How to network with recruiters at your dream company

The Bay Area has a fairly laid back corporate culture. But when it comes to recruiters, most of them will expect a high level of business sense. Not to mention, it’s easy to get black listed by a company if a recruiter feels like they’re being harassed by an applicant. That’s why learning to engage a recruiter is an important skill for any professional in any industry. Keep these tips in mind before contacting a recruiter at your dream company.

Selecting the channel
The best way to reach out to a recruiter is through LinkedIn. Run an advanced people search with the word “recruiter” and a second search term that reflects your field. For example, the keywords “recruiter technology” brings up several IT recruiters. But even if you have your heart set on one organization, it’s crucial to contact the right recruiter for that department, as only he can get your resume to the right manager.

And try not to limit yourself to contacting in-house recruiters. There are many staffing agencies that have exclusive contracts with certain companies and your best foot into an organization may be through a recruiter at a staffing agency.

A recruiter’s pipeline
All recruiters have a pipeline of candidates they deem hirable. The best way to make it into that pipeline is by helping them highlight your skills. So, as you write your LinkedIn message to a recruiter asking them to connect, give them a glimpse into your background. Don’t be shy about your status. If you’re employed, but passively looking, let them know. And if you are immediately available, don’t hesitate to say you can start a new job right away. Treat your message as a short cover letter and ask if you can email them your full resume.

Staying visible
Recruiters are constantly networking and rebuilding their pipelines. Staying on their radar will take some effort on your part. You can follow their activity on LinkedIn, but it’s also important to figure out how they promote their job openings. Although LinkedIn is a popular way to network, many recruiters don’t post their jobs there because it costs money. Instead, they share their openings on Twitter, Facebook and even Tumbler. If possible, share their postings or comment on them. You can also email them once a month to remind them that you are still looking.

Don’t close any doors
If a recruiter reaches out to you with a position and you end up not getting the job, keep in touch with them. Many recruiters are contract employees and jump from one organization to the next every couple of months. The startup they are at now didn’t hire you, but the software company they work at next could.

Belo Cipriani is an award-winning author, former staffing professional, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University. Learn more at BeloCipriani.com.

Belo Cipriani