Connecting with a recruiter is one of the best job search strategies to find the job you want. It shows that you’re proactive in your job search and are genuinely interested in a specific position. It will also put you in a great position to take advantage of hidden jobs that are not posted on job boards.
It’s estimated that 70% of jobs are not published online. If you are searching online through job boards, you could be missing out on great opportunities to find your next position.
That said, often candidates write to a recruiter and never receive a reply. You need to understand that recruiters are busy people who are being pushed in different directions by candidates and hiring managers wants and demands. The average recruiter will also receive hundreds of emails from random candidates with most being nothing more than junk.
Why Recruiters Don’t Write You Back
The honest answer from my personal experience is that I did not have the time. Typically, companies view HR departments as a cost that does not generate revenue.
As a result, they are understaffed with recruiters who are being pushed in different directions by candidates and hiring managers. If you want a reply to your email, you need to follow some basic rules.
Everything starts with the recruiter’s specialism. If you get this wrong, your email is never going to get a reply. Recruiters will typically specialise in a specific area of the market. If your experience doesn’t fit into this area, it’s very likely the recruiter will simply delete your email.
As an example, I had a quick look on LinkedIn and found Louise MCKENNA SMITH, who works for Amazon in the UK.
She is a Senior Recruiter at Amazon Web Services where she recruits for
“Infrastructure, Big Data, Enterprise IT Transformation, Managing and Security Consultants as well as Project Managers and Practice Managers across the following locations (Spain, Italy, France, UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, Switzerland)”
If you don’t have experience working in infrastructure as security consult or project manager, there is no point in sending your CV to Louise. Your very unlikely to get a reply.
The same can be said for external recruiters. Below is the profile of Jasmine Roberts, who works for Page Personnel Finance in the West Midlands, UK.
Jasmine’s profile specifically says she is a Finance recruiter and therefore unless you’re looking for a Finance position in the West Midlands, there is very little point in sending her your CV telling her that you’re looking for a new job. You’re not going to get a reply.
Email Subject Line
Whether I open or not, really depends on the subject line you’ve used. As with all recruiters, I get something in the region of 100 CV’s a week, with the vast majority being nothing more than spam email.
With the latest technology, I can easily search through my email box, looking for keywords that are relevant to the positions I’m working on. That said, if you want me to read your email, you need to get your subject line written correctly.
Remember, for me to open your email, I need to know it’s going to help me with one of my searches. The easiest way is to include your full name and either the job title that you’re applying for or the position that you’re looking for. Something like;
[Full name] application for [Job Title/Posting ID] – CV Attached
Make sure you remember the above paragraph. If I’m a finance recruiter and your job title says construction manager, I’m going to delete it instantly.
If you’ve followed the above two points, it’s likely that the recruiter will read your email if you get one final part correct – The opening. You need to make sure you use the recruiters name rather than using the informal Dear Sir/Madam.
Nothing says I’ve received a spam email more than it starts with Dear Sir/Madam. If you’ve followed my job search strategies, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of sending candidate CV’s directly to the hiring manager or recruiter. This skips the application process and gives us an answer straight away.
The problem, too often candidates simply send out a mass email either Bcc’ing into one email, or not bothering to personalise their email.
Typically, my first name will be in my email address. If you’re smart enough to find my email address, you’re smart enough to use my name, and if you’ve followed the rules above, you’ll likely get a response.
Keep It Short and To The Point
I’m never going to read a two page, one-thousand-word email and therefore don’t waste your time writing one. Typically, your email will tell me very little about whether you’re suitable for a position that I’m working on. I’ll need to read your CV, however, a short introductory email is worth writing.
You need to keep it short and to the point. Start by briefly introducing yourself, where you’re working and what you do. Follow this up with a brief reason why you’re looking for a new position.
As a second paragraph, mentioned the position that you’re looking for or the position that you want to apply to. To sign off the email, I would generally ask the recruiter if they would be available later in the week for an introductory conversation. Something like the below;
My name is Nick Jones. I’m ACA qualified finance manager with ten years working for Pepsico in the West Midlands. I have been with Pepsico for five years and am looking for a move to further my career.
I noticed that you’re currently working on a Senior Finance Manager role with Diageo and given the relevance to my career, I was wondering if you would be open to a conversation this week.
If you don’t get a reply after a couple of days, make sure you follow up with the recruiter. Like anyone who gets hundreds of emails each day, emails are missed.
This doesn’t mean you should be following up with five different emails after two hours of not getting a reply. No one is going to respond to someone who is pestering them.