LinkedIn has changed the landscape of networking, making it easier to connect with recruiters than ever before. But that doesn’t mean you should be contacting them without any strategy or purpose in mind because it’s easy to come off as desperate and unprofessional when you don’t take the right approach. Recruiters spend most of their time sifting through LinkedIn and other social media sites to find candidates to fill job openings, so it makes sense that you’d want to connect with them via the same medium.
Follow these 10 tips on how to network with recruiters over LinkedIn to reach out and make connections that will pay off in more ways than one.
1) Ask and you shall receive-
One of the biggest benefits of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is that it increases candidate sourcing; recruiters are able to tap into a wider talent pool and find highly skilled, specialized candidates. For example, if you’re looking for a Java developer, but don’t have a dedicated tech recruiter on staff no problem! Instead of combing through every local job board and general applicant database you can find an RPO firm.
2) Focus on building relationships-
You’re not necessarily trying to land a job at least, not yet. A professional connection on LinkedIn can turn into an RPO relationship down the road, but most importantly, you’re looking for folks who will engage in a genuine conversation and have something valuable to share with you. Don’t just lob in some random connection request; try reaching out first and get more personal.
3) Be transparent-
The best way to connect with recruiters is to be yourself. Although it’s natural to want an IT recruiter who will help you find an amazing job, it’s also important that they can see past your resume and understand what makes you tick that they feel they can trust you because of who you are, not just because of your qualifications.
4) Listen before talking-
The best way to get a recruiter’s attention is to listen and show interest in his or her company. Whether it’s reaching out via email, meeting in person, or connecting on social media, be sure you understand your target recruiter’s goals before trying to sell yourself. Also, be realistic; if you lack experience or education for a particular position, do your research and highlight your strengths instead.
5) Don’t be shy-
Don’t be afraid to reach out, even if you don’t have a referral from someone in common. In fact, recruiters are always looking for new connections who are relevant and active in their industry; it goes without saying that reaching out directly will make your profile jump out at them. If your contact doesn’t respond, follow up and try again later.
6) Keep in touch with your connections-
If you’re looking for a new job, an IT recruiter is most likely your best first contact. According to Forbes contributor Jessica Stillman, Recruiters are hired by companies because they know how to sift through resumes and find exactly what hiring managers want. Plus, once you’ve built a relationship with them, they can be valuable mentors and contacts throughout your career. The trick? You need to get their attention!
7) Don’t apply online, get introduced-
Some recruiters don’t accept applications. Instead, they ask for candidates to be introduced by a third party. If you know someone who works at your dream company, ask them to refer you (many companies have referral programs that give both your introducer and you a reward). You can also join industry groups on LinkedIn and get introduced through them.
8) Follow up after sending an application-
If you apply for a job, be sure to follow up after sending in your application. You don’t have to stalk them. Simply reach out a few days later asking if they received your resume and if you can add anything else. If you are interviewed, ask who will be interviewing you and do some research on them ahead of time so that you have an idea of what questions they might ask.
9) Get recommendations from people who know you well-
While you don’t want to solicit recommendations from people you haven’t worked closely with (the recruiters reading your profile might see that as a red flag), it’s a good idea to reach out to co-workers and former colleagues who can speak favorably about your work. Recommendations from strangers are likely not worth their weight in gold, but recommendations from people who have seen you at work could be valuable.
10) Don’t expect results right away-
Building a relationship takes time. Just like in any good professional relationship, you should plan on communicating with your recruiter more than once. He or she won’t be able to put you in touch with any top employers until he or she knows you better. The first meeting is just stepped one of what could end up being a long and fruitful recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partnership. Be patient; it will all be worth it in the end.
It’s a wrap-
Networking with recruiters is a great way to help you with recruitment process outsourcing. If you’re looking for a job, reach out directly! Try linking in with recruiters or others who can make your resume stand out. When a job opens up at their company, they will know who you are and call you in for an interview. This works best if you already have some experience as well as education.
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