Recruiters are an integral part of the hiring process at most companies. There are several things you need to understand about them.

  • They are people who like dealing with people. Most recruiters became recruiters because they are social and like helping others. In general, they are very nice people.
  • They change jobs frequently. We all know with the ups and downs of the economy, recruiters are the first to be laid off when things get bad and the first to be hired when things turn around.
  • They connect with mostly everyone in organizations they work for and carry those connections from company to company. Therefore, they have very large networks.
  • Recruiters are often the person in between you and the hiring manager.
  • If there’s anyone you want to share your personal brand with, it’s recruiters.

Connecting on LinkedIn with recruiters

When you locate a target company that looks like a good potential employer for your services you should do the following:

  • Go to LinkedIn advanced search and perform a search of the title field for recruiter in the name. I actually use the following search string “recruiter OR Talent OR Human Resources OR HR” as some organizations do not use recruiter in their titles or may not have someone in HR dedicated to recruiting.
  • Identify a recruiter and send them a connection request and that state why you want to connect… A good example is as follows:

Dear insert recruiters name,

I am very interested in a marketing position at xyz company (if there is a current position open mention it). Are you the recruiter who handles these kinds of positions? If not, could you direct me to the recruiter who does. Could we set up a time to talk about your organization? In the mean time, please accept this invitation to connect.

Your name

When the recruiter receives your invitation three things will happen:

  1. They will look at your profile. That is your #1 goal! You will know if they looked at your profile by monitoring the Who’s viewed your profile section of LinkedIn.
  2. Almost every time, the recruiter will accept your invitation to connect. You will now rise higher in their searches because you are now a first degree connection. Also their network of company employees are now your 2nd degree connections. You now will be able to see full names of employees in the target company!!
  3. If they like your profile, they will likely reach out to you for a short conversation via e-mail or over the phone. They may forward you on to the recruiter who handles the positions you are looking for.

What if they accept my connection but I never hear from them?

Send them an e-mail or LinkedIn message. You are now a first degree connection on LinkedIn.

Cultivating Relationships

Recruiters need you as much as you need them. They are looking for referrals. When you talk with them, always be polite and courteous. Always complete the conversation with how can I help you?

Remember that recruiters move around. Keep track of their career moves using LinkedIn Contacts functions or websites like Nimble. Be helpful to them when you are not looking for your next gig.

I cannot stress enough that building long term relationships with recruiters will pay long term dividends.

What have you done for a recruiter today?


Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, published in January 2013, which has been featured on, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.