How to Always Get a Response From Recruiters

Jolene Pilgrim
8 Aug 2017

Whether you’re an experienced job searcher or new to the market, you’re probably aware that one of the best and quickest ways to getting in front of quality employers is via the services of a professional recruiter.  The best recruiters, however, are highly sought after and are often inundated with hundreds of cold emails from candidates just like you who are looking to get a leg up in job hunting.  With that in mind, here’s a few handy tips to

Know Thy Recruiter

Connecting with your recruiter in some manner other than a random cold call or email is a sure way to get you straight to the top of the recommendation list.  Don’t have a list of recruiter numbers ready to pull up in your rolodex or iPhone?  Never fear!  There are other ways of reaching out.

  • Interact on Social Media – A LinkedIn connection or Twitter re-tweet will get your name in their recent memory, increasing your chances of having that email or phone call returned
  • Network Away – Attending social functions such as meet and greets, cocktail hours and lunchtime educational talks are great ways to connect with recruiters.  If you’re following a recruiter online they’ll often post and share their events ahead of time, providing valuable insights to where and when they’ll be attending.  
  • Get a Referral – Having an “in” is always a preferred method for making any kind of connection.  Ask your friends who have worked with recruiters to refer you to someone reputable, vouching for your skills and expertise.  
  • Get Ahead of the Ball – Waiting until just before you’re ready to apply for a new position can seem a bit obvious.  If you know you’re interested in a new position, begin putting yourself out there well in advance, eliminating any appearance that you’re insincere or, worse yet to a recruiter, waiting until the last minute to make a valuable connection
  • Follow Up is Key – After the initial outreach or interaction, be sure to follow up to the position with a quick note in your cover letter or email introduction referencing how you previously met.  With any luck you left a positive impression and a speedy response will be forthcoming.

The Impersonal Approach

Despite your best efforts, there may be times when you need to reach out to a recruiter or HR hiring contact blindly.  While not the most ideal of circumstances, necessity is the mother of invention and a quality position is worth a little additional effort in order to determine how to stand out from the swarm of other applicants.  If you don’t have the inside recruiting track, here’s a few alternative methods that may go a long ways towards scoring you that interview or job offer.

  • The Friend of a Friend Approach – Whether on Facebook, LinkedIn or personal connection with coworkers or friends, utilizing the “does anyone I know know you” approach is a perfectly acceptable alternative.  Think of this as the career-oriented equivalent of a referral and be sure to craft your email or other outreach with plenty of thanks and praise for your mutual connection.
  • Common Interests – If you don’t have a personal interaction and no physical person to introduce you, try some quick reconnaissance on the recruiter or HR groups common professional interests.  Often times you may be able to find someone with a similar educational background or professional membership that can give you the secret handshake, or at least a quick endorsement with a fraternal bent.  

When All Else Fails Make That Cold Call

While everyone wishes for that scenario where they are awarded bonus points or an extra shot at getting noticed by the person in charge of funneling candidate picks, sometimes there isn’t a realistic in.  If you find yourself in the predicament of not being able to connect with the recruiter or hiring rep, there’s no need for panic.  A well crafted introductory email with a cover letter and concise resume chock full of experience still has a strong chance of getting reviewed.

To increase your chances, be sure to apply early on in the hiring process, preferably soon after the listing or opening is posted.  This will ensure that yours is among the first resumes reviewed and lessen the chances that another candidate has snuck in before you.  In your email or cover letter, your first several sentences should directly address aspects of the job listing and apply your own relevant skills to specific traits.  Don’t forget to follow up within a reasonable time to show interest in the position and attention to detail.  

Finally, remember that if you’re a strong candidate with applicable skills recruiters will be interested in you as a candidate, regardless of how they come about your resume.  Persevere and apply for jobs in your field and you’ll be landing interviews and job offers in no time.

Jolene Pilgrim