How to Reach Out to a Recruiter on LinkedIn

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Reaching out to a recruiter on LinkedIn is one way to explore new opportunities. Learn how to identify the right recruiter, optimise your profile, send a connection request, and craft an introductory message.

[Featured image] A man sits at his dining room table working on his laptop and drinking a cup of coffee.

When you’re looking for a new job, a LinkedIn recruiter might be able to help. To reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn, you should optimise your profile first. Next, you’ll search for the right recruiter, send them a connection request, and write a short message explaining your goals.

According to LinkedIn, roughly 65 million people worldwide use the site to search for a new job weekly, and about six people are hired every minute through LinkedIn [1]. 

If you’re a motivated job seeker, these steps can help you find the right recruiter, reach out to them, and understand how recruiter compensation works. 

How to find the right recruiter

LinkedIn has become a prime resource for recruiters. To help find the right one for use, follow these tips: 

Search by location or industry

Use LinkedIn’s search bar to find a job in a specific city. The Locations filter narrows the search fields. Search for ‘recruiter’ with the city selected. 

LinkedIn allows you to use the Company filter. While you can’t search for a specific company like Google, you can narrow the results by adding an industry, location, and company size.

Ask for recommendations 

Has a friend recently switched jobs with the help of a recruiter? If so, could you ask them for a recommendation? If you have a connection to a recruiter, even through a friend or former colleague, it can help you make that initial connection. 

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Steps to reach out to a recruiter

Are you ready to reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn? Here’s what you should do:

Optimise your profile

When you contact a recruiter, they will first look at your LinkedIn profile. Before you send out connection requests, take some time to enhance your profile. Specifically, make sure you:

Identify keywords

Add relevant keywords to your profile, like the job you’re looking for or the skills needed to do this job.

For example, suppose you’re looking for a job as a graphic designer. In that case, you should place that job title in several places on your profile, and maybe ‘experienced designer’ along with ‘Adobe Creative Cloud’ to show proficiency in a specific design program.

Update your profile picture

Your LinkedIn profile should be up-to-date and taken within the current year. It should be professional and only include yourself. 

In the same way, you should pick a professional cover photo as well. You may need to buy a stock photo that is relevant to your job. Ensure the images uploaded are the proper size to be crisp and clear. 

Refine your LinkedIn headline 

At the top of your profile, there’s a headline. It’s one of the first things a recruiter will see. Take some time to craft a short, descriptive headline that describes your ideal job and skill set. 

You don’t need to write a grammatically correct sentence; you can use snappy descriptions and break them up with commas. 

Add a bulleted list to your profile summary

The profile summary lets you introduce yourself to the recruiter and prospective companies. You have 2,000 characters in this space. To make it count, consider summarising yourself and your experience in a sentence or two and highlighting specific skills with a bulleted list. 

Be specific with job descriptions

When you describe the tasks you’ve done, add as many specifics as possible. If you can, add data to support it. For example, a content writer might mention their effort to grow a blog’s audience by a certain percentage or improve referral traffic by a certain amount. 

Request recommendations

Before contacting a recruiter, ask a few people for recommendations—specifically for your LinkedIn profile. Ask a handful of people to ensure at least two or three are there when your profile is reviewed. 

Send a connection request

Once you’ve selected a shortlist of recruiters you’d like to work with, your next step is to send each one a connection request. 

Since there’s no guarantee that a recruiter will accept your request, you can contact a few. However, if you’re eyeing a specific job listing on LinkedIn, contact the particular recruiter on the listing or contact one recruiter within the company.

Send an InMail message

If you upgrade your LinkedIn account to the premium tier, you can send an InMail message to anyone on LinkedIn, whether they’ve accepted your connection request. If you have the means, this can put your name in front of recruiters faster without relying on them to get your request. 

Next, craft a well-written message. Your message should be 75 words or less that explains who you are, your experience, and what you’re looking for. 

Here's an example message:


I wanted to connect and see if we could work together. I’m a data scientist with 10 years of industry experience looking to advance to a management position within this niche. If you have time, I’d like to see if I’m a good fit for any openings you know about. 

Let’s connect, 

Rohit Sharma


Follow up with a recruiter

If a recruiter is interested, they will likely ask you to send over a resume, cover letter, and portfolio. When you send them over, keep your note short and positive and include your name, email, and cell phone number so the recruiter can easily reach you. 

If you don’t hear back from a recruiter within three to four business days, you can send a brief follow-up message. Keep it simple. Ask if they might have time to connect and state your continued interest in a specific job posting or field of work. 

Maintain engagement 

If a recruiter accepts a connection request but isn’t responding to your messages, consider engaging with their posts. Like an article, comment on posts, or share content that might interest your audience.  

If you connect with a recruiter, it's a good practice to engage with them as much as possible on the platform. 

How is a recruiter paid? 

The payment structure varies by the type of recruiter you work with. No matter the type, a job seeker isn’t responsible for paying a recruiter. 

If a company has an in-house recruiter, that person is likely paid an annual salary like any employee. 

Companies that use an external recruiter usually receive a commission for every person placed within the company. This commission isn’t taken from the employee’s salary; it’s a fee the company pays, usually after the candidate is hired.  

External recruiters may also receive a hybrid payment, where they’re paid a small upfront fee to find the talent and a commission once the candidate is placed in the company. 

If you work with a recruiting agency, a recruiter’s profits are divided slightly differently, but the company using the recruiting services is still responsible for payment. The company is usually charged a more significant commission with an agency, split between the recruiting agency and the recruiter.   

Get started with Coursera

Did you know you can add your Coursera accomplishments to your LinkedIn profile? Show off your finished courses and certificates to potential employers, or start building job-ready skills in a field like data analytics, project management, or IT support with a Professional Certificate from an industry leader.   

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Build job-ready skills with a Coursera Plus subscription
  • Get access to 7,000+ learning programs from world-class universities and companies, including Google, Yale, Salesforce, and more
  • Try different courses and find your best fit at no additional cost
  • Earn certificates for learning programs you complete
  • A subscription price of $59/month, cancel anytime

Article sources

1. LinkedIn. "About Us: Statistics,” Accessed April 23, 2024.

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