Is it okay to message a recruiter on LinkedIn? If so, what do I say to them to let them know I’m interested in a new job or career change?
These questions are all too common. People often worry about contacting a recruiter on LinkedIn because they will make a first impression of you within a second of your messaging them – and that can be quite daunting!
Approaching a recruiter on LinkedIn
If you are job hunting, a great way to get your name out in the professional world is to be proactive and approach a recruiter or hiring manager on LinkedIn. But not many people know where to start or how to do this with the most significant effect.
Unfortunately, job hunting is not as simple as searching online, messaging a recruiter, and landing the job. If it were, LinkedIn wouldn’t function as it does! You have to put some work in to get where you want to be. Recruiters on LinkedIn receive countless message requests from people looking for a change in job or career every day. So how do you stand out from the crowd and ensure your message gets seen?
This article will offer the best tools and advice on how to message a recruiter on LinkedIn in the right way – as well as give some sample messages for you to tailor to your own needs.
Deciding if LinkedIn Premium is right for you
One of the first things you need to consider before you start searching for a new job is whether you would benefit from LinkedIn Premium (if you do not already have a Premium membership).
Premium membership can be helpful for those looking for a career change. It hosts several benefits, including InMail, which allows you to contact anyone on LinkedIn, even if you are not connected. The most common, yet basic, membership enables you to message only 1st or 2nd-degree connections – people you are already connected to and their respective connections. Therefore, if you are hoping to message several recruiters on LinkedIn, a Premium membership may make it easier for you to do this.
LinkedIn offers a free trial of Premium membership for those who are new to the platform. If you are not sure you will benefit from Premium, or you think that after a month you won’t want the added extras, then consider trying out the free trial. It might help to approach recruiters and hiring managers outside of your professional network.
Doing your research before you message
How do you know which recruiters are right for you? And how do you find them?
Not all recruiters are going to suit you and your needs. If possible, you want to find recruiters that have a wealth of experience in the field that you are looking to work in. Luckily, LinkedIn lets you refine your search results so you can find the recruiters that are right for you. Doing your research at the start will increase your chances of getting a job that best matches what you are looking for.
- Start with a broad search in the search bar. As it is a recruiter you are looking for, just typing in ‘recruiter’ will fetch results you need.
- Below the search bar you will find all the filter options. Use this to narrow your results – for example, by location, industry or company, etc. (Note, if you are a Premium member, you will be able to carry out more advanced searches.)
- Make sure you take the time to look at a range of profiles. Once you have decided on the best ones for you, have a good look at each profile and the company the recruiter works for before you approach them.
Connecting to a recruiter
Some people prefer to send a connection request before they message a recruiter on LinkedIn. You must do this if you do not have a Premium membership.
Connecting first is a more personal approach and will increase your chance of a recruiter seeing your message.
Your request needs to be accompanied by a personal message to catch the recruiter’s attention as well as a sentence introducing yourself. Remember, a recruiter can very easily find all your information on your profile if they are interested, so this message should be brief; there is no need to introduce yourself at length with every past experience. Sending a personal message will make you stand out and increase your chance of getting a response.
Your message may look something like this:
“Good morning, Joe. I noticed you live in Birmingham! I grew up there, but I am now based in London working as a legal adviser. I am looking for some new opportunities in the legal profession, and I would really appreciate some advice that I think you could offer. Would you like to connect and we speak further?”
Following up on your request
Hopefully, the recruiter has now accepted your connection request. Once they have done this it’s a good idea to send them a follow-up message – either through LinkedIn Message (found at the top of your homepage) or email (which they may display on their profile).
Your follow up message could express your thanks and interest in a role, along with a quick note explaining your experience and qualifications. Once again, this message should be concise and to the point. At this stage, you should also either attach your resume or ask if they would be happy for you to send it to them.
“Hello [recruiter’s name], My name is [your name], and I’m a [your current job title]. I’m currently working for [your current employer], but am looking to take on a new challenge and transition to a new company in [your target industry]. If you have a minute, I’d love the opportunity to discuss how my [your skills and experiences] might match up with positions you’re recruiting for. Please feel free to reach out to me at [your contact number]. I look forward to chatting with you!”
Even if there isn’t a specific job role open, you can still message a recruiter On LinkedIn. On the other hand, if you are messaging about a particular role that you know you will be applying for, stay one step ahead and apply online before contacting the recruiter.
As important as the body of your message is, you must not brush over the subject line, nonetheless. It needs to be professional, relevant to your message, and eye-catching.
