How to Find and Reach Out to Recruiters on LinkedIn

The job search can feel so anonymous, and we don't blame you if you wish you had a direct route into a recruiter's inbox. Here's the good news: You do. That's where LinkedIn comes in.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for forging relationships, establishing rapport, building some name recognition and improving your chances of finding a role you love. In order to make that happen, you first need to understand how to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn — and how to find them in the first place.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to slide into a recruiter's DMs (literally) in a way that's impressive and professional. 

How To Find Recruiters On LinkedIn 

Before you can craft the perfect message to a recruiter, you first need to figure out how to find them. Fortunately, you don't need to be a private investigator—LinkedIn's search functionality makes it easy. 

How To Find A Recruiter When You Know Their Name

If you already know the first and last name of the recruiter you want to connect with, simply type it into the search bar. 

Their profile might pop right up as you're typing but, if not, click "see all results" and then press the "people" button at the top to filter out posts, companies, and jobs so that you only see profiles in your results. 

LinkedIn search

How To Find A Recruiter When You Know The Company 

Maybe you've recently applied for a job and have no clue who the recruiter is that could be reviewing your application. You can still find them—or,  at the very least, someone on the hiring team. It'll just involve a little more elbow grease.

Start by using LinkedIn's search bar to search for the company you applied with or are interested in and then navigate to the company's LinkedIn page. Near the top of the page, you'll see a line about how many employees at the company have a  profile on LinkedIn.

Teal LinkedIn Page

Click on that line to open up a directory of employees' LinkedIn profiles. At the top of the employee list, click the button that says "all filters" to narrow your search criteria. Scroll to the bottom and type a relevant keyword into the "title" field of the keywords section.

LinkedIn search details

When searching for someone on the hiring team, keep in mind that companies use a variety of job titles—so "recruiter" may or may not be in the name. Try searching for similar keywords like: 

  • Head of people
  • Hiring manager
  • HR manager
  • Human resources
  • Recruiter
  • Talent acquisition 

At least one of those should bring someone in human resources to the surface so you can send a friendly and personalized connection request. 

How To Message Recruiters On LinkedIn 

You did it—you found the recruiter you're looking for. Now what? Do you connect with them? Send a message? Stalk their profile and hope they stalk you back? 

Unless the job posting explicitly states that you shouldn't directly contact a member of the hiring team, there's no harm in reaching out with a friendly, low-pressure connection request or note. 

Before getting in touch, use Teal's LinkedIn Review tool to get your own profile in tip-top shape. That way you can impress any recruiters who click through to your profile from your note. 

When you're ready to write your note, exactly how to message recruiters on LinkedIn will vary depending on what permissions and privacy settings they have on their own profile. You might have the option to message them without connecting—or you might have to send a simple note with a connection request.

Let's walk through a couple of potential situations and how to best handle them.

Scenario 1: Send A Personalized Connection Request

How To Do It: Click "more" at the top of their profile and then select "connect." You'll then see a popup with the option to add a note. 

LinkedIn message options

Character Limit: 300 characters

What To Say: Since you have limited characters to work your magic, this isn't your time to recap your entire resume. Instead, keep your message focused on only a few important elements—primarily, who you are and why you're connecting. If the recruiter connects, you have an opportunity to continue the conversation (without the rigid character limits) then. 

Need some inspiration to write your own connection request? Here's a template you can use:

LinkedIn Personalized Connection Request Template

Hi [Name],
My name is [Your Name] and I recently applied for the [Job] role at [Company].

I'm excited about the opportunity and would love to follow along with you, your work, and [Company]'s recent happenings here on LinkedIn.

Looking forward to keeping in touch,
[Your First Name]  

Scenario 2: Send A Message Without Connecting

How To Do It: This feature can vary depending on whether or not you've signed up for LinkedIn Premium—or even if the person you're messaging does and has set up an Open Profile that allows others to contact them.

If you do have the option to send a message to a recruiter on LinkedIn without actually connecting, you'll see a "message" button near the top of their profile. Click that and it will open up a separate, smaller window where you can compose your message. 

LinkedIn follow and message buttons

Character Limit: 200 characters for the subject line, 1900 characters for the body 

What To Say: Given that you have more flexibility with characters here, you have some wiggle room to write a more in-depth message. But even so, keep in mind that recruiters are often busy (and usually on the receiving end of a lot of cold outreach). This isn't when you want to send a War and Peace-length career rundown. 

Instead, stick with a few short paragraphs that explain who you are, what role you recently applied for, and a few notable skills and experiences you can bring to the table. 

Keep it low-pressure by saying that you're looking forward to staying in touch—but don't beg for an interview or require any sort of response. This is simply your opportunity to reach out in a more personal way and stand out from the competition. 

LinkedIn InMail Subject Line To Recruiter

Like with any sort of email, your subject line carries a lot of weight and can be the deciding factor for whether or not your message actually gets opened.

When sending InMail to a recruiter—whether an in-house one or one at a staffing agency—opt for something short, clear, and friendly, like:

  • [Role] Position at [Company]
  • It's great to "meet" you!
  • A quick introduction 

As far as your actual message is concerned, here's a template you can use to reach out without getting too lost in the details:

LinkedIn InMail Template To Recruiter

Hi [Name],
I hope you're doing well!
My name is [Your Name] and I recently applied for the [Job] role at [Company].
I was thrilled to see this position available, as I'm confident that I'm a qualified match. I have [number] years of experience in [role or industry] and am skilled with [skill], [skill], and [skill]. Plus, I have a feeling I'd fit right in with [Company]'s [adjective] culture.
No need to respond—I just wanted to take the opportunity to reach out a little more personally.

I'm wishing you luck with the hiring process for this position and look forward to hearing from you about next steps.
All the best,
[Your Name]

Send A Message And Stand Out From The Competition

The job search can get frustrating and can often make you feel like you're submitting resumes into a black hole. It can feel like you're just another number in a company's applicant tracking system.

Fortunately, LinkedIn can help you go beyond that anonymity and forge some recognition (and maybe even a professional relationship) with recruiters.

However, LinkedIn messages often get a bad rap for being salesy and spammy. So, if and when you do reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn, keep your note friendly, professional, and low-pressure. 

That simple message could be what elevates you above the competition — and eventually lands you the job. 

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Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a freelance writer focused on the world of work. When she's not at her computer, you'll find her with her family—which includes two adorable sons and two rebellious rescue mutts.

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