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  • Connecting with Recruiters – The Targeted Job Search

    Recruiter photo from ShutterstockConnecting with recruiters is vital.

    In this social media connected world, recruiters have become the mesh that holds things together. Connecting and cultivating relationships with recruiters and other HR professionals is critical.

    Before you read on, this is the fourth in this series on the Targeted Job Search. If you have not read the previous steps, this is a good time to read them:

    Recruiters are people, and they entered the profession because they like dealing with people.

    I know, I know. You have run into some really bad recruiters… people who do not respond to e-mails or phone calls!

    Most recruiters are under extreme stress from tight deadlines to hiring managers who do not know what they want or do not know how to interview.

    Here are three things I want you to know about recruiters:

    1. They change jobs frequently. With the ups and downs of the economy, recruiters are often the first to be laid off when things get bad, and the first to be hired when things turn around.
    2. They connect with almost everyone in their organizations and carry those connections from company to company. Therefore, they have very large networks.
    3. Recruiters are often the person in between you and the hiring manager.

    It is key to cultivate these relationships!

    Connecting on LinkedIn with recruiters

    For each company on your target list, 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. In it, 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, will 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:

    • Almost every time, the recruiter will accept your invitation to connect. You will now rise higher in their searches because you are 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 within the target company!
    • If the recruiter likes 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.

    When you do hear from them, do not forget to ask them for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

    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, even when you are not looking for your next gig.

    In my next post I will write about building your referral network!

    Marc MillerCareer Pivot

    Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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    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 Forbes.com, 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.

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