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4 Steps to Email Recruiters and Get Responses [Email Scripts Included]

email recruiters
Leo Thom
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Published on October 24, 2014

Recruiters want to get to know you. Their jobs depend on finding and hiring successful candidates just like you everyday. Yet many job seekers are afraid of reaching out to recruiters. When they do, they fumble words, aren’t timely or don’t convey enough interest in the role to gain a reply, let alone a job offer. I hate seeing skilled applicants lose out on a better life because they didn’t know how to communicate with a recruiter.

The good news is there’s a proven way to reach out to recruiters and get a response – break away from the pack with these tips:

1. Know what you want.

One of the worst ways to reach out to a recruiter is with a vague request that only benefits you. Think about how you can make the recruiter’s life easier instead of wasting their time.

“Have time to chat?” – Most likely not since they’re reviewing hundreds of applicants. Also, chat about what?

“I’m interested in this job – would you know something about it?” Yes, it’s their job to know.

Have a specific purpose for reaching out other than wanting a job – which is why everyone is applying in the first place. Learning about company culture, asking for introductions to the hiring team or getting feedback on your candidacy are great reasons to reach out to a recruiter.

2. Keep it short and sweet.

Recruiters get anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds to review each applicant. They have even less time for answering emails from people that would like to borrow some of their time to chat.

By keeping things short, you are respectful of the recruiter’s busy schedule and are more likely to receive a response. Messages shouldn’t be more than 2 minute read. Anything longer will be “saved for later,” but more likely will be forgotten and never opened again. How many times have you done this with your own email?

3. Observe the power dynamic and be respectful.

You’re the one requesting a job from someone with an extremely busy schedule. The recruiter’s opinion of you can make or break your job offer.

Be respectful with your tone and requests. Start small and always give the final choice to the recruiter.

“I applied to this position. Can you forward my application to the hiring manager?” Why does the recruiter owe you a favor? This is too direct for an introduction.

“I want talk about Acme Co. I’m free on Tuesday at 4PM and Thursday at 3PM.” This assumes the recruiter wants to talk to you, which may not be the case. Also, you want to give the choice of time to the person in power by offering a range of options. Being strict upfront isn’t a good first impression to set.

Being respectful shows you’re likely a pleasant person to work with, another plus in your job candidacy.

4. Make decision making easy.

Your goal with the first email is to get a yes to the introduction and a small request, not a job offer. While it’s possible to get a job with a single email, it’s highly unlikely for most people. Since you’re likely to have multiple email exchanges with your recruiter, start off small with easy “yes or no” questions.

“I applied to Acme Inc. How do you like it there?” This question begs for a long response, which probably won’t happen.

With the above tips in mind, here are two email scripts I’ve used in my own job hunt to get responses.

[REACHING OUT]

Hi Recruiter,

My name is Leo and I recently applied to the Associate Marketing Manager position at Acme Inc. I’m reaching out to introduce myself and learn more about Acme’s culture. Are you open to chatting about your experience at Acme sometime this week? I’m free anytime after 2PM.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Best,
Leo

Why this gets responses:

  • Clear intent
  • Polite
  • Respects power dynamic
  • Gives easy choice to recruiters

[FOLLOWING UP]

Hi Recruiter,

My name is Leo and I reached out last week to learn more about your experience at Acme Inc. I didn’t want my last request to get lost in your inbox. If you’re free, I’d love to chat anytime this week after 3PM. Please let me know!

Thank you,
Leo

Why this gets responses:

  • Refers previous message
  • Polite reason for follow up
  • Respects power dynamic
  • Direct call-to-action for recruiter

By mastering communication, you speed up your job hunting, network your way into an offer and stand out from the sea of other job seekers.

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Modify the above scripts to match your needs and try them for your next job hunt. Leave a comment below telling us your results.
  2. If you’re interested in learning how to turn outreach emails into job offers, check out my free tactical guide on “5 Steps to Interview” – a FREE download.
Leo Thom

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