Here’s how to get a Recruiter’s Attention on LinkedIn

So you’re looking for your next great adventure right? Your plan to get a recruiter’s attention might consist of some bold moves that might include:

  • Applying for positions that you’re not necessarily qualified for to get your name out there
  • Stalk recruiters for companies that you really want to work for
  • Create the most awesome resume that has everything you’ve done since being conceived on one sheet of paper

If this is your plan, you’re planning to fail. Let me pull back the curtain for you.  Here are my thoughts on how to get a recruiter’s attention.

Photo by geralt

Applying for positions you are not qualified for-

You’re thinking this is the way to go, it’ll get your name out there and land you that next big career move. What it’s really doing is nullifying chances that a recruiter will look at your resume again. It tells us that you cannot read the list of qualifications. Using straight-line logic, It also tells us you most likely won’t follow directions very well.

What you should do: 

Find a mentor in the field or better yet, work toward getting training in that field. Use the job description and qualifications to have a candid conversation with your manager about the steps you need to take to get yourself aligned to take on such a role.

Photo by Pixabay

Stalk Recruiters

Two words for you: NOT COOL! This gives us that “icky” feeling that something is just night right with you. It’s kind of like that person in high school that had a crush on you but you weren’t really into them but somehow they “ironically” show up at the same places. There is a fine line between trying to remain in touch and pushing your luck.

What you should do: 

Most of us love networking with potential candidates-it’s what makes us tick. The most effective recruiters will take some time to help guide you to the right steps to take to get to your dream role. Think of this approach as you would trying to date the popular person in school. Show some interest, communicate without being a stalker, and see where the relationship goes. Don’t push yourself on the recruiter. If they’re good, they’ll tell you that they just don’t have anything for you at the time. Then you should move on to someone who does.

Create the Most AWESOME Resume:

Resumes are an effective tool, but don’t go overboard. Having every single solitary thing you’ve done since high school on your resume, leaving only centimeters of white space does nothing for you. Most recruiters are bottom line oriented people. We don’t want to have to search through a magna carta to determine if you’re qualified or not. Call us lazy or call us efficient, but regardless it’s the truth.

What you should do: 

Create different versions of your resume to highlight different targeted jobs you’re interested in. For example, I have a resume that highlights my recruiting experience and another that highlights my project management experience. There’s some overlap between the two, but the core of the resume is directed at the type of job I might be applying for.

Leave some white space on the resume. For most of us, looking at a bunch of words shuts down our brains so we move on. Your resume’s cleanliness speaks to your ability to present yourself in a logical, professional manner. Remember, to get a recruiter’s attention, keep it clean and simple.


Many who read this will scoff and suggest that I’m being arrogant and may not understand what it’s like to be jobless. Just to clarify, since 2008, my job has been eliminated three times from three different companies so that pain and frustration is still fresh for me. The advice I’m providing is not out of my desire to make my life easier but to make you more successful in finding the right fit for your next move.  So remember these key points if your goal is to get a recruiter’s attention.

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Published by Trent Cotton

I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. My passion to lead, innovate and engage the HR industry. I use my blog at NakedHR.me to reach thousands of readers and provides unique insights into a range of HR and business topics. I currently write for NakedHR.me and SprintRecruiting.com. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive. Connect with me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/trentcotton or on Twitter @TrentCotton.

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