your expertise and whether their presentation is articulate and clear. If they haven’t taken the time to make a strong LinkedIn profile, they probably aren’t the best recruiter. Good recruiters, will notice you viewing their profile and based on your status of ‘actively applying’ should reach out to you.
Optimize Key Words
Still not hearing from any recruiters? Add the appropriate key words to your profile in multiple locations. Put them in your title, your personal summary, your latest job description and the one before, if possible, and ask colleagues to endorse you for those keywords on LinkedIn. You should then successfully connect with a recruiter in your specialty niche.
Send Personalized Connect Request
If the recruiter contacts your or if they still don’t, send out a personalized connect request. Choose those recruiters most on-target for your career path, and tell them why they would want to work with you. Once you have successfully connected with a recruiter, send another personal note with your resume attached. Yes, your resume is on your LinkedIn profile, but your goal is to make it easy for them to work with you, so send it.
Treat Recruiters Like Any Other Networking Contact
If you find a recruiter that specializes in your niche, they can be an invaluable contact for your entire career. Take the time to build rapport with a recruiter just as you would with a potential hiring manager. Find ways to connect: same college, same town, sports, dogs, etc. Everyone goes an extra step for people they like.
Have Realistic Expectations
The recruiter is being paid by the company, not you. They are trying to provide the company with the perfect candidate. It might not be you. They are not your private career advisor, but if they are courteous and give you timely feedback, they value your background and their next position might be the match for you.
Keep in Touch
Do not call your recruiter every few days. This might be frustrating as your need for a new job might be great but pestering them will not change the situation and might worsen your relationship. A good strategy is to contact them once a month, and not necessarily about your job search. Forward them an article about something you discussed, an alumni story, or relevant work topic. If your title or compensation changes let them know that. Do this via email as it is more efficient for both of you. If you don’t have something outside of your job search to share, just let them know you are still available and still interested. You can even offer up seeing a job at a certain employer that you are interested in. They might take that lead and run with it to your benefit.
You will find that if you successfully connect with a recruiter or recruiters, it will pay off for your career. You might not get a job through a recruiter the first time you work with them, but the shared information and insight will always be useful. Setting the stage for your next job search doesn’t hurt either.