The Best Ways to Contact Recruiters on Social Media

After having written a recent post for The Undercover Recruiter (How NOT to Contact Recruiters on LinkedIn), I received a lot of requests for advice on how jobseekers SHOULD reach out to recruiters. It reminded me of a recent InMail message in my LinkedIn inbox and I thought I would share my response since it details some of the many ways that jobseekers can (and should!) approach recruiters on LinkedIn as well as other forms of social media.

In my opinion, the following advice is the MOST important step that a jobseeker can make because it turns a reactive process (applying online and waiting / hoping to hear back) into a proactive one (reaching out to recruiters / hiring managers online and starting a two-way dialogue that gets your resume reviewed / considered for the role). Anything a jobseeker can do to stand out from the pack (in a good way, of course) and beat others to the punch will help them land that coveted offer. Remember, there is no 2nd place when applying for that dream position. That 1st place candidate gets the job and the dozens (or hundreds!) of others do not. What are YOU doing to differentiate yourself in this tough job market?

Here’s the original email (identifying details changed for privacy):
I recently found your blog as I have been trying to find the best tactics to land my next position. I have my heart set on a marketing job at XYZ Company in Washington D.C. but I am from Massachusetts and have no connections there. Do you have any advice?

My response:
Hi Jane,

Thanks for reaching out. Great question! Here’s my advice…

1. First things first. Go to XYZ’s company website and apply online for any position(s) of interest that match well with your skill set and experience.

2. Next, it’s time to leverage LinkedIn and the power of networking. I just searched my network and I have 956 total connections currently working at XYZ Company in the DC area. 109 of them are 1st or 2nd level connections, so once we’re linked, they’ll be in your network too (as 2nd or 3rd level connections).

Once we’re connected, do a LinkedIn search and identify two or three of those contacts that you would like to contact. I’d recommend Recruiters, hiring managers – Manager/Director/VP of Marketing in your case, peers who hold the same title that you desire, etc. We can identify additional contacts later, if need be.

Tips 3, 4, and complete article

25 Social Media Tips from Recruiters

by: Jason Buss

Social Media and social networking is no new concept in the job search space.  Depending on who you ask – you’ll receive varying tips to build your network and possibly land a job.

Some of the advice is good, but as one Recruiter shared, “Don’t listen to all the bad advice out there – if it seems crazy it’s because it is”.

At a Minnesota Recruiters event a week ago, we asked Recruiters to identify useful tips for job seekers when they are leveraging social media in their job search.

We compiled the list into the following 25 bite-size tips:

  1. Use social media as a vehicle, not a substitute for an in-person interaction
  2. Remember your audience and that social doesn’t necessarily mean casual
  3. Engaging in social shouldn’t be a one-way communication or conversation
  4. Don’t fall for all the fads.  It’s likely you won’t find your next job browsing Pinterest, although some of the worst recruiting consultants make it seem like a viable channel to be found
  5. Pick one or two social sites and be active.  It’s also important to have your profile and any links on other static sites that you do not visit as frequently
  6. Use the right keywords in order to be found
  7. Have a Skype account, make the offer to conduct a digital interview or ask if the company uses a video interviewing service
  8. Post industry content on the social sites and be focused
  9. Don’t be afraid to reach out to employers directly via social sites
  10. Your social presence is your personal brand – protect it

How to get a recruiter’s attention through social media

If you’re a recent college graduate, or someone looking for a career change, you’re probably spending a lot of time networking, filling out job applications, and sending out résumés and cover letters. But have you ever tried getting a recruiter’s attention through social media? It’s clear that social media has now become a big part of business, and that includes the hiring process as well.

At the start of 2012, I decided I wanted to work for Radian6, so I created a social media campaign targeted towards the company. The goal was to get an interview with a recruiter. Here’s what I did:

  • I first started out by setting a plan, and a goal. This way, I had clear direction with what I wanted to do, and how I was going to do it.
  • I started engaging with Radian6 on Twitter on a regular basis.
  • I decided to write this post as my job application.
  • I engaged with my influential followers, and asked them to share this post with their community.
  • I tagged Radian6 in the post on Twitter and Facebook to make sure they would see it.

Results? I was contacted by email within 24 hours to set up a phone interview. I had my phone interview within 48 hours of me writing the post. Other people were interested in the post too, and decided to write articles about it! Here are the links to the articles that different people wrote:

I did not end up getting the job with Radian6 because of bad timing (the position started in march, and I only graduated in May). However, I ended up making great contacts during the experience! Also, Radian6 invited me to write a guest post for their blog. You might say this campaign was not successful, but I would disagree. The goal was to get an interview, and that goal was accomplished. To me, that’s success. The best part about all of this was that it took me as long to write the blog post as it would have to write a cover letter and  résumé specifically for that company.
So how can you take my example, and apply it to you? Here are a few tips of what you could do with your personal online presence that might help you get a recruiter’s attention through social media.

Your online brand must be professional

  • Make sure your social media profiles are clean. Pictures must be appropriate and keep any negative comments about employers to yourself.
  • Establish a headquarters (i.e. website or blog), and show your skills through your writing. Be creative with it.

Listen to what hiring managers are saying

  • Find the companies where you want to work. Make sure you are present and active on the same networks as they are.
  • Look at their online presence, and listen to what they are saying. Engage with them and introduce yourself to the company.

Make Social Media Your Job-Finding Weapon

Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff

What’s one way for hiring managers to learn who you are outside the confines of the résumé, cover letter and interview? Scanning your social media profiles.
It turns out 37% of employers screen potential job candidates on social networks, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. That means about two in five companies browse your social media profiles to evaluate your character and personality — and some even base their hiring decision on what they find.
“Social media is a primary vehicle of communication today, and because much of that communication is public, it’s no surprise some recruiters and hiring managers are tuning in,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “It will be interesting to see over the years how many employers adopt formal policies around social media.”
The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of jobs from February 9 to March 2, 20l2, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals.
Brad Schepp, co-author of How To Find A Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ says he was surprised to learn that just 37% of employers are researching candidates on social networking sites. “I would think that number is actually much higher,” he says. “If you were a recruiter, or a hiring manager for a company, wouldn’t you check out a potential hire through LinkedIn? Or, if you were hiring a recent grad, it would almost surely occur to you to visit their Facebook profile.”
Of the employers who do not research candidates on social media, 15% said it’s because their company prohibits the practice, and 11% report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.
The survey also found that employers are primarily using Facebook (65%) and LinkedIn (63%) to research candidates. Just 16% use Twitter.
So why are they using social networks to research candidates? – More answers, tips, and complete Forbes article