You’ve found recruiters on LinkedIn. You’ve shortlisted who you want to connect to, and you’re certain that they’re recruiting for roles for your industry and profession. Now what? How do you market yourself to them on LinkedIn? How do you catch a recruiter’s eye and make sure they think of you when an opportunity comes up?

As a recruiter, I have people reaching out to me constantly to find out about new opportunities. There’s definitely a right and a wrong way to go about getting yourself on a recruiter’s radar.

First, I want to make it clear that reaching out to recruiters online is a great job search strategy. It’s an awesome way to make new contacts and increase your visibility in your industry. What I often hear from my clients is that they’re nervous about reaching out to recruiters who they don’t know, and as a result they don’t do it. They miss out on this amazing strategy because they’re afraid. 

When you think about it, what do you really have to lose from reaching out? Worst comes to worst, they don’t respond. 5/10 times, that has very little to do with you and more to do with the fact that they’re too busy. The other 5/10 times, it’s because they don’t have a position that fits your specific experience.

Either way, it’s not personal. The fear of judgement that you may have about reaching out to recruiters is standing in the way of you accelerating your job search and career, so it’s time to put that behind you and create an all-star outreach letter that’ll get you noticed! Here’s how you do it:

1. Get clear on your own objective

Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Why are you reaching out to this recruiter specifically?
  • How can this recruiter help you?
  • Are you interested in a specific role that they’re recruiting for?

The answers to these should be in the very first paragraph of your email. The earlier you make your purpose clear, the easier it will be for the recruiter to realize if (and how) they can help you.

2. Recognize the recruiter’s expertise.

Before you launch into your career and what you need, have an opening sentence or two that acknowledges the person you’re messaging. It’s easy to turn people off if your entire message is self-serving. A quick way to do this is to look through the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile and identifying the number of years they’ve been in recruiter. If they’ve been in the industry for a while or have key accomplishments that impress you, state that in your opening sentence. A great hook could be: “I noticed that you’ve been an accomplished professional in the HR/recruiting industry for over 10 years and am reaching out to you because I’m impressed by your extensive expertise.”

3. Outline key points about your expertise and accomplishments in dot-jot form.

Your outreach letter should include a brief description of your past accomplishments. But, it should also be easy to scan. To save the recruiter time, I recommend putting 2-3 key accomplishments and points about your career in dot-jot form. When you’re writing, focus on getting across the message of what kind of value you have to offer and the types of problems you can help an organization solve.

4. Follow up if you don’t hear back.

If you don’t hear back within 10 days, send a brief email follow up to reiterate your interest in hearing from them. It’s important to follow up because they could be very busy on a given week and may not have noticed your email. But, don’t be too pushy – if they don’t respond after this email, it’s time to cross them off your list.

Do you have any questions about reaching out to recruiters online? Are you a recruiter who has advice to share with job seekers? Let me know in the comments section!