Many recruiters receive hundreds if not thousands of emails from job seekers each day. To ensure that your email to a recruiter stands out, you need to make it direct, concise, and relevant to their needs. The next time you email a recruiter, ask yourself, “How can I make this an email that benefits us both?”
When Should You Be Emailing A Recruiter?
Never feel shy when reaching out to a recruiter with a legitimate request. The old saying applies, you miss one-hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. Here are some reasons you might reach out to a recruiter, whether they work for a recruiting agency or in-house at a company where you want to work:
- You noticed that they are placing candidates within your industry and geographic area, and you want them to start helping you find a job.
- You have been waiting for two weeks or longer for them to get back to you about an application you submitted.
- You are reconnecting with a recruiter you talked with a while ago to let them know that you are back in the job market.
- You are replying to them concerning a job opportunity that they have sent to you.
- You would like them to help connect you to people within the companies to which you are applying.
- You are hoping to get some feedback on how you can make your resume stronger to land a job sooner.
In all of these instances, an email to the recruiter can mean the difference between getting a job and getting passed over. An email to your recruiter can also have the additional benefit of reminding them of your candidacy. Perhaps they will see your email and connect you with another job opportunity that hasn’t yet been announced.
How Do I Improve The Chances That My Email To A Recruiter Will Get A Response?
Whenever you are emailing a recruiter, make sure that your request is pressing. You should find ways to make your question imperative and time-sensitive, not only for you but also for the recruiter who has responsibilities to place qualified job candidates in new roles. For instance, instead of reaching out to ask, “Could you please put me in touch with someone at NAME OF COMPANY who can tell me more about the office culture,” you might instead rephrase that to say, “I have received an offer from another company, but want to first ensure that this job opportunity is not a better fit — could you put me in touch with someone within the department I could talk to?” The second way of formulating the question gives some context as to why you want to meet someone within the company. The second question also makes your email time-sensitive and a priority for the recruiter who stands to gain from helping you find a job. Perhaps they will do you one better, not only helping you meet someone within the department but also helping you land an interview. These kinds of questions are often referred to as “calls to action,” and they are usually the last if not second-to-last sentences in your emails. Make sure that they sound positive, upbeat, and mutually beneficial.
What Should You Avoid When Reaching Out To A Recruiter?
When emailing a recruiter, every word becomes a representation of your candidacy, so you will do well to spend some time carefully considering what you will say and how you want to express yourself. The following are some general guidelines to help you avoid the pitfalls of a bad email to a recruiter:
- Do not use a tone that is unprofessional, combative, or anything less than upbeat. Your emails should express confidence and kindness.
- Do not send them your resume without first explaining in the email why they should prioritize your candidacy over others’.
- Do not write an email that will take more than a minute to read.
As a job seeker, you need to be courteous and congenial. After all, you want to benefit from the recruiter’s help, and nobody is likely going to want to help you if you approach them in a way that is needy, demanding, or depressing. However, just because you are a job seeker does not mean that you have nothing to bring to the table. The recruiter’s job is to connect good people with the right job opportunities: they need you as much as you need them (particularly if you are a good candidate applying for jobs appropriate to your skill level and experience). Your emails should express confidence and genuine curiosity. You can attach your resume to your application, but consider instead listing one or two of your top qualifications that are relevant to the job to which you are applying. If they are intrigued, they will ask for more information. Finally, your email should be short. Being concise and thoughtful about your language is a way of showing respect, intelligence, and confidence.
How Long Should Your Email To A Recruiter Be?
Read your emails to recruiters out loud. If it takes you longer than a minute to get through, you have likely written too much and need to pare down your language. Here’s a three-sentence format for your emails to recruiters.
|Sentence 1||Remind the recruiter of who you are and how you know each other (if applicable).|
|Sentence 2||Clearly state the opportunity you are thinking about and state one or two qualifications that make you a top choice for the position.|
|Sentence 3||Call to action. Ask your recruiter for what you need and be sure to highlight why your question is urgent to both of you.|
Of course, you should break up these sentences if it improves the flow of your email and does not increase the overall word count too much. By following this guide, you will at least avoid being vague or wordy.
How Do You Go About Making A Cold Email Feel Personal?
If you are reaching out to a recruiter that you have never met before, you still need to find ways to make your email specific. The last thing that you want is for the recruiter to think that you sent them the same email that you sent every other recruiter in a hundred-mile radius. You can make your email personal by doing a little bit of research. Here are a few ideas for demonstrating a personal connection:
- Specify that you are in the same area as the recruiter.
- Let them know that you work in their industry.
- Go on LinkedIn and see if you have any shared experience with the recruiter, a mutual connection, or a shared experience.
Here’s an example of a strong opening to a cold email to a recruiter. ” Hi NAME, It’s great to meet you – I saw that you are recruiting for NAME OF INDUSTRY in AREA and that we both worked at NAME OF COMPANY.” The following sentences should express a couple of your qualifications and a call to action for the recruiter. If you are a strong candidate, the recruiter will be curious to learn more about you.
Should You Send Your Resume To A Recruiter?
As stated before, you should probably only send your resume to a recruiter if they specifically ask for it. Instead, focus on concisely stating your top qualifications in the body of your email. If you are truly an enticing applicant, the recruiter will certainly get back to you asking for more information. When you are ready to send your resume to a recruiter, be sure that you are sending it in the appropriate format. For instance, many recruiters prefer to get resumes in Word format so that they can make edits and add a watermark that will let employers know they are the ones representing the job applicant. If you do not know if your recruiter wants a Word document or a PDF, you may want to send both.
What Are Some Other Ways To Improve Your Odds Of Getting A Positive Response To An Email To A Recruiter?
While you should email a recruiter when you have a pressing question or request regardless of how well you know them, you can greatly improve your odds of a positive interaction by establishing a relationship beforehand. As you conduct your job search, supplement your emails with as much face-to-face contact with recruiters as you possibly can. That may mean trying to attend more industry-specific conferences or job fares (via web conference or in-person). If you can establish a personal relationship before emailing a recruiter, you are far more likely to receive a response.
How Can You Avoid Overthinking Emails To Recruiters?
While all of the above guidelines call on you to do some important critical thinking before hitting the send button, perhaps the worst mistake you can make when emailing a recruiter is to spend too much time editing and missing an opportunity entirely. Use the guidelines above to quickly craft your email, make sure that your message does not have any typos, and hit send.