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Using LinkedIn? Here’s How to Catch the Eye of a Recruiter

20 August, 2015

As a recruiter, I often receive LinkedIn connection requests from individuals whom I don’t know, along with general e-mail messages from people wanting to learn more about my organization. This is great and I’m excited to talk about CEB, but many times the request or e-mail has no real context.

I’m unsure why they really want to connect. Their experience might not align with the roles I’m recruiting for, and their vague questions make me wonder how to respond to them. Although their outreach may have good intentions, there is a better way to make the right connections.

CEB Recruiter

Here are three ways you can successfully catch the eye of—and then connect with—a recruiter:

Personalize Your Message

It’s so easy to click “Connect” on LinkedIn and use the template message that says you would like to add the person to your network. However, if the recruiter you’re trying to connect with does not know you, they may not accept your request. Take a few moments to write a short, personalized message to explain why you want to connect. Give the request recipient context.

Do you want to see job alerts from her in your newsfeed? Are you interested in seeing company updates? Did you meet him at a career fair? Take a few moments to think about your message, and the recruiter just might click “Accept.”

Make a Personal Connection

CEB Marketing Leadership Council data shows that personal value makes double the impact that business value does. Emotions matter, and they sometimes matter more than logic. If you try to personally connect with the recruiter, then you are focusing on his or her emotions. To do this, see if you have any personal connections through social media.

Do you have any mutual friends or are they connected to a former high school classmate? Are they from your hometown or alma mater? Use LinkedIn’s Alum feature or look at a company’s LinkedIn page to see “How You’re Connected.” You may be surprised to learn how small the online world truly is.

Help Recruiters Help You

Asking about a company’s entire business model or information on all entry-level positions will overwhelm a busy recruiter who may not have time to write a lengthy response. By researching ahead of time, you can ask more specific questions and help the recruiter understand which positions or career paths you’re interested in. How do your experience, internships, or degree relate to an open role?

This may sound simple, but try to answer your own questions by reading a company’s careers site and job descriptions. Then e-mail the recruiter, armed with knowledge. These specifics make it easier for the recruiter to understand how you could be a match for the position, quickly assess your skills, and identify the best next step. If it’s the right match, you’ll likely see a reply in your in-box.

Personalizing your outreach, making a personal connection, and being specific with your ask can help you catch the eye of the right recruiter. It will also increase your chances of making more meaningful connections. And, hopefully get you closer to landing the right job.

Do you want to catch my eye? I’m currently recruiting for Business Development and Account Management Associates in Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me @JenLynnBeyer.

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