June 19, 2018

Graphic - How to effectively email a job recruiter

Are you just here for the free email template to send to recruiters when looking for a job? No problem, download it for F R E E here:  Emailing a Recruiter Email Template (66 downloads)

Continue reading for more tips about how to get a job or job interview through email.

The Do’s and Dont’s of Getting an Interview by Emailing Job Recruiters

As a corporate recruiter, I often receive emails and messages from people looking to advance their career by getting a job at my company.

The type of communication I receive varies… drastically! I’ve received full 5-paragraph email-essays, but I’ve also received one-sentence, unpunctuated emails with little explanation. I hate to say it, but very few of the people who initially contact me knock my socks off. It’s not necessarily that they’re not qualified, but their delivery and approach isn’t up to par.

If you are ambitious and want to make sure your name is in the hat for getting a job, emailing the recruiter can really help, but you want to make sure you do it the right way so you get the greatest return on investment. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to follow when emailing a recruiter about open jobs, along with some email examples and templates for you to use in your job search 😊

When is it appropriate to email a recruiter?

It is appropriate to email a recruiter when you have a genuine interest in the job, have skills and experience that matches the job description, are excited about the position, and have applied for the job.

You wouldn’t want a company to waste time interviewing you if they aren’t truly interested in you, so you also don’t want to waste a recruiter’s time if you know that you are not truly interested in a position.

Your email to a recruiter is only effective if you have the experience and qualifications to match the job for which you are applying. You can send out a perfectly crafted email, but if they look at your resume and find you don’t have relevant experience, they still will not hire you. It’s important to make sure you’ve created an impressive, tailored resume to match your excitement for the job.

So when is the best time to reach out to people responsible for hiring? When you are genuinely interested in a position, you have legitimate experience that makes you qualified for a job and have already applied for the job.

How much is too much? Don’t be the bug-a-boo emailer

I read an article that said something that really stuck out to me: “Show interest, not desperation.”

Although it is a great idea to send an email after applying for a position, you don’t want to overdo it. After two emails without a response, I think it may be best not to email anymore. Although I believe that every recruiter should at least respond to emails that have been sent to them, it is not your job to force that response by bugging the recruiter. Just like the article said, you want to show interest, but you do not want to seem desperate in doing so.

What to do when you have a job offer out at another company

You’re in a tough predicament: You have a job offer out from one company but have not yet begun the interview process with the company you really want to work for. What ever shall you do?

When you’re in this situation, the best thing to do is to be transparent and communicate to all parties. In this situation, an email to the recruiter is completely okay to help expedite the interview and decision process.

ASK the company who gave you an offer deadline for an extension and tell them your reason for the requested extension. Trust me, unless it is urgent, if a company is truly interested in you, they will be willing to wait a little longer for your final decision.

INFORM the company you’d like to interview with that you have another offer out and give them the deadline for that offer. Some people think that sharing other job offers will hurt their chances of getting a job with a company. This may be true in some cases, but from my experience, this often causes the hiring team to expedite the interview process, especially if you have solid experience.

Communicating and sharing outstanding job offers puts you at an advantage in two ways:

1.) It puts you in a position to negotiate. If one company gives you a salary offer, you have the opportunity to negotiate a higher salary with the other company. Because they know you have other offers, a company may be more willing to negotiate the salary or other benefits to make sure they have you as an employee.

2.) It gives you more time to make a sound decision, rather than rushing your decision and regretting it later. Most recruiters would agree that one of the most heart-wrenching and time-consuming things to have to experience is a person who accepts the job offer but then rescinds their acceptance later. I’d like to believe (just my opinion) that most recruiters would rather wait an additional week or two for a decision than to end the hiring process and have to start over because the person they hired changed their mind.

So what does all this have to do with contacting recruiters about job openings?

Well, if you apply for a job you really want but know you have another offer you have to make a decision about soon, this is another excellent time to contact the recruiter via email. It could speed up the process for you, and potentially keep them from missing out on a great candidate like yourself.

The Do’s: What to say and include in your email to a job recruiter

Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty of what an email to a recruiter should actually look like.

To craft an email that makes a recruiter take a second look, you must first know what recruiters are looking for in a candidate. When recruiters look for candidates for open positions, they are often looking to know:

  •  What does this person currently do?
  •  What relevant skills and experience do they have?
  •  What makes them different from everyone else?
  •  Why are they looking to change jobs?

Now that you know some of the top things recruiters initially look for, you can craft the perfect email accordingly. Here are a couple of things you MUST do if you want to get an interview by emailing a recruiter:

Include your name and contact information in the email – This is a basic necessity that ensures recruiters and hiring managers know who they are talking to and can contact you via phone or email if they have questions.

Include your current job or job title (if it is relevant to the position you want) – Recruiters don’t just want to know where you’re headed, they want to know where you’re currently at. Including your current position helps recruiters get an idea of your current career field and level of experience.

Include why you are looking to move from your current role – Sharing why you’re looking to change jobs gives recruiters an idea of what you’re looking to get in a new role, and what you don’t like in your current role to see if you’d be a good fit for the company.

Include the exact name of the position in which you are applying – Believe it or not, recruiters can have anywhere from 2 to 30+ jobs they are filling at one time. Including the exact name of the job you are applying for helps the recruiter quickly identify which job you are contacting them about.