For instance, you could base your subject line on these examples:
- Regarding the position of [advertised job title]
- Query from a prospective applicant: [advertised job title]
- Inquiry from a [your current job title] seeking new opportunities
Not every interaction with a recruiter will be successful, but not giving up is important for establishing relationships.
Try and stay in touch with recruiters without being too persistent. It is a good idea to pop up every couple of months in a friendly manner. This way, in the future, the recruiter will reach out to you when a job becomes available rather than the other way around.
Do’s and don’ts
The following table highlights what you should and should not do when messaging a recruiter on LinkedIn. It is a good idea to refer back to this when you are writing your message.
|THE DO’S||THE DON’TS|
Recruiters get dozens of messages every day, so do not expect a reply straight away. Often a recruiter may take a day or more to get back to you, and sometimes you may not get a response at all. Try to stay positive and try again if you don’t succeed at first.
|Do not waste their time.|
Recruiters don’t have time for generic chit-chat. They expect connection requests to be followed up with a question, so don’t be vague about why you are connecting, or don’t wait a while to follow up. Be clear about why you are getting in touch whilst also being respectful of them and their time.
|Be relevant and concise.|
While you want to give enough information to the recruiter to draw their attention, you need to make sure that what you are sending is relevant to them and what you are looking for. Sending general messages with no direction is not likely to get a response. You may want to consider adding external hyperlinks to your messages. Doing this offers the recruiter the chance to see more content if they would like to, without forcing them to read lengthy paragraphs of information in a single message.
|Avoid sending lengthy messages.|
Your messages that you are sending to a recruiter should be short brief messages. A recruiter does not have time to read and respond to essay-long messages. Often the messages that convey genuine interest are the ones that are relevant and to the point. A clear message is a right message.
|Make your messages personal.|
Do your research. Do you have any shared connections, interests or experiences? If so, these would be a great way to make your messages less about you. And, if you have looked at their profile in detail, you are less likely to be making any mistakes that will turn the recruiter away.
|Do not be generic.|
It is going to be evident to a recruiter if they’ve received the same generic message that has been sent to a list of recruiters. Recruiters are used to template emails and scripts, after all, so they will know how to spot them. This includes messages that have been copied and pasted and sent from one recruiter to another. Not all recruiters are the same – they represent different candidates and work in different ways.
|Proofread before sending your messages.|
Your initial outreach is all a recruiter may have to make an initial assessment of you. So it goes without saying that typos, punctuation, and grammar matter. This is especially important if you are applying or have already applied for a role with this particular company. And, a recruiter is much less likely to recommend you for a job if they think your communication and language skills aren’t strong enough. If you message a recruiter on LinkedIn, make sure it is faultless.
|Never ask a question you could find out yourself. |
Questions like ‘are you hiring?’ or ‘how do I apply?’ create a poor first impression and are not going to get a response. They are straight forward questions that can be answered by looking at the organisation’s careers page. Asking easy questions gives off the impression that you aren’t willing to put in any effort.
|Offer something first.|
Although it is okay to be boastful on LinkedIn, recruiters do not just want to hear about what you’ve done alongside questions asking them for a job. You need to provide and prove your worth first – by being different. Recruiters are people too, and you need to give them a reason to want to help you. So this may mean you lead with what you offer. Tell a recruiter what you can bring to the company they work for – how they benefit – rather than just listing off your awards and achievements which they can easily see by viewing your profile. Don’t just make it all about you and what you want.
|Avoid making the recruiter put in lots of unnecessary work.|
While you don’t want to bombard the recruiter with too much information, you also don’t want them to waste time viewing your profile to find necessary information about yourself. Make sure you tell them who you are, where you currently work, and what you’re looking for next in your message. If a recruiter feels like they will have to put in more work than it is worth, they will not respond to your message.
While there is no set way to message a recruiter on LinkedIn that will guarantee you a response and job at the end of it, there are ways that you can improve your chances of success.
Hopefully, the tips offered in this article provide an insight into what will catch the eye of a recruiter in a message, and how you can get a response. Ultimately though, the most important lesson to take away is to set yourself apart. If you can put into practice our advice, your chances of success will be greater.
Remember to keep referring back to the do’s and don’ts list above to help you stay on track. At the end of the day, recruiters are just people trying to do their jobs. If you were in their shoes, what type of message would you want to receive?
For more information and advice on how to enhance your busiess and grow your professional network, check out more articles on our blog!
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