There are many nuances when looking for a job and trying to message recruiters on LinkedIn. As a tech career coach, here are some of the most common questions I receive from job seekers who are navigating the platform:
- How do I find recruiters on LinkedIn?
- Is it appropriate to message a recruiter on LinkedIn?
- What should I say when messaging a recruiter on LinkedIn?
- Are there mistakes to avoid when contacting recruiters on LinkedIn?
I spoke with several recruiters and talent acquisition experts to get their first-hand perspectives on these questions, and here’s what they had to say:
How To Find Recruiters On LinkedIn
There are several options for finding recruiters on LinkedIn. The following are a few of the best ways to track down recruiters on the platform.
Use LinkedIn’s Search Bar
Lauren Schept, a human resources and talent strategy director at Assemble HR Consulting, recommends beginning with the LinkedIn search bar and entering targeted keywords to get started. If you were trying to land a job at Google, for instance, you can type “Google” and “recruiter” in the search bar, and several results will populate. You can then send a direct message to the relevant users who appear.
Find The Hiring Manager In The Job Posting
Another way to find recruiters is via job postings, as they often list to the individual hiring for the role, shares Schept. Once you locate the hiring manager on the job posting, you can feel free to contact them directly.
Discover Recruiting Hashtags On LinkedIn
You can also use the LinkedIn search bar to find relevant hashtags and subsequently connect with recruiters.
According to Anna Morgan, founder, CEO, and talent acquisition officer at CareerBFF, “Hashtags work like file folders on LinkedIn,” and locating the right hashtags allows you to quickly seek out recruiters who may be able to support you in finding your next role.
As of writing this article, the #NowHiring tag has more than 100,000 followers, #Recruiter has more than 200,000 followers, and #Hiring has more than 3,000,000 followers. “Most of the content within those feeds will be posts by recruiters giving job seekers access to hot jobs and recruiters who are active on the platform,” says Morgan.
Is It Appropriate To Message Recruiters On LinkedIn?
Once you identify a potential job recruiter on LinkedIn, is it okay to message them?
Yes, because recruiters spend plenty of time on LinkedIn, it’s absolutely appropriate to contact them on the platform, explains Tejal Wagadia, a sourcing recruiter at Amazon Web Services. She believes that a strong, targeted LinkedIn outreach message can be fruitful for your job search.
“Recruiters will remember candidates who reached out to them, and you will be on top of their mind even if the current role doesn’t work out,” adds Wagadia.
Don’t Be Afraid To Message Recruiters—Or Follow Up
While it can be uncomfortable at first to reach out to someone on LinkedIn, don’t be nervous, says Schept. “It’s important to cast a wide net and make connections.”
“LinkedIn is a business and employment-focused social media platform, and therefore, those who choose to be on LinkedIn expect to receive messages and are likely open to connecting with others,” she shares.
Please know you can follow up when a message goes unanswered, which is bound to happen when networking, and try not to take the lack of response personally. “If you don’t get a response, follow up and bump up your message to the top of their inbox,” suggests Morgan. “Just be human, friendly, memorable, and succinct.”
What To Say When Contacting Recruiters On LinkedIn
Once you’re ready to contact a recruiter, what do you say in your message to them?
1. Get your ask clear.
For starters, you need to be clear on your ask, says Wagadia. She recommends providing them with the title of the specific role you’re interested in at their company and the job ID from the careers page, as well as attaching your resume.
One way to stand out is by using a unique call to action, argues Morgan, who previously worked as a senior recruiter. Since every job seeker is requesting a conversation with the recruiter, she says you should encourage them to explore other areas of your profile that showcase your fabulousness.
She provided the following example of what this unique CTA might read: “Thank you for taking the time to read this, and to wrap up what I have shared here, you may enjoy reading the recommendation at the bottom of my profile from my current manager. I would love the opportunity to bring similar results and transformation to your organization.”
2. Customize your message.
Schept says your message should be tailored depending on the audience and your ask:
- If you’re interested in networking and conducting an informational interview, include information about your current role and explain why you’re looking to connect.
- If you’re messaging a recruiter about a specific job, you’ll want to reference it, as Wagadia mentions, so they have all the necessary information in the first message.
You also want to show you’ve read about the company, job posting, or the recruiter’s profile, adds Morgan.
3. Share your personality.
Your outreach message is also an opportunity to provide the recruiter with a glimpse into your personality.
“Write like you’d talk to a recruiter if you were walking up to have a conversation at a networking event or job fair,” says Morgan. “Professionalism is key, because this may be your first point of contact with a company, and first impressions are important, but don’t be afraid to be yourself!”
4. Be concise.
While you want to customize your messages and inject your uniqueness and personality, you also need to be mindful of the length.
Keep your message concise, and get to the point, recommends Morgan. “Briefly show how you have added value and made an impact in past positions, then back up how you’d work in this new position.”
5. Include your contact info.
Lastly, while it may sound obvious, be sure to include your contact information, says Schept, as you want the recruiter to be able to follow up with you outside the platform.
Missteps To Avoid When Messaging Recruiters On LinkedIn
Now that we’ve covered how to write an effective message to a recruiter, let’s discuss a few common mistakes to avoid.
Skip The Canned Message
While Morgan doesn’t recommend using the canned message available on the platform, she also says you don’t want to write a novel, as recruiters have limited capacity, and their time is valuable.
Along similar lines, I advise skipping ChatGPT, as you want to set yourself apart from other job seekers, not blend in.
Don’t Make Recruiters Do All The Heavy Lifting
According to Wagadia, you want to avoid messages like the following that require recruiters to do the heavy lifting for you:
- “I’m looking for XYZ roles, do you have any opportunities for me?”
- “Are there any remote roles that fit my skillsets? Can you browse down my profile and comments I left here on LinkedIn?”
- “Here’s my resume; please let me know if you have roles for me.”
Because recruiters get so many messages, she says untargeted ones like these are deprioritized.
Triple-Check For Typos
Before hitting send, be sure to triple-check for any potential grammar or spelling errors, says Schept, as you want to ensure you make a great first impression.
While recruiters are genuinely open to networking, you want to keep a level of professionalism in your messages, and avoid inundating them, explains Schept.
In other words, you need to keep the goal of your message — to find an ‘in’ at the company — in mind when reaching out. “You shouldn’t message the recruiter to ‘beat the ATS’ but more so to network with them,” explains Wagadia.
Example Message For Contacting Recruiters On LinkedIn
So, what does a message to a recruiter look like? Morgan was generous enough to provide the following sample message to serve as inspiration for your outreach:
Sample Message For Contacting Recruiters On LinkedIn
Hi [Recruiter Name], I came across your LinkedIn profile while researching job openings at [Company Name].
Is the [_______] position that’s posted on LinkedIn a requisition you own? If not, would you mind sharing with me who is managing this search? If yes, here is a little about me with the intention of making it easy for you to determine whether I may be the right person for this role.
I’ve spent the past X years in [role/industry] and can offer you a mix of expertise in [_______] and [_______].
While I’d love the chance to speak with you, I do want to be respectful of your time, so if you have a moment to check out my profile or search my name in your ATS, you’ll see my information. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for giving my application and expertise a look. If you do want to speak, please call me at [phone number]. Thanks!
Final Thoughts On Messaging Recruiters On LinkedIn
Please know that it can feel challenging to network at first, and as an introvert, I can relate, but with a clear strategy, practice, and some time, it will pay off. Consider setting a goal of contacting X recruiters per day or week at your target companies and see how it propels your job search. You’ve got this!