Recruiters spend a large amount of time on LinkedIn searching for candidates. Connecting with them directly is one of the fastest ways to get your profile in front of them. Additionally, it also makes it very likely that you will show up in their search results when they search for candidates with your skill sets.
Though, you don't want to just wait around hoping recruiters connect with you. Instead, you want to be proactive and reach out to recruiters directly - letting them know that you're open to new opportunities or a specific role at their company.
If you know the name of the recruiter, look them up on LinkedIn. In fact, it's not actually uncommon for job postings to mention the recruiter's name at the bottom.
If you don’t know their name, search for people at the companies you want to work for who have titles like "Recruiter," "Human Resources", "Staffing Manager," or "Sr. Staffing Specialist."
Once you've identified who you want to contact, you should send them a LinkedIn connection request. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1) Avoid using the default message - "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn"! Recruiters get a lot of requests and using the default message is a sure-fire way to get it missed.
2) Say why you’re reaching out. Recruiters are busy, so get straight to the point and explain why you’re reaching out. Do you want to get on a call? Or just add them to your network so they can let you know about future opportunities?
3) Personalize your connection request. If it’s a job you’re interested in applying for, mention that you’re interested in learning more about the opening. If you know someone in common, mention that person.
4) Use the right tone. Don’t be overly formal. Recruiters are used to receiving messages from job seekers, but they appreciate a personal touch.
Finally, remember that your message needs to be less than 300 characters long. That's LinkedIn's hard limit for the length of your message requests. Now, let's move on to the templates you can copy-and-paste into your own connection requests.
I'm interested in Resume Worded [or whatever company he/she works at] and have been reading wonderful things about [their diversity initiatives / the company culture / anything that attracts you to the company]. Would love to connect and perhaps ask you a few questions about the role and recruitment process.
This is an effective template to use when asking a recruiter to connect with you on LinkedIn, and is applicable for a wide range of networking situations. Once you get an acceptance or response, follow up and ask a few specific questions that you may have about the role and recruitment process.
Hey Lisa! I am currently exploring new opportunities and connecting with others to build my professional network. I noticed you recruit for marketing [or whatever role you're looking for] roles and I thought my profile might be a good fit for current or future roles. Happy to send over my resume or additional details if you'd like :) Thanks!
This simple connection request template has a more casual tone and can be a great one to use to connect with new recruiters. It's fairly generic and thus will work in a wide variety of networking situations - feel free to customize it to your specific situation.
I read from your profile that you recruit for sales roles in the Bay Area. I'm currently an Account Executive at Resume Worded and wanted to connect with you in case you think my profile might be a good fit for current or future roles you seek to fill.
Looking forward to connecting!
Here's another connection request template that has a far better response rate than the default "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn."
Notice how the template specifically mentions why we're reaching out, instead of generic messages that say vague things like "I would like to connect with you".
We've never met, but your profile came up when I was researching marketing roles at Resume Worded. [Add a personal touch - optional; examples: I really enjoyed the post you wrote on X / I noticed you were also connected to Amy - I worked with him at Y].
I've read great things about Resume Worded and I'd love to learn a bit more about roles there, and would love to connect and learn more even if you aren't recruiting right now.
Here's another connection request template that's slightly different to the others, and can be a great one to use to start a relationship with a recruiter who works at your dream company. The line 'would love to learn more even if you aren't recruiting right now' shows genuine interest in the company.
This note can also be sent to any hiring manager at the company, and does not have to be a recruiter!
I am currently exploring new opportunities and noticed that you’re currently recruiting for [position or industry]. I thought I might be a good fit for current or future roles and am happy to send a copy of my resume or any other information. Thanks!
When connecting with recruiters, never rely on LinkedIn’s default message. Take the time to write one of your own that says why you’re reaching out and sounds a little more personal — most people, recruiters included, are more likely to respond favorably to a personalized message than to a generic one.
I'm interested in [Company Name] and have eagerly followed [a new development or initiative]. I’d love to connect and ask you a few questions about the role and recruitment process if you have time. Thanks!
Here's another simple LinkedIn message template you can use to reach out to recruiters you don't know.