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Connecting with Internal Recruiters

Leverage LinkedIn for the job you want to land.

For most medium and large game studios, the first step towards getting hired is to communicate with an internal recruiter, the conduit for all job openings in a particular company or studio. 

Why do we have those people? Don't they just add an unecessary step? We have them because leads and directors simply don't have enough hours in the day to speak with every possibly viable candidate that applies. It's monumentally more efficient to have a recruiter get a basic idea of each candidate's skills and make sure the candidate is interested in the particulars of the studio before taking time out of a lead's schedule.

Don't discount the importance of developing a positive relationship with the designated recruiter as a method of increasing your odds of success through the hiring process. The hiring lead or director may rely on the recruiter's notes and feedback on a candidate through to the final decision process. This is often the case even if you were referred to the position by the lead or director or someone who knows him or her.

Once you have your "short list" of positions that you are interested in, it's time to get on LinkedIn to search for recruiters who work for those studio locations. The same company may have different recruiters for each studio. If the recruiter's name is listed in the job description by email or full name, use those details to help your search. Attempt to find the recruiter for each position you apply for, and have their profile up while you are applying. As you submit your resume for each job post, send a short connection request to each recruiter that looks something like this:

Hello (Recruiter's Name),

I just applied to your opening for a (job position). I hope I'll be hearing from you all, but I would love to stay in touch for future opportunities regardless. 

Thanks,
(Your Name)

LinkedIn is best used for connecting with people that you have a connection to outside of LinkedIn, and I feel that applying to a recruiter's job post establishes a sufficient relationship for a connection request. The above message is short, respects the character limitations imposed by LI, and expresses interest without kissing butt. Most importantly, it also encourages future contact in the event that you are not chosen for the immediately open role. 

If the connection request is accepted and you become a "first-degree" connection, you will pop up in the first batch of results anytime the recruiter searches for professionals with areas of expertise listed on your profile. A direct email to the recruiter does not have this advantage. And anytime you are looking for a job in the future, you will be able to send a message through LI directly to them, keeping you top-of-mind for that next big gig!

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