Engaging with the right recruiter can be the difference between getting to interview for the position or not. A actionable tips to help your efforts:
- Do your part and research the company, its mission/values and products or services. Being able to speak fluently about areas where you’re a great fit and what you like about the company demonstrates your excitement for the role. Most companies want eager evangelists, not just warm bodies.
- Take the time to figure out the best recruiter to reach out to. Make sure to read the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile before connecting. They will often work in specifics based on type, location and client. If the relationship isn’t mutually beneficial, politely ask to be pointed in the direction of the correct contact.
- When engaging on LinkedIn, keep your message as specific and concise as possible. Be short, to the point (multiple paragraphs aren’t necessary). Tell the recruiter what position you are targeting and mention one or two of your key qualifications to demonstrate why you are an ideal candidate for the position. They will often ask you to apply for the job online. Stay one step ahead and complete the application before discussing the role. If you’ve applied to a job, share the Job ID (requisition) number with the recruiter.
- Don’t forget to attach your resume to the message and include the best email AND phone number to reach you. Do apply to positions online and reference that when you send a message.
- Never message a recruiter with something like “Do you have any openings in X department?” or “Do you have any openings that align with my background?”
- Don’t start with “How are you?” and then send nothing else. Your message will likely get archived with no response.
- Don’t expect a recruiter to “jump on a quick call” to talk about roles that are outside their focus area. Even if they did have the time to take those calls (again, 500 messages x 30 min call each = 250 hours total time it would take to have conversations with everyone in the inbox. It just isn’t realistic.) it wouldn’t be a productive conversation because most specialize in different areas.
- Follow up & always stay in touch. Oftentimes, reaching out to recruiters won’t produce results right away. Stick with it and keep in touch without being overbearing. Building a solid relationship encourages recruiters to reach out to you! If you get a response along the lines of “I’ll keep your resume on file,” which isn’t very encouraging, simply circle back every couple of weeks in a casual, friendly way. Keeping a relaxed and warm conversation running will help a recruiter remember your name.
- Never ask the recruiter why you haven’t been selected (they don’t know or can’t share). Don’t take it personally when someone rejects your connection request or responds to a message weeks later. Recruiters receive hundreds of messages each week making it impossible to keep up, and not everyone checks their LinkedIn messages frequently. Some people don’t bother at all. If you don’t get a response it doesn’t mean you’re not being considered for the job.