/ Asked by Alicia
Can I connect with prospective companies via LinkedIn? If so, how? And what is the appropriate etiquette for connecting with recruiters through LinkedIn?
Answered by Natalie, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Thanks for the great question.  I think it is perfectly acceptable to connect with prospective companies via LinkedIn, that is what it is out there for, and a great way for you to build your network.  It will be likely, they have their company web address listed on their profile.  I would utilize that information, and see if they have a careers page to apply for positions that you feel fit your background, and are what you are looking for. 

Hope you find this information helpful. 
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on Wednesday, July 9, 2014
LinkedIn is a professional social media network that is geared toward helping individuals and employers connect.  Preferred methods of contact vary by recruiter; however, if you are making a cold connection, meaning you have no previous knowledge of this individual, a networking letter is a great way to introduce yourself and what you are looking for to a recruiter and/or potential employer.  LinkedIn itself has some great learning webinars with supportive material to help you get started.  You can also find many resources on-line to help you create your networking letter.  A couple of things to keep in mind when you are connecting with others: (1) be honest; (2) pay attention to grammar & punctuation; (3) research the company you are interested in working for; (4) know and be able to clearly articulate what you want; (5) be realistic in your expectations.
Answered by Deanna, Hiring Expert at IBM Corporation, on Thursday, July 10, 2014
Yes!  You can connect with prospective companies via LinkedIn.  Look for company pages of companies in which you are interested.  The intent of the page is likely to attract candidates and to provide a mechanism for connecting.  On these pages, you can typically learn about the companies, culture, and job opportunities they have.  As with any professional career connection, if you connect directly with recruiters, have a message in mind - i.e. how can you fit with the recruiter's/company's needs and job opportunities; where do your skills and interest match with the company's needs.
Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Thursday, July 10, 2014
Absolutely! I would highly recommend checking out prospective companies on LinkedIn (LI), and exploring any and all information they make available to the public. I agree with an earlier response which stated that you should especially check out the Careers Section on each LI page, and see if they offer any information regarding open positions, their application process, and possibly specific recruiter or HR contact info. You can also check out these companies on Twitter, too. That’s something which is often overlooked, but also a great resource for candidates.

FYI, sometimes LI Career Sections are not fully up-to-date, and/or they will push you to the company’s official job board. Once on the official board, you should be able to see a nice snapshot of any open internal roles, even if they aren’t being posted on LI regularly.

In regards to outreach, I think it is becoming much more common for candidates to connect with recruiters or HR staff at a prospective employer via LI. In the past, I have had outstanding candidates identify me on LI as an employee of ManpowerGroup, and ask excellent questions about our company and our application process. I’ve then been able to route them to the appropriate recruiter or departmental contact, and it was a very professional exchange.

My best advice would be to briefly describe your interest in the organization right up front, and affirm that you are looking to strengthen your network in xyz field. Even if that particular recruiter or HR member isn’t the right person for you to work with, hopefully they can redirect you towards others within their organization who can perhaps chat/email with you.
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