Learn How to Contact Recruiters During Your Job Search

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July 26, 2021
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Trying to find recruiters for your job search? Try these tips and search methods to help understand how to contact recruiters during the job search and selectively analyze the best-recruiting agencies to fit your career level, industry and goals.

Indeed, getting a job is a job! Proactively connecting with recruiters can boost your job search and increase your chances of landing a dream job. There’s a wide range of recruiters, so it’s important to understand the different types.

Retained Recruiters

Retained recruiting firms that work directly for client companies and are paid to find potential candidates based on very specific criteria. Such firms are responsible to handle recruitment searches for the most senior level and highest paying positions. Retained recruiters