How to contact recruiters directly and get your next job.
By Selipha Kihagi
One of the most effective job search techniques is networking, as has been said and repeated across career websites and books. This same reason is also why various organizations and institutions come up with career fairs for potential job seekers to meet and interact with other job seekers and employers alike. They provide a platform to build networks and establish contacts with recruiting managers and potential employers for when you are looking for your next job.
But once you have the contacts with you, how best should you reach out to recruiters for consideration in a job? To best approach a recruiter and get the desired results, you have to first familiarize with this common phrase, “It is not what you say, but how you say it” when writing those emails and LinkedIn messages. You may have good intentions when initiating a conversation with a recruiter, but how you actually do it may end up sabotaging your efforts.
You will be surprised how many emails and LinkedIn messages recruiters receive from job seekers about jobs, and how rude and unprofessional most are.
So, how can you best contact a recruiter for a job?
1. Never get their name wrong or use the common Dear Sir/Madam
Remember that this email or LinkedIn message is not random like those job applications where you have no clue about who is going to receive your application. At this point you have done your due diligence and researched the recruiters online or met them at a networking event and exchanged contacts. If it’s through LinkedIn, they have already accepted you as a connection and the last thing you want is to mess it up.
In your greeting, always use their first names as they appear on the card, LinkedIn profile, or email address. For example, say Dear John or Dear Mary. Never at any one time use Dear Sir/Madam as this will not intrigue any recruiter or potential employer to read on.
2. Never send recruiters a forwarded email…or these rude messages
To be fairly honest, most job seekers in Kenya are lazy. They want the easy way out, and that’s partly why you will find most emails to recruiters reading like this; “I have a degree in Accounting, please find me a job” or “Please take a look at my CV and correct it where necessary, thanks” or this one, “Dear Sir/Madam, I really need a job. Please help” and below it, a clear indication that the email is a direct forward to several other recruiters, companies and job sites.
Now, if you want a recruiter to take your seriously and consider your request for a job they probably are currently filling, you need to be personal in each and every email. A forwarded message only communicates laziness and no drive whatsoever. How then do you expect to find a job?
3. Be very specific in your message
Like we always say about cover letters, you must be specific about what you want from the recruiter in very few lines or sentences. A recruiter’s email or LinkedIn message is fairly very busy and the last thing you want is for your message to lay there unopened or worse, read and ignored for lack of clarity. When contacting a recruiter about a job, you should try to be very brief and to the point.
While telling recruiters and potential employers about your frustrating job search story may seem appealing to you, the main job of a recruiter is to find the best candidate for a position they are trying to fill. So, forget about your frustrations for a moment and go straight to the point with your qualifications and experience, as well as why you want a particular position.
One last thing to remember, before approaching or contacting a recruiter about a job, make sure you have an updated CV that you can provide with the click of a button. And if it’s in a networking event, you can carry your CV in both hard copy and digital copy as you never know who you run into.
Do you have a query or comment about contacting recruiters? Share below.