How do you effectively contact/reach out to recruiters and talent acquisition specialists on LinkedIn?

Hello Huttlers,

I have been attempting to contact recruiters at targeted companies that I have applied to in hopes of following up on applications.

In one instance, I have asked a friend of mine to introduce me to one of the talent acquisition specialists on LinkedIn. While he was not very close with the recruiter (they are connections, not from the same company, they met once), the warm introduction was solid on his end.

I used the intro to kindly ask about opportunities with the organization (and follow up on a resume). I kept it short and polite, hit my main points, and ended with a call to action. Yet, I have not heard back.

In another instance, I tried to reach out to a recruiter who was the job poster for an opening I was interested in. I sent a short cover letter about the opportunity, but no response.

Outside of asking for informational interviews, what is an effective way of messaging/trying to connect with recruiters?

Also, in crafting messages on LinkedIn, I would assume subject lines are very important. What are some tips in crafting an interesting email title that would be opened/read?

It has been hit or miss for me with contacting talent acquisition specialists on LinkedIn. I would love to hear unwritten rules/proper etiquette in effectively reaching out on LinkedIn (not just recruiters).


Hi! I am coming from a different side of things as an agency recruiter, so I apologize if I offend anyone.

Depending on what type of role you are going for, I would not waste too much time going after the recruiter on LinkedIn, instead I would find the hiring manager for the job and try to impress them. As a recruiter, I work for the hiring manager, and if you impress that person, you are going to be on my radar and become a priority. As stated above, everybody is sending messages to the recruiter, but very few are going straight to the source.

That being said, make sure that your message is thoughtful, not asking for too much, and is to the point. I work mostly with sales people, and if you reach out to a Director of Sales or Head of Sales they will be impressed with the initiative and will make time for you.

If that is not something you are comfortable with, all of the advice on reaching out to the Talent Management people from Jason is really great!

Hi Radley, I am open to all suggestions of reaching out to someone during the job hunting process. So i definitely appreciate this advice. From your experience, does this mainly apply to just sales oriented roles? I am not in sales, by the way

I have tried this one time recently--and it may have just been that specific situation, as I was late in applying for a role/they must've been deep in the interview process already--but I attempted to contact a hiring manager with no success.

If I were to attempt this again, do you have any tips of 'impressing' the hiring manager? Does that only apply to 'wowing' them with the resume/qualifications?

Hi Palcantara,

I'll piggyback off of this real quick. Radley has a point and it can work if done right, especially for sales roles. Sales managers want a sales team that loves the hunt and if you can demonstrate that it's great. My best peace of advice, is make sure you are 100% qualified for the role you are reaching out to the hiring manager for. If you are not, they will pass you up. Hiring Managers do get reached out to a lot so just back sure that you are confident you are a great fit for the role being advertised.

Really appreciate this Jason! In all honesty, I wasn't a 10/10 fit for the role that I inquired about, so that would explain why it was an ineffective way for me to try to connect that one time.

I will remember this advice going forward when contacting hiring managers directly. Thanks again!

Every HM is different, and it does depend on the role. If the job is so skill based, an excellent resume is always going to be the best tool (I think engineering is the best example of this). If it is more than just a skill based position, reaching out to the HM directly can be beneficial.

Like I said everyone is different, but I recommend doing some deep digging. Read a blog post they published, read about a volunteer org they are involved in, find some sort of commonality that you have with them and use that to start the conversation. Think about it from the standpoint of "my goal is to start a conversation, not immediately get an interview" and you will come across more genuine and human.

Hope this helps!


Great points!

This definitely helps. Thanks Radley!

Hello! This is a problem I hear about a lot from candidates. As I lead the talent function at my company, I can tell you that I am receiving multiple messages on a daily basis from candidates. I try my best to personally respond to all of the messages but certain days are harder than others.

There are probably two main reasons you would be reaching out to a recruiter: 1) You've seen a job opening you are interested in and 2) You really love the company and want to stay connected. If it's the former reason, rememer that multiple candidates are doing the exact thing you are. So if you are interested in the job and truly feel you are qualified based on the job description, then reach out with specifics on why you are the right fit, what you've done in the past that makes you right for this job and how you can be a game changer. Don't make the recruiter do too much digging to figure out who you are, but at the same time try not to write a novel. Less is better, but don't forget to align your skill set with the job description.

If you are reaching out because you just want to network or because you love the company, its great to list what skills you bring to the table, what you want to do next in your career and why you are passionate about the company. Let the recruiter know you are inviting them to connect and that you would like to stay on their radar. Suggesting a coffee is always fine as well, but don't be too upset if it can't happen right away. The next thing I would do is follow the company on Linkedin and Glassdoor so you can be alerted on new job openings. Once you see a job you are interested in then reach back out.

Thank you for your response Jason! Coming from a Director of Talent Acquisition it gives me great perspective of the inner workings of making connections with recruiters!

Can I also ask you, are these messages in reference strictly from LinkedIn alone? And what is the preferred method of being contacted on your end; in other words, does it make a difference trying to connect to recruiters through an email address or directly on LinkedIn (if it even makes a difference)? I usually don't have an email address unless contact information is listed on a job posting, career portal, or LinkedIn.

And how important is the email/LinkedIn subject line in getting the message read? After all, it is the first point of communication when trying to reach out. Should the subject line get straight to the point, or should it be more creative in trying to get read?

Hi Palcantara,

Good question. I think if you have their e-mail address it's fine to reach out but Linkedin is probably better so that they have a record and can go back when they are looking for the role. In regards to subject line, I think keep it informative. You don't have to spend too much time thinking of a clever subject line. They will open it. At the end of the day it comes down to whether you have the right skills for the job.