Apply to the job first, ask questions later!

There are lots of popular posts that recommend you connect directly with a recruiter to differentiate yourself. These posts suggest doing this through inMails, DM’s, email, or phone calls as the best way to get noticed. While this is true in part, it is lacking a critical step in the process and has to be used in conjunction with jumping into the queue by formally applying to the job first.

Recruiters are busy – we all know that. Some recruiters have 90 open jobs and don’t have a formal applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage the intake of applications from multiple sources. Imagine if you had 90 projects that you were responsible for and had 100’s of people reaching out to you from various sources. Consolidating all of those channels can be tough for a recruiter and you will likely get lost in the shuffle. Not to mention recruitment happens at lightning speed and by the time you connect with the recruiter to discuss the role, it might already have been filled. You should take matters into your own hands and make sure you’re noticed but not forgotten!

If you follow the steps in this order you’ll have a much higher success rate than if you reach out and ask for special circumstances

  1. Find a potential job opportunity that you’re interested in and apply online with a resume and cover letter. Yes – managers still want to see a cover letter and some will discount you immediately if you haven’t included one. Don’t risk it.
  2. Once you’ve applied and you have received confirmation it’s been received, jump over to LinkedIn and search for an employee in Recruitment, Talent Acquisition, HR, or the department you’re applying to. Send them an inMail, DM or Connection request to let them know you’ve applied and why you’re interested in the role.
  3. Deliver a professional, succinct outreach message that states exactly why you are a great fit for the role and the company. I don’t recommend doing this by leaving a voicemail. Many people only check voicemails once a week. By then it might be too late. Send it via email or Linkedin DM or try to connect with them on the phone.

I hope you found this helpful, let us know your thoughts at

Joel Peterson - Arbutus Search Group


Joel Peterson

Managing Director
Arbutus Search Group