How to Reach Out to a Recruiter

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You are fed up, you are ready for a change, you were unfortunately part of a reduction in force. Perhaps, you are just wanting to be kept in the loop on potential opportunities. Whatever your situation may be, you decide the next step is to reach out to a recruiter for help. But how? What do you say? How do you get their attention? This article is intended to help potential job seekers properly connect with recruiters AND receive a response.

Do Some Research

The first thing to understand about recruiters is their daily process.  A lot of times, job seekers tend to “assume” what recruiters do on a day to day basis. However, truly understanding their process will help you approach a recruiter in a way that will get their attention.  What I try to explain to candidates is that recruiters are “reactive” in their day to day routines.  What this means is recruiters stay extremely focused on the current jobs they are looking to fill and rarely have time to talk to candidates that do not have the skill sets they are currently looking for.  So, do your research! 

Look up the current jobs they are posting or go to the company’s website to see what types of positions they are looking to fill.  If you are an Accountant and you’ve decided to reach out to a recruiter that specializes in technology positions, you’re more than likely not going to receive a response.

OK!  Now that you’ve identified recruiters who work on positions that closely align with your background or currently have job postings you feel you are qualified for, you might be asking yourself, “now what?” 

Reaching Out to a Recruiter

The next step is to contact the recruiter. But how? What do you say?  I believe every recruiter may have their own personal preference to these questions, but regardless of the channel of communication you choose, a good rule of thumb is to stay BRIEF, CONCISE, and COURTEOUS.

  • Why BRIEF:  Keep in mind that recruiters are “reactive” in their day to day routine.  This means that time is a very sensitive issue for a recruiter.  If you send a long message that is multiple paragraphs, you will lose your audience.  The same applies if the message is generic.  Recruiters are experts at identifying what messages are generic and which are customized.  The quickest way to lose their attention is to send them a message that has been sent in a mass email.  This leads to my next recommendation.
  • Be CONCISE: Try and be brief and to the point.  Let the recruiter know why you are reaching out and what you’re looking for.  This is not the time to list off your accolades, accomplishments, or all the awards you’ve won. 
  • Lastly, be COURTEOUS: There is nothing more irritating for a recruiter than to receive a message from someone they don’t know and the message comes across as rude. Please be mindful of how you word your message.  There almost needs to be a sense of humbleness to the message. 

Sample Email Templates When Reaching Out to a Recruiter:

Sample Email to an Executive Recruiter:

Hi (Recruiter First Name),

I hope this message finds you well. I’m reaching out because I’m currently exploring new opportunities in the (City) area. I have 10 years’ experience in finance, mostly in the manufacturing industry and I’m looking for a Director, Vice President, or CFO level position. I would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to connect and discuss further in the event you currently have an opportunity I could be a good fit for. Thanks for your consideration!

Sample Email to a Corporate Recruiter:

Hi (Recruiter First Name),

I hope this message finds you well.  I noticed your company’s job posting for a Director of Finance.  After reviewing the job description and researching your company, I would like to be considered for the opportunity.  I have applied to the position for your review and would really appreciate the opportunity to connect and discuss this position further or any other opportunities I might be a good fit for.  I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks!

Channel of Communication

Now that social media is a vital tool for recruiters, this gives you a variety of options on how you can connect with them.  LinkedIn is the most obvious and is typically our preferred method of connecting with candidates these days. My advice here is to start with an introduction email. Of course, keeping it brief, concise, and courteous. Then, follow up with a LinkedIn invite to connect with the recruiter. 

Takeaways:

  • Do your research to identify the right recruiter and recruiting firm.  Look up the recruiter’s profile on LinkedIn to find what skill set or industries they focus on.  Look up job postings to make sure the firm recruits on positions that closely align with your skill set.
  • Remember to be Brief, Concise, and Courteous when contacting a recruiter.  Do not send a generic email!  Recruiters are experts at spotting blanketed emails. Show a recruiter that you’ve done your research.  Check your ego at the door.
  • Start with an email introduction followed by a LinkedIn invite.  Remember that most recruiters will look at your LinkedIn profile. Make sure to have your profile completely and accurately filled out so they can easily get a good idea of your skill set. 

While every recruiter’s preference on how candidates approach them are different, showing them that you’ve done the research, you are sensitive to their time, and are courteous are three things every recruiter can appreciate.

If you are currently searching for your next opportunity or simply want to connect with one of our recruiters, get in touch with us