The key to getting a recruiter to respond to you is to make sure they know who you are before you apply.
If a recruiter knows you, and if you share network connections, there is an implied obligation to respond to you.
How do you get to know the recruiter before you apply?
- Find out who posted the job application. A lot of times the poster will include the recruiter's name and e-mail address.
- Find them on Twitter and interact with them. Retweet their posts, respond back to their tweets, etc.
- Search for their name on Linkedin and see if you share any connections to the person. If you do, ask your contact for an introduction.
- Write positive things about them or their company on your blog and/or Twitter.
- Send them a very short email letting them know that you mentioned them and to keep up the good work at company X. This usually results in a simple "thanks!"
Then you apply to the job
- Wait a few days, and then formally apply to the job posting with a personalized cover letter referencing your interaction.
- Send an email letting them know you applied to the job and would love the opportunity to work at company X. This email should be sent as a reply to the initial email so they remember who you are.
What happens if you can’t find a contact?
Often times, there won’t be a contact name listed, just a company name. This really throws a wrench into the process, but there is a backup plan!
- Find all your contacts who work at company X using Linkedin (your first degree connections).
- Find all your contacts who are connected to someone who works at company X (These are your 2nd degree connections).
- Prepare a powerful e-mail to send to those contacts.
- The position you are applying to and job posting's URL.
- Why you are qualified for the position (keep it short and passionate).
- Your request: a connection to a hiring manager or recruiter.
The email should read somthing like this:
I was wondering if you could do me a favor. I noticed on Linkedin that you have a connection with person X at company X. I am interested in working there, specifically in a project management position (the link is below).
Do you mind forwarding this on to your connnection at company X and/or connect us through Linkedin?
<url to job posting>
Attached is my resume.
When I tried this, I sent about 15 emails over the course of 3 hours. The next day I got a call from the recruiter at the company. The recruiter said that my resume “just landed on his desk”. I don’t know which connection came through in the end, but it worked.
The key getting a response from a recruiter is to hustle and use your resources. This will help move the application process along and keep you from biting your nails while waiting for the recruiter / hiring manager to respond to you.
Robbie acts as an interim CTO for startups, and helps corporate rockstars quit their full time jobs. Check out his blog at robbieabed.com