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How to Respond to Recruiter Emails

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Ngahuia Kirton - 19 Apr, 2022

Client Success

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Recruiter Relations, Tips for Temps,

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When you contact a recruiter, you will likely receive an acknowledgement email. You may also get a response that asks you a question or two. The following tips will help you craft your answers to these follow-up emails so that your message stands out from all the others.

Respond promptly, but not immediately.

Respond to a recruiter's email as soon as possible, but not immediately. The best time frame for responding is within 24 hours, but some recruiters will wait a few days or weeks (or even years) for a response. Some recruiters are even willing to wait centuries before hearing back from you! Make sure that when you do respond, it's always polite and professional.

Start your response by thanking the recruiter.

Thank the recruiter for their interest in your application. Recruiters have had to sift through hundreds of applications to find the handful they're interested in interviewing, so they are pleased when an applicant takes the time to respond. The more effort you put into your response, the more likely it will be that you'll make it through to an interview and ultimately get that job offer.

If you have any questions about anything on their LinkedIn profile (where they've worked, what kind of experience they have), now is a great time to ask them! These questions will help you learn more about the company and whether or not it's right for you. It also allows for a more detailed conversation about the work and the company culture. 

Provide a summary of your skills and qualifications.

This is the most crucial section of your cover letter. It's also the most difficult to get right and should be carefully considered before you begin writing.

Use this section to prove that you're a good fit for the job. You can do this by including a summary of your skills, qualifications and experience that align with the job requirements (if there are any) listed in the job description.

You should include everything relevant: education, certifications, licences and memberships, and previous work experience. Include as much information as possible without sounding over the top or like spam email --- and remember to keep things concise!

Highlight the job requirements in which you excel.

  • Highlight the job requirements in which you excel.
  • Explain how your skills and qualifications match those of the job posting.
  • Use keywords from the job description to emphasise your strengths. For example, suppose a recruiter is looking for someone with "3+ years" experience. In that case, you might mention that you have worked in the field for seven years and tried several new things during that time.
  • Use action words (e.g., managed) instead of passive ones (e.g., was managed). The latter makes it seem like someone else did all the work while you stayed put; the former makes it clear that this was something done by YOU!

Include a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Now that you've made your experience stand out, it's time to make sure you stand out yourself. Recruiters are inundated with hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for a single position. You need to make sure yours stands out from the crowd to get noticed and get an interview! The easiest way to do this is by creating a LinkedIn profile.

A LinkedIn profile makes hiring easier for recruiters because they can see all your professional experience in one place instead of having to search through your different social media accounts or resume. It also allows them to learn more about who you are as an individual: what your interests are outside of work; what causes matter most to you; what skill set would be beneficial at their company; etcetera - which means more opportunities will arise as time goes on! For example, let's say someone finds out that we love dogs on our LinkedIn page. Maybe later down the road, when they decide they want help with their pet sitting service, I'll be at the top of mind because there's already some common ground between us.

Close with a question.

The last thing you want to do is close a recruiter email with a statement that sounds too much like an empty platitude. Instead, ask a question about anything you might be interested in learning more about: the job, the company, or even your recruiter. For example: "I'm very excited about this opportunity! Can you tell me more about [company]?" or "What are some of the next steps in my application process?"

Of course, if there's something specific you want to know more about (like whether they have any openings for positions in marketing), feel free to ask that as well. In fact, such personal inquiries could help seal the deal by showing off your curiosity and enthusiasm --- two qualities every employer wants on their team.

Personalise your follow-up email.

It's good to end with something like:

Thank you for taking the time to review my resume, and I look forward to hearing from you.


(Your Name)

Inbox message

A recruiter's email is an opportunity to pursue a job, so make yours as personalised and professional as possible.

Recruiters are busy people. They receive hundreds of emails daily, most of which aren't even worth their time to open. So you should make yours as personal and professional as possible when responding to a recruiter's initial email.

There are two main ways in which recruiters will respond to your initial email:

  • If they like what they see, the recruiter will send you an invitation for an interview (usually via their company's website).
  • If they don't like what they see or already have enough applicants for this position, your application is eliminated from consideration on the spot. Recruiters may not even send an automatic response stating that your application has been rejected. Instead, they might just delete it immediately if it doesn't meet their standards!


Recruiter emails are a great way to get your foot in the door with a potential employer, so take the time to ensure that yours is as thorough, professional and personalised as possible. When done right, these emails can lead directly to an interview or job offer --- so make sure you're prepared before sending those messages!

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