Many people overlook LinkedIn as an option to find the next step up in their career. Most will create a profile out of perceived necessity and move on from there, not touching it for months or years at a time. This clearly is not the path to success, especially if you are actively looking for a job. Many recruiters specifically look on LinkedIn (along with other websites) to scope out potential prospects, and if you can build a relationship with some of them, you might find yourself at opportunity’s door.
Here are some of the main steps to success when building relationships with recruiters on LinkedIn:
1. Appear Confident and Cordial
If you are at a low in your life, don’t let other people see that is the case. In your communications with anyone online you should appear both confident in your abilities as a professional and understanding of other people’s wants and needs. These are both signs of a good leader, and these will be noted. There are certain things such as body language you can’t really portray on LinkedIn (except perhaps in your profile photo), so you need to compensate for that in your control of language.
Take extra time to proofread your work. One error or so in a long message shows that you are human. Multiple errors and typos show that you don’t really care about what they have to say and have better things to do with their time. They’ll feel the same way. Try to imagine the messages you would send to your future boss, as the recruiter is quite possibly reporting to them.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
When the time is right, you need to make the first step. Once you have everything in order on your profile and know exactly what you like, it can be okay to approach appropriate recruiters on LinkedIn and send them a message concerning what you’re looking for and what you’re about.
Chances are it won’t net you too much other than having your name put down as a potential candidate. Yet, that is still better than if you did nothing and kept browsing job listings you weren’t truly interested in. It might even show that you are willing to take educated risks, which is an important quality to many recruiters and is an important skill to practice as time goes by. In the event the recruiter finds it distasteful, you don’t really need to worry about it. Move on to the next one and try to learn from the experience.
3. Update Your Profile
The number of people who try to communicate with recruiters, colleagues and potential employers on LinkedIn without updating their profiles is staggering. If you’ve been working at a different company for the last two years and haven’t put it up for the world to see, people are going to assume that you haven’t been doing much of anything. In the best case scenario, a recruiter is going to ask you what you’ve been doing, which puts you at a disadvantage.
The first thing you should do before you send off messages left and right is take a view of your profile from the outside and ask yourself “Is this how I want to present myself?” If the answer is no, make the necessary adjustments for both your career and factual information. Try to go over the following if you are unsure of what to tackle:
- Is your profile accentuated by a professional picture of yourself, preferably working in the environment you are looking for?
- Are all of your education credentials listed is a proper order? Are you missing any certifications that recruiters should know about?
- Have you trimmed the fat from your profile? While including everything relevant to the career fields you are interested in is an absolute must, some awards and honors simply won’t be interesting to potential recruiters and should be set aside for now.
- Have you looked over the connections you have? Have you reached out to people you’ve worked with in the past to show that you are part of the field and backed up by your friends and colleagues?
4. Take Advantage of Everything the Platform Has to Offer
Don’t be afraid to check out some of the professional materials or groups that exist on LinkedIn. They might allow you to connect to recruiters in a different manner and they might help you find information that is very helpful to your career. Taking advantage of opportunities given is the only thing you can really do after you’ve made all the opportunities you can for yourself. Do whatever you can to increase your visibility, just remember that your time is just as much of an investment as your money.
5. Be Quick to Respond
No one likes to be kept waiting, especially busy recruiters who likely look at hundreds of profiles and records every single day. If you are fortunate enough to receive a message from one, never wait more than a day (hopefully you notice before then) to get back to them. For this reason, you should always make sure to check it at least once per day or set up email alerts to let you know when you get a new message. Simply taking too long has resulted in far too many lost offers.
6. Have Patience
Recruiters on LinkedIn are individuals. They will all be looking for slightly different things depending on their personalities and values. When you take into account that the companies or clients they work for have different needs, you can’t beat yourself up in the event your first few tries don’t work out well. Stay strong and put forward the best version of yourself that you can muster online. Sincerity and effort will take you extremely far.
There are multiple methods of directly dealing with recruiters on LinkedIn, and many of them are contextual. Do you feel as though the method is different with a particular career path or trying to land a job in a different country? Have you found any methods that have worked particularly well for you? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.