There are basically 2 reasons people contact job recruiters, you are either responding directly to a role they are responsible for or you are starting out in the job search proecss and hope they can help you find a new job.
Either way, you need the recruiters help and they receive hundreds of calls, email etc every day from people in the job search process so why will they respond to yours? Because your meet all of their needs.
How To Contact A Recruiter During The Job Search Process
Research The Company/Role
Nothing annoys recruiters more than candidates who are not really interested in the role they are trying to fill and are therefore wasting the recruiters time. The best way to overcome this is to thoroughly research the company and the role you are applying for and make it obvious to the recruiter.
Research the company, role and industry thoroughly before you even think about making contact with the recruiter. See our post on how to thoroughly research a company for a checklist of things to do.
Adjust your resume to suit the role you are applying for. A ‘one size fits all’ resume will not cut it. Use industry keywords, address the job specifications, highlight relevant skills and experience. See our post on how to chose relevant keywords for your resume.
Look for any common connections you may have with the recruiter. Search LinkedIn, social media, industry groups etc…
If you are not applying for a specific role, and are just reaching out to recruiters generally as part of your job search process then make sure you are very specific about what you want.
Vague statements like ‘I am looking for a role in Marketing’ are really annoying. Be clear and concise about what you are looking for or your resume will end up in the bin.
Develop a Clear Pitch
The best way to make initial contact with a recruiter is to send them an email or reach out to them on LinkedIn. Both of these options allow the recruiter to get back to you in their own time and are not as intrusive as a phone call.
As stated above, your written communication style is critical when contacting any recruiter during the job search process. Consider the following:
No vague subject lines in the email header. Subject lines like ‘Job Application’ mean nothing and the recruiter will ignore them. Use specific terminology that highlights your experience like ‘6 Years of Digital Media Strategy Experience, Currently With XYZ’ . This is much more likely to get the recruiters attention.
Do not write Dear Sir/Madam if you can avoid it. Use the recruiters name.
Use clear, concise copy in the email that specifies what you want and what your experience level is or they won’t bother to open the resume you have attached.
Do not attach a separate cover letter, they won’t bother to open it. Make the email copy your cover letter. The format of the copy should be as follows:
I found you on ……
I am applying for …..
I have ……experience
I can be contacted on ….
Attach the Relevant Information
Once you have completed your email copy and you have checked off all the points above, make sure you add a copy of your resume or point the recruiter to your online resume or personal landing page.
Quick Tips When Contacting Recruiters During The Job Search Process
- Be very clear about what you want, no vague statements
- Don’t lie to the recruiter, they will figure it out
- Don’t be too arrogant, they ignore annoying people
- If they knock you back for a role, don’t take it personally. They can still put you forward for other roles.
- Always be professional, they are not your new best friend.
Recruiters are a huge help to anyone during the job search process so make sure you take the time to effectively reach out to relevant recruiters. Once you have made contact, make sure you also take note of the key things you should never tell a recruiter so you don’t ruin your chances of being put forward for key roles.