How to message a recruiter on LinkedIn

Check out our article where we explain how to message a recruiter on LinkedIn!

When you apply to jobs, there are a few extra steps you should take to increase the likelihood of a response. First, you should make sure that you are applying for roles that fit your background and goals. Then, do research on LinkedIn to find a recruiter or hiring manager at the company who has a connection to you and to the team you are interested in. Once you have found the right person, you are ready to apply online. 

After you send out the application, you need to reach out to the recruiter you found on LinkedIn to make a connection. The goal of this interaction is to bring your application to the top of their pile and remind them that you are a human, not just a resume. Recruiters are often reviewing hundreds of applications for the same role. Sending a message or cold email makes you stand out and increases the chances that you will receive an interview request.

At Pathrise, we always recommend that our fellows send messages and cold emails along with their applications. In fact, on average, this action triples their response rate. So, we wanted to help you with these tips on how to message a recruiter on LinkedIn so you can find success as well.

Find the right recruiter

When you are applying to big tech companies, you will likely see a fair amount of specificity in the recruiter roles. For example, if you search for recruiters at Google, you will be able to find technical recruiters as well as recruiters who focus on software engineering, UX design, product, and more roles. On the other hand, smaller companies typically have more general recruiters who manage the hiring for a variety of different types of roles. So, depending on the type of company and role, you should be able to narrow down the recruiters.

Ideally, the recruiter you choose for outreach should have a connection to you as well. Can you find someone that went to the same university or bootcamp as you? Or maybe you grew up in the same hometown or share a hobby, like playing volleyball. This added commonality will warm up your message or email and make it even more likely that they respond. Not only that, but sharing something with the recruiter will increase the chances that they want to help you. This connection is crucial to developing a strong relationship.

Photo of how to message a recruiter on LinkedIn

Craft your message

Often our recommendation is to find the recruiter’s email address and craft a compelling cold email. In this email, you should explain briefly who you are, how you are connected, and inform them that you have recently applied for a role at their company. See our cold email template that you can adapt for yourself if you choose to go this route.

Otherwise, you can send the recruiter a LinkedIn connection with a message that hits the main points of a cold email. You have a space limit, so you need to be really deliberate in your messaging. You should also ensure that your message is as specific as possible – do not make it look like a copy/paste job. Pique their interest so they want to open the message and connect with you!

Here is a template you can adapt for these connection requests:

“Hi XXX, 

      I read your piece on (insert post topics) and really like the way you (insert something). It would be wonderful to connect. I am currently on the job hunt and see that you worked/work for X. Specifically, I am looking for roles in X and see you are a recruiter on X team at Company A. I have been working in X over the past X years. I just applied for the X role and I’m excited to learn more about working at Company A. Please let me know if you have a moment to connect.”

Politely follow up

If you do not hear back from a message or cold email, all is not lost. People are busy and cold outreach often falls through the cracks. Take some time to write a polite and short follow up email that brings your email or message back to the top of their inbox.

The goal of this email is just a friendly reminder. You should feel comfortable sending it if you have not heard back in a week. We don’t recommend following up a third time, so this should be your last interaction unless you get a response.

Here is a template you can use for this follow up email:

Hi [name],

I know you must be busy, but I thought I’d quickly follow-up in case this happened to fall through the cracks. I’ve been making headway on current interview processes, but [Company] is solving a problem I know I care deeply about, so if you happen to be free during [time frames], I’d love to have a quick 15-minute chat. Let me know!


[your name]

With the above tips and templates, you should feel like you now know how to message a recruiter on LinkedIn so that you can increase your application response rate.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, we’ve seen up to 3x as many responses to applications.

If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your cold emails or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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