Greg, a B2B sales professional, sent a note recently asking how to connect with recruiters.
He knows that recruiters are really working for the companies and will only be able to help him if one of their clients is seeking someone with his background. The recruiters are not working for Greg. But Greg realizes that connecting with recruiters can be a useful part of his job search.
Greg asks this question:
How would you suggest I approach other Headhunters through LinkedIn when trying to connect with them? In writing my email to them would you suggest I state what I’m briefly looking for and hope they look at my profile and if interested, contact me?
I suggest a multi-step process to connect with a number of recruiters, one at a time. Here is what I would say:
- Make the connection through LinkedIn directly. In the personal note say, “Hi PERSON, I see you are a recruiter who specializes in sales. I would love to add you to my LinkedIn network.”
- After they accept the connection (and they almost certainly will accept the connection – be on the lookout for the acceptance so you can act quickly), send a message that says, “Hi PERSON, It is great to connect with you. I am an experience sales person specializing in SHORT DESCRIPTION. I see that your recruiting practice specializes in sales. Can we set up a time to talk so I can share my experience to explore whether I can be the right fit for one of your clients?” Be brief and get to the point. They will likely respond via email and might set up a time to talk on the phone.
- If they set up a time to talk, share your experience briefly using your “tell me about yourself” response as your opening description. Then you can talk about whatever aspect of your career that they are most interested in based on the questions they ask you. Be sure to use the keywords that commonly describe the job you want.
Don’t be surprised or offended if the conversation is fairly brief or if you don’t hear from a recruiter for a while or ever. After they talk with you they put you in their data base according to key words. If they have an opening that you fit, they will come back to you. If they don’t have a need for someone like you then you likely won’t hear from them again.
It is not personal. The recruiters concentrate on filling company needs. This is why you need to connect with a bunch of recruiters. They each have their own clients who have individual needs. Someone wants someone with your experience. The more recruiters who have you in their data base the better!