7 Ways to Connect with Recruiters to Get a Job

Jul 02, 2023
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Finding your first job can be challenging and we all go through it on our career journey. But regardless of if you’re looking for your first job or your tenth, you’ll likely find difficulty with connecting with recruiters and getting your resume reviewed. One of the main reasons for this is that at many companies, your resume isn’t even being reviewed. Instead, it goes into an applicant tracking system, only to be buried by dozens, hundreds, or thousands of resumes. Worse yet, there’s no personal connection with the recruiter, which might allow them to advocate for you for a role. While finding a job can be frustrating, there are a few ways to improve your connections and chances of being noticed.

The first two tips are probably obvious and what most people are doing today, but the other five tips will help you create a more personal connection and increase your chances of landing a job.


Outreach on LinkedIn

If your network doesn’t know that you’re looking for a job, they won’t be thinking of you when opportunities come across their path. Creating a professional LinkedIn profile, connecting with others, and adding the Open to Work banner on your profile are important first steps. Making new connections with recruiters will help you to expand your network and become exposed to more positions. As your network grows, you’ll want to ask for referrals from your connections. This is an important part of the application process, and it can mean the difference between a recruiter seeing your resume and your resuming falling to the bottom of the pile.


Posting Resume on Job Boards

LinkedIn and Indeed are two of the most popular job boards on the internet, so you’ll want to ensure that your resume is up-to-date on those job boards. But there others such as Dice, which focuses on tech jobs, and there are likely many other job boards that you could use depending on your region of the country and world. One tip to keep in mind is that some job boards will not display stale resumes to recruiters. Meaning, if you haven’t updated your resume on their website in the last few days, weeks, or month, you may not be getting the visibility that you hoped for.


Connecting with Headhunters and Temp Agencies

When you’re first starting out, you’ll likely consider taking almost any job, even if it doesn’t match with your desired salary, location, or even job function. But many candidates overlook contract or temporary work even though it’s a great way to get their foot in the door and build valuable work history that they can list on your resume.

To find these jobs, you can reach out to local and national headhunters and temp agencies. Their job is to place candidates into positions, and they don’t get paid if they don’t fill roles. You’ll want to get your resume into their hands and make yourself known because they might not find out about you any other way.


Meetup Groups

Personal connections go a long way. They allow you to directly speak with recruiters and hiring managers, bubbling your name to the top of the applicant list. Also, there are quite a few jobs that aren’t posted on job boards. The only way that you’ll find those jobs is through your connections with others. One way to connect with others is to attend meet-up groups. These are almost always free and open to anyone, allowing you to drop in and make some new connections.


College Career Fairs

Colleges and universities frequently have recruiting fairs where companies and hiring managers will gather with students to provide introductions to the company and discuss internships and full-time positions. This is how many college students get an internship or first job out of college. But the secret is that many of these career fairs are open to anyone, even if you didn’t attend the school.  

Regardless of where you went to school, you can try to attend the career fair. This will allow you to make direct and personal connections with recruiters, which will dramatically increase your chance of success. When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I couldn’t find a job, so I drove to another university’s career fair. I didn’t end up having success when I did this, but I did make some great connections.


Start-up Company Groups

Start-up companies are usually a great place to look for jobs because they are trying to achieve rapid growth, which requires rapid hiring. One of the start-up companies that I worked for years ago was a very high growth company. When I started, there were only 100 employees, but I was told that I had a “blank check” to hire as many people as I wanted, as long as the candidate had the skills that we were looking for.

To find start-up companies like this, I recommend performing a Google search to find a listing of start-up companies in your area. I live in Austin, TX, and there’s a site called builtinaustin.com that lists many of the start-ups around the city. This list can be used as a launching point for searching for companies to apply for. Also, sites like these tend to have their own career gatherings and meet-up groups where you can connect with others in person.


Other In-person Events

Any other event that you can attend in-person will likely increase your chance of success with finding a job. Technical conferences can be great networking events for you to make new connections. While some of them are free, the majority will likely charge a fee to attend the conference, making this option less feasible for many candidates starting out in their career. However, if you currently have a job and you can get your company to pay for you to attend the conference, it can provide you with another opportunity to make new connections.



Breaking into to tech as well as many other industries can be challenging, especially when the human element is removed. Many candidates are submitting their resume to a computer, not a human, and their resume never gets reviewed. But you can increase your chances of success by creating new personal connections with others and leveraging additional resources that aren’t commonly discussed.

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