Connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn is an important part of job searching for a few reasons - they frequently post job opportunities, they're often willing to network (and may be able to point you in the right direction), and they may be able to provide feedback on your career aspirations. At the very least, you may be able to make a positive first impression so they keep you in mind for future opportunities.
So how do you connect with them? Here are a couple options:
Use LinkedIn's "People You May Know" feature
Go to LinkedIn's "People You May Know" page: linkedin.com/people/pymk
Scroll through the list of potential contacts and click "Connect" if you see someone you'd like to connect with. This will send them an automatic connection request (you won't have the option to customize it). The little number on the side tells you how many connections you have in common.
Better still, scroll all the way down to the bottom, repeatedly, so the full list of potential contacts shows up (it should keep reloading until full). Then do a search on that page (control-F or command-F) for companies that you'd like to work for, so you can connect with the most relevant people.
LinkedIn's algorithm suggests new people based on your past preferences. For example, if you connect with a few people who work for "Target" and have the word "recruiter" in their headline, then more recruiters from Target will show up in your list going forward (and possibly more recruiters in general).
I recommend that you use this option strategically because, as far as I know, people can still click "I don't know this person" and you may end up in the LinkedIn doghouse, unable to send any more connection requests.
Search companies and recruiters on LinkedIn
Go to LinkedIn's company search page: linkedin.com/vsearch/c
Type in the name of your dream company at the top - this should bring up their page on LinkedIn. On the right side, you should see a section called "How You're Connected" - this will show you all the first-degree and second-degree connections you have who work for that company. Click "See all."
Scan the list and search for people you'd like to connect with, possibly recruiters or other key decision-makers in the company. When you find someone, you have a few options:
If you ask a first-degree connection of yours for an introduction to someone else, put some effort into the request. I would write something like this:
I am researching employment opportunities in big-box retail and am looking to connect with recruiters and other retail leaders from Target. With more than 5 years' experience as a top-ranked store manager for Best Buy, I am confident that I have the skills and experience to make a positive contribution to their team.
Would you be willing to introduce me to Susan Williams, a field recruiter from Target and a first-degree connection of yours? I would certainly appreciate it very much.
Thank you for your consideration.
555.555.5555 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck with your networking!
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