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Browsing through my 2nd-degree connections on LinkedIn, I noticed a recruiter who works for a company I'm particularly interested in. I don't know this recruiter at all, personally, but I do have a connection to them via a colleague from a previous job. I think it may be beneficial for me to connect with this recruiter, but I'm a bit concerned about asking for an introduction.

Unfortunately, I haven't been in touch with my former colleague in quite some time. This is not due to any ill regard for one another that I'm aware of. We just were never particularly close socially, and so did not make much effort to stay in touch after our paths diverged.

I also have never reached out to anyone via LinkedIn (or otherwise, for that matter) to request an introduction like this. So, I'm concerned about general matters of etiquette in that regard.

How should I go about doing this, so that it is well-received and effective? Are there any particular faux pas to be avoided? Might it actually be rude of me to ask for something like this, after not having contact for so long?

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2 Answers 2

The recruiter will absolutely want to talk to you, the former co-worker may or may not want to talk to you. In this situation, why not reach out to the recruiter directly? It doesn't seem that you are tight with your former co-worker, so chances are he/she will not be giving you some sort of glowing reference (if you expect the former co-worker will give a reference, it might be best to go through him/her).

You can connect to this recruiter on LinkedIn without involving your contact, who may or may not honor your request anyway. Recruiters connect to a lot of people, so having your connection request sent by your former co-worker is by no means any kind of ringing endorsement. There is a fairly good chance the recruiter and your contact are not close either, and may not even remember each other.

If you send the request through your former co-worker, there is a chance he/she won't send the request along, leaving you in some sort of LinkedIn purgatory. Contact the recruiter directly, through LinkedIn or another means (search for an email address on the LinkedIn card or on the web, or even a phone call). That takes all the mystery out of it and makes you look like an ambitious potential employee. The recruiter will love getting a call from someone that wants a job, assuming you are a qualified individual. Good luck.

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+1 for this. Recruiters in any position will be thrilled to have another face to look at when viewing candidates for a position they're trying to fill. Backing up what Fecak said, I've never met a recruiter that didn't want to talk to everyone. –  cloyd800 Nov 14 '12 at 13:51
    
Very good point here, especially applicable for recruiter contacts. The only problem is that the recruiter hasn't published his e-mail address, and so I cannot (without claiming some pre-existing real-life connection) connect to him directly. –  Iszi Nov 16 '12 at 20:23
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The recruiter won't care if you need to be creative and make a false claim due to how LinkedIn limits free accounts. –  fecak Nov 17 '12 at 14:39

Say, hey buddy I know its been a while. I saw you know such and such. Would you be willing to introduce us, I'd really like to work with them.

Don't play it off like you're suddenly best friends or interested in catching up. Just be honest and up front. Only after you get your answer should you start to become friendly again, maybe say something along the lines of, "Thanks a lot I owe you big, maybe next time you're in town we could grab a beer and catch up." But don't start with that and then at the end of night ask about a reference, thats a total turn off.

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