Managing Recruiters on LinkedInThere are two professions that dominate LinkedIn: Sales and Recruiting. How is one to handle the massive influx of invites, and what can you get out of it?

As a member of the staffing and recruiting industry, I see LinkedIn as a network of peers. For those who work in ancillary industries, I can think of three major reasons why it’s a good idea to accept invites from recruiters on LinkedIn.

Note: This is from my general experience. Your personal experience may vary, and as always – proceed with caution as not all invites have good intentions. Use your best judgment. However, as an active LinkedIn user for many years, I can speak to the incredible environment and opportunity created by LinkedIn. Let’s get started.

You grow your own network and become visible to more people.

By the nature of their profession, recruiters are typically very well connected. They leverage their countless happy hours, morning meetings, and conference calls by bridging your networks. You are inherently limited in your ability to network yourself, and you never know when you’ll get a LinkedIn InMail with a job opportunity. It never hurts to keep your options open. You don’t have to reach out, and it may be weeks, months, or years until you officially connect in person or over the phone.

You can build a relationship with them so they know what you are looking for and can help you find the next role.

So you’re looking for a new job? There are many reasons to reach out and take that first step to connect with a recruiter. If you wait until you’ job hunting, you’ll likely be at a disadvantage. The best option is to start a relationship early on. This will indicate that you’re already committed to a company. More importantly, don’t let the fact that you’re currently employed detract from the possibility of future opportunities. Reaching out today is better than reaching out in six months when you’ve already decided to leave, or worse – you’ve been laid off.

It will help you stay up-to-date with new roles in your particular industry.

Career paths change over time. Job titles change. Job requirements are modified to include new technologies and tools. One of the best ways to ensure career insulation is to constantly be aware of how your industry – including your company and competitors – is evolving in terms of how they view your job and what’s required or expected in new hires. Even veteran or senior roles may require new methodologies that, regardless how accepted it is within current applicants, will ensure that you stand out if you identify it as a key marker on your own resume.

Now, this is not to say that every recruiter has your best interests in mind. Rarely will you have that perfect connection that occurs when someone reaches out right as you’re exiting your current contract or employer relationship. You will surely begin to receive more messages, and when it turns to spam, LinkedIn helps you flag those individuals who take advantage.

The best thing to do is to connect with a recruiter that is aligned with your location and industry. Use this as an opportunity to grow your network. The right recruiters can be very useful for your career.

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