We’re all familiar with the traditional job search process. You look for relevant job openings, you send in a resume and cover letter, you hope that you hear a response, and perhaps you get a first interview interview. But a smaller and smaller percentage of jobs are being found this way.
Many new jobs are now found through networking.
Yet perhaps the most common new way to find a new role is by connecting with recruiters, many of whom are using LinkedIn to find talent to fill open positions.
How to Contact a Recruiter (Instead of Waiting for Them to Contact You)
You’ll often hear stories of employees that were contacted directly by recruiters and offered interviews or positions at leading companies. But you don’t want to sit around and wait for a recruiter to contact you. After all, it’s hard enough for you to find jobs. Imagine how hard it is for recruiters to find you.
Contacting recruiters directly though can be both nerve wracking and challenging. After all, not every recruiter likes to be contacted, and not every person is ready to be looked at by a recruiter. Before you even contact your first recruiter, make sure:
- Your LinkedIn is Ready – Your LinkedIn profile should be as thorough and professional as possible so that if/when a recruiter sees you, they’ll be wowed by your abilities.
- Your Profile is Public – Recruiters cannot see your profile unless they add you, and they will not add you unless your profile is public for them to view. So make sure that they can see everything, including your photo.
- You Know What You Want – “Hi, do you have a job for me?” won’t work. Don’t make them do any extra work. Know what type of positions you’re applying for and what you are best qualified for.
You shouldn’t contact anyone until these are prepared. Once you’ve prepared them, seek out recruiters in your specialised field. Send them an InMail directly. With that InMail, write some variation of the following:
“Hi, my name is John Smith. I see you are responsible for recruitment for warehouse and shipping companies. I have 7 years of experience in logistics, with a Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management from the University of Washington. I’m currently seeking new employment opportunities and would love an opportunity to connect with you either by phone or in person to see if there are any positions that may be a good fit.”
First, introduce yourself. Then promote your best skills. If you have any impressive achievements, list them there. Let them know you’re looking for a job, and give them ideas for appropriate next actions.
Keep it brief, because recruiters are busy people, and let your profile speak for itself. Some variation of the above paragraph is going to be your best chance to connect with a recruiter, and have them want to help you find work.