Don't hit send just yet.
Connecting with recruiters is one of the best strategies for scoring the interview you need to get the job you want. Yet many job seekers find reaching out intimidating because they don't know how to email a recruiter. We'll show you a few sample emails to help you get past fumbling around for the right words to presenting yourself in a way no recruiter could ignore.
Reasons to write an email to a recruiter
Applying for jobs is easy (Well, aside from that whole “attach your resume and now type everything from your resume into this online form” dynamic we all love to hate). But scoring that plum position — the one lots of strong candidates are competing for — is a challenge. A well-written letter can do a few things to highlight you as an applicant to watch.
It shows that you're proactive. Recruiters want to see that you're truly interested in a position with their company and not just firing off resumes in hopes of getting a nibble.
It demonstrates your written communication skills. The ability to put your thoughts into writing cleanly and clearly is an asset no matter what position you apply for.
It sets you apart from the pack. Only the top 2 percent of candidates are considered for positions, and a well-crafted letter to a recruiter can help you stand out.
There's another compelling reason to forge connections with recruiters: An estimated 70-80 percent of positions are not posted. If you're sitting around waiting for a position to appear on the job boards you frequent, you could be missing important opportunities. Being proactive can pay big dividends.
How to email a recruiter
Recruiters want to hear from you. It's their job to find the perfect candidates for the positions they need to fill, and they're on the lookout for talent. But recruiters also get a lot of emails, and their time is precious. Make sure your message meets these criteria:
It's respectful. Remember that you're communicating in a professional capacity. Be friendly (Hi Amy,) but not too casual (Well, hello there, Amy!).
It clearly states your intent. What's the purpose of your email? You need to know what you want the recruiter to do for you (consider your resume, schedule a chat, interview you) and communicate it clearly.
It's brief. Get to the point. You don't have to include a lot of background information; just say what you need to say.
It's well-written. Edit. (Grammarly can help.) Get rid of filler words and phrases. Avoid email clichés.
It's accurate. Be sure you spell and format the company's name correctly. Get the recruiter's name right.
3 sample emails to a recruiter
Make your email message as customized as possible (Whatever you do, avoid spamming recruiters with a stock copy/paste message. They're easy to spot and even easier to ignore). Use these sample emails for inspiration.
Connecting With a Recruiter
Subject: Any content marketing roles at XYZ?
I read the Inc. article last week about XYZ Inc.'s rapid growth since landing five million in venture capital last spring. Way to rock that funding! Do you have plans to expand your marketing department?
I've had great success as the brand manager for Acme Widgets for the past five years. I'm planning to move into a broader content marketing role that challenges me to grow as a brand storyteller, and XYZ has been on my radar. I'd love to chat with you for 5-10 minutes to introduce myself and learn more about the company's culture and any upcoming roles you need to fill. Would you have time for a quick phone call on Wednesday?
All the best,
The Follow-up Email
Subject: Lead copywriting role at Acme — Resume attached
I applied for the lead copywriting role at Acme Widgets last week. I'm impressed by Acme's crazy fast growth in the widget industry, and I'm excited by the opportunity to be part of a lively team.
I think I'm a great fit for this position because my ten years in the copywriting trenches has made me a whiz at turning out clean, compelling copy. In 2016, I won a Netty Award for Best Copywriting for my work on the ABC123.com website.
I've attached my resume so you don't have to dig through your files to find my application. Would you like to schedule a time to chat about the role?
All the best,
Referrals to Recruiters from Friends
I had lunch with Eric Ferguson yesterday and he mentioned that ABC123 was planning to hire more writers soon. I graduated from NYU with a bachelor's degree in English in September, and I'd love to learn more about your writing team and what makes them tick. And, of course, I'd love to talk to you about open roles. Do you have a few minutes for a video chat on Wednesday at around 1 p.m.?
All the best,
Not sure if your resume is ready for the recruiter's eyes? Check with a free resume review today!
Editor's Note: This piece was written by Karen Hertzberg and originally ran on Grammarly. It is reprinted with permission.
Your Guide to Recruiters — and How to Know What's Right for You