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Get Hired Remotely - Responding to Recruiter Messages

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

In our Get Hired Remotely series we share tips and advice for getting hired in a digital work world. By now you’ve updated your master resume and you’ve created an eye-catching LinkedIn profile with plenty of relevant keywords to get the attention of a recruiter or recruiting bot.

Recruiters love messaging people via LinkedIn and other sites because it’s quick and easy. Connecting with a recruiter is a great way to learn about new jobs and events. Here are some tips for wowing recruiters when they message you.

Researchtake a minute to research the recruiter and the company before responding

We know… When you need a job in a hurry it’s tempting to respond right away to express interest. However, if you respond too soon you may not have enough info to keep them engaged. Pro Tip– recruiters are the fastest typists in town and will move on quickly if they sense you’re not a fit.

Take a (short) beat to check out the LinkedIn profile of the recruiter, do you have any contacts in common? If you’re not familiar with the company check them out online – a quick look at their Glassdoor reviews will tell you a lot of what you want to know about company size, culture, compensation and benefits.

Respond – quickly and thoughtfully

In the pre-covid days recruiters lamented people who ghosted their messages, but not any more!!

Respond within one or two days; express enthusiasm and interest and include something that you learned in your few minutes of research. Thank the recruiter for reaching out (remember, recruiters are busy) and express your interest in learning more about the opportunity. If they ask you for your resume or some available times to chat, be sure to respond accordingly.

A word of advice on compensation - Don’t be that person who only asks about salary in the first response. While no one wants to waste time if the pay rate isn’t feasible, you don’t want eliminate yourself from the running too soon in the process. Recruiters want to know that you are actually interested in the position, not just the pay. Besides, learning more about the role and what you can bring to it strengthens your negotiating position later on.

Commit to following through – and do it timely!

If you promised to send your resume, portfolio or other materials – do it timely! Reiterate your interest and enthusiasm for the position. Try to make a personal connection by commenting on something new you read about the company’s products or services or an event you attended.

Ask about the next steps including the opportunity to chat or interview by phone or video conference, attending a virtual event or being connected to a current employee.

Already know the job or company isn’t for you? – Say thanks and ask about other opportunities

Even if you already think the job or company isn’t a good fit for you, you should still respond especially if the recruiter is from a search agency. Recruiters are excellent at keeping their contact lists up to date so engage with them in a (good) memorable way to be kept in mind for other opportunities.

Recruiters work on as many as 20-25 searches at one time (we did say they’re busy) so chances are they may know of a role that would be a better fit.

Give a Referral – Networking is a two way street

Recruiters love referrals! Even if you’re not interested chances are you can help someone else find their dream job by referring them to a friend or by forwarding the job to your network.

K.I.T. – Keep In Touch

Send the recruiter a friendly “hello” once in a while along with any new referrals you might have. “You reap what you sow” is a truism for a reason.

Get An Interview? Check out our post on Nailing the Virtual Interview.

Our career mentor coaches are experts at helping you navigate a job search and will guide you every step of the way.

This article is part of our Get Hired Remotely series; job search and career advice for your digital work world.

Arche helps people architect, navigate and advance their career path with expert advice and tools to support your job search, interview preparation, professional branding, salary negotiations, and career advancement. 

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