How to Reach out to a Recruiter (According to 4 Recruiters)

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Is there a proper way of reaching out to a recruiter?

We asked experts to give us their advice on how to do it correctly.

Evan Donahue

Evan Donahue

Sales and Recruiting Manager for JMJ Phillip Executive Search

Reach out to the recruiter with a brief message.

Do research on recruiters and agencies that conduct searches that matches your background. For example, if you work in the Manufacturing industry, then search for manufacturing centric search firms and recruiters. Reach out to the recruiter through LinkedIn with a customized brief message on why you’re connecting with them.

Show that you’ve properly conducted research and be professional. For example:

Dear NAME,

I see you’re focused on searches within the “fill in the blank” industry and I’d love to network with you as I’m looking to make a job transition myself.

Thank you for your time.

Send a follow-up message requesting an introduction.

Once the connection is accepted, send a follow-up message requesting an introduction. You can send a resume at this point and request a brief phone call.

Understand that the open opportunities recruiters currently have are driven by their existing client base. In other words, a recruiter won’t be able to magic up your dream job, but’s it’s absolutely worth networking with several of them within your industry on the case that one opens up in the future that is suitable with your background.

Ask for advice with an open mind.

Receiving constructive criticism is a hard pill to swallow but resume advice, interview tips, and general job search guidance can go a long way. You WILL hear conflicting opinions on all of the job search advice.

To manage these conflicting opinions, adhere the wise words of the late and great Bruce Lee, “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

Samuel Johns

Samuel Johns

Career Counselor at Resume Genius

Clarity

When you speak or write to a recruiter, clarity is essential. That’s because recruiters have to juggle thousands of job openings as well as tens of thousands of job seekers.

Make it clear what you want right off the bat — avoid vague questions like “Hello, I’m interested in XYZ job. Would you happen to know anything about it?” It’s their job to know, so of course, they would! Instead, hone your question: “Hello, I’m interested in XYZ job. Would you be able to introduce me to the company’s hiring manager?”

Conciseness

Keep your emails or messages short and sweet so that they’re manageable for the recruiter; if they’re too long, the recruiter might be tempted to come back to them “another day,” which of course means never.

Aim to write a message that’ll take the recruiter no longer than 90 seconds to read. Anything more, and they’re likely to sit on it.

Courtesy

Courtesy means considering the tone you’re using when you email a recruiter. Remember that recruiters aren’t obliged to help you. If you come off as rude in your email, they’re not going to recommend you to any employers, since their reputation would plummet if the employer also didn’t appreciate your tone.

A message like “I’d be grateful if you could review my application and pass it on to any potentially interested hiring managers” is much more likely to succeed than “Please review my application and pass it on to all possible hiring managers.”

Brianna Rooney

Brianna Rooney

Founder and CEO of Techees and The Millionaire Recruiter

Add the recruiter on Linkedin.

Recruiters have a love-hate relationship with being reached out to. We’re the ones used to reaching out. You would think that when we have someone reach out to us, that we’d like it.

Recruiting and job hunting is so closely related to dating. People want what we can’t have. So then when it’s just out there, we think there must be something wrong.

The best way to reach out to a recruiter would be to add us on Linkedin. Naturally, we will look at your profile and accept your request. We will then be baffled as to why you added us, and then wonder more as to why you didn’t send a message. Mission completed in my mind. If you have what I’m looking for, I will absolutely reach out and the ball is back in your court.

Ryan Moore

Ryan Moore

Director, Executive Search Practice at Peak Sales Recruiting

There are a few things I always appreciate when someone decides to reach out to me.

Do your research.

First, my agency specializes in recruiting for a niche market, and as a result, only submit eligible candidates in that niche. If someone is reaching out to me, I am hoping they’ve taken the time to do their homework and ensure that their experience matches the type of roles I work to fill. If you don’t have the experience, there’s not much I can do to help find you a new career.

Tell me what makes you the best candidate for the role.

Once you’ve established that your skills and the type of roles I fill are compatible, it’s best to have a well-defined picture for what you want out of the next stage in your career. Beyond the basics like salary and benefits, I want to know what aspects of your current job you enjoy, which ones you excel at, which ones could use improvement, and what tasks you’d like to emphasize to a potential employer.

Really tell me what you want to see in an authentic way better enables me to find the right match for you from my pool of available positions. And tell me what makes you the best candidate for the role while you’re at it.

Highlight your track record and showcase your value.

Lastly, you may be skilled or even an expert, but if you don’t have the proof to back it up, I can’t market your skills. Have references, examples of previous work, a record of your performance – anything that can be used to highlight your track record and showcase your value to a hiring manager.

When reaching out, I’m most receptive to LinkedIn, as that’s a platform I use to build my network, and it allows me to see your work history at a glance. As for the way you broach the subject, be respectful of my time, present the facts up-front, and be direct about your expectations, highlighting any specific openings you think might be a good fit for you.