Include a link to the job you are applying for – By including a link to the job posting, the recruiter can quickly access the job description and compare/contrast your resume and the qualifications for the job without having to search their database to find details about the position.

Tailor the email to the specific job, company, and person you are contacting — Recruiters can tell whether your email is authentic, or whether you’ve copied and pasted the same email to send to multiple companies. Always include the name of the person you’re contacting in the intro of the email, and put some effort into tailoring your email to the company you’re emailing about.

Include a copy of your tailored resume or LinkedIn page! Don’t wait for them to ask for it. – A recruiter can’t hire someone if they do not know their skills and qualifications. Including a tailored resume or a link to your LinkedIn page shows that you are well-prepared and confident about your skills and qualifications.

Request a time to talk on the phone – Requesting a time to chat on the phone takes the pressure off the recruiter to “formally” interview or hire you, but it also gives you a significant leg up from other candidates. Requesting this shows that you take this job seriously, and if they agree to talk to you, you could blow them away before they even have a chance to review all the applicants!

Apply for the position BEFORE sending the email – A recruiter cannot move forward with interviews until you’ve actually applied for the position.

Follow up – There are plenty of studies that show that sending follow up emails increases your likelihood of receiving a response. If you don’t receive a response immediately, follow up in an email in a few days. Sometimes it takes an extra umph! to get a response.

Ask for resume advice or an explanation if you are not selected for the role — Although getting rejected is not a fun thing to experience, it’s a great way to get feedback from the recruiter about your resume and how you can improve if applying for positions later.

Did I mention that you should include your resume without them having to ask for it?

I always find it impressive when a candidate emails me and knows exactly what they want. They know what job they want, they’ve applied for it, they tell me why they’re qualified, and they include their resume in the email to prove it.

“If a recruiter has to dig for information about you and your qualifications, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

If a recruiter has to dig for information about you and your qualifications, you’re probably doing it wrong. You should make it as easy as possible for recruiters to know who you are by including as much information as possible.

Example of a great email:

Hello RecruiterName,

My name is Susan Tester and I am an avid supporter of BusinessName and what the company stands for. I currently work in the sales industry and am looking to take my 5+ years of sales, negotiation, and client management skills and use it in a project management role to drive consumer-focused results in BusinessName’s marketing efforts.

I recently applied for your open position of Project Manager and would love the opportunity to walk you through my resume, experience and qualifications through a quick 15-minute phone call. Would you be open to this? I’ve attached my resume for your reference.

If you find my experience fitting for the role, please let me know and we can schedule a time to talk.

Thank you,

Azani Fitten

Like this email and want to use it? No problem! Download the FREE Microsoft Word email template here: Emailing a Recruiter Email Template

The Don’ts: What NOT to say when contacting recruiters about open positions

We’ve gone through what to say and do when contacting recruiters about open positions, but now let’s go over what NOT to do. You shouldn’t:
• Exclude your resume
• Be general about your interests
• Portray yourself as a “jack-of-all-trades” (unless the position specifically calls for that)
• Be too long or too short
• Make the recruiter do a lot of work
• Act obligated

Here are a few examples of what NOT to email a recruiter when seeking a job:

Hello RecruiterName,
My name is Susan Tester and I am looking to work at BusinessName. I think it’s a great company and love what it stands for. Please let me know what positions you have available. 

This is a bad example because it doesn’t include any information about their interests, skills or qualifications. Here is another example of what not to include in your job search email.

Hello RecruiterName,
I currently work in IT project management and am hoping to move into a customer-focused role. Do you have any positions available that fit my needs?

This is a bad example because it requires the recruiter or manager to put in extra work to find a job that fits your needs. It also doesn’t give detail about who you are or why you’re interested in the company.

As you probably noticed, the emails above are not tailored or specific to a job. They also leave a lot of the burden on the recruiter to find a job that fits the person emailing. Personally, if I received an email like that, I would respond with, “Thank you for your email. I am so glad you find interest in my company. Please visit our careers site to find jobs that may be of interest to you. If you decide to apply, I’d be more than happy to look over your resume. Let me know if you have any questions at all during your job search! Thank you, Azani.”

Now that you see the response given, you can see why it’s so important to have already applied and been proactive about the job you want.

Your email to recruiters should be confident and declarative, not flimsy and interrogative. Meaning, you shouldn’t be asking the recruiter questions, you should be confidently telling them what they need to know about you.

You have the tricks of the trade now (woohoo!), so now let’s recap…

Recap: The anatomy of a perfect job search email

Your email should answer the following questions:

  1. Short intro: What’s your name, what field are you in, what do you currently do?
  2. What position are you applying for and why?
  3. Why are you looking to move and what are you hoping to gain from the move?
  4. What can you bring to the table and why are you qualified?
  5. A call to action – ask the recruiter to talk on the phone or respond to you.
  6. ATTACHMENT: Include your tailored resume!

A few principles to follow when emailing recruiters about open jobs…

  •  Do research ahead of time.
  •  Be confident and prepared.
  • Be specific and tailor your communication

Take initiative: The less a recruiter has to do, the better it is for you. The recruiter should never have to research a job or keep contacting you to apply. You should take initiative and know what you want. All the recruiter has to do is respond to what you’ve already done.

I’m so excited about your job search and hope that you found this blog and the template useful! If you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below. If using these template worked for you, I want to hear about it! Comment below with success stories (or even concerns) about the template and this blog.

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