To help you navigate the tricky waters of messaging recruiters on LinkedIn, we’ve gathered twelve best practices from top professionals, including talent acquisition leaders and career coaches. From the importance of messaging recruiters with a clear purpose to the effective use of voice notes to specify opportunities, these insights will guide you on what to do and what to avoid.
MESSAGE WITH PURPOSE
It’s important to message recruiters with a purpose, making sure you’ve done your due diligence on what you’re requesting.
Are you interested in a job? Make sure you’ve already applied, meet the minimum qualifications, and are clear on the recruiter’s relationship to the role. With this, you come across as prepared, intelligent, and informed.
Approaching the conversation with a clear request to either speak with the recruiter, receive written communication on a decision, or ask for the recruiter to help get your application flagged with the actual recruiter for the role, will put you ahead of all the misdirected messages the recruiter likely sees daily.
Desiree Smith, director, Talent Acquisition, Early Warning, Zelle
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH RECRUITERS
When reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn, it’s important to understand that recruiters often get inundated with connection requests. Typically, these are about a posting or someone asking how to connect with the company. In most cases, if a recruiter is not looking for a candidate that matches your background right now, they may connect but not reply, and that’s okay!
Connecting and building a relationship with a recruiter is a better approach. If you are courting a company, reach out before there is an opening you’re interested in. Keep up with the company news and updates, engage on postings. Keep your name top of mind so that when a role that fits comes up, the recruiter remembers who you are.
Reaching out just to send a copy of your resume is pointless; your LinkedIn profile should show everything needed, so instead, use your message to connect and build a relationship that can go both ways!
First and foremost, before reaching out to a recruiter, ensure that your LinkedIn profile is fully optimized for interaction. You should have a well-filled profile with essential information about your professional background.
Next, clearly define your role on LinkedIn, whether you are a job seeker, an active networker, a recommender, or a sales representative. This will help the recruiter understand the purpose of your message and your call to action.
Avoid long reads. LinkedIn is about specificity and timesaving. Your communication should not feel like an exhaustive list of attachments, such as your CV or portfolio.
Additionally, maintain consistent communication with the recruiter. Messaging is always a two-way interaction, so don’t leave a recruiter hanging with a reply. Show your genuine engagement, and interact with their own or your company’s content to keep yourself on their radar.
When attempting to contact recruiters via LinkedIn, starting with a different social platform first is recommended. This may sound counterintuitive, but before blindly sending a LinkedIn message, try following the individual on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever else they have a profile first.
Once the person accepts your request, like a few of their most recent posts or photos. That way, when contacting the individual via LinkedIn a few days later, they will most likely recognize your name and profile picture, and automatically be more receptive.
A good recruiter will always welcome a message from an experienced candidate that checks off the boxes of a job they’ve been trying to fill. If you apply to a job on LinkedIn and the recruiter has attached their profile to the listing, then you can send a personalized connection request to them. A message such as, “I just applied for the X role and I’d love to connect with you to learn more about it. Looking forward to connecting!” can be used.
LinkedIn encourages connecting with others, so it’s more likely that a connection request with a genuine message showing your interest will be accepted versus a vague “wanting to connect with like-minded individuals.”
When reaching out to a recruiter on LinkedIn, it’s essential to follow a two-step approach to create a genuine and personalized connection.
Request to connect, mentioning any common interests or notable aspects from their profile.
Ask for a 15-minute chat to seek career advice, building a relationship before seeking job assistance or referrals. If possible, use email rather than LinkedIn messages.
The key is to build a genuine relationship with the recruiter rather than immediately asking for job assistance or referrals. Focus on showing your interest in their expertise and seek their advice first. This approach will increase your chances of getting a positive response and may lead to valuable career insights and opportunities in the future.
The most critical advice I can give is to do your research thoroughly in relation to both the types of roles the recruiter hires for and the types of companies that you would want to work for, which they already represent. This will help you to personalize your message and show that you have a genuine interest in their company, their specialisms, and the roles they have on offer.
The importance of follow-ups should not be overlooked. Even with their best efforts, recruiters receive hundreds of messages and cannot respond to everyone. This is why your message can get lost.
A follow-up can significantly change the outcome. It’s understood that job seeking is a job in itself, so technology can be used to automate this process. With Linked Helper, follow-ups can be sent automatically after a custom timeout.
The process is: Message 1, wait x days, then message 2. Replies are aggregated in a list, ensuring none are missed. Messages should be moderate in length, and should specify the specific role or job being applied for, or list a few roles that are being considered.
A specialized resume that highlights skills and experiences relevant to the vacant job will make you stand out over other applicants. Some applicants send over a general resume, which contains all of their skills and experiences over the years.
The problem here is that sometimes, some of these skills are totally unrelated to the job at hand. For instance, an applicant is applying to an IT position but includes his culinary stint and skills, which are totally unrelated. This shows a lack of professionalism and effort in personalizing the application itself. Hence, to stand out, only include relevant skills and experiences.
Be clear about what opportunities you are interested in, particularly if you are not necessarily looking to move for precisely the same role. For example, outline the type of role(s) of interest, industry sector (be as specific as possible), and location(s). This forms an excellent basis for having an initial conversation.
Recently, more people have been using LinkedIn voice notes to communicate. This is a great way to grab a recruiter’s attention and ‘sell’ yourself in 30 seconds while also getting your personality across. Make sure you practice what you want to say first, speak clearly, and don’t waffle. First impressions count!
FOR HIRING MANAGERS: PROVIDE A CLEAR JOB DESCRIPTION AND FEES
You want to make the recruiter’s job easier. Make sure to link to your job description so they can readily assess if they’re able to help you. Also, ask upfront for their fee so you know what to expect as well. Be as transparent and specific as possible for the candidate you’re looking for, and avoid wishy-washy skill or experience descriptions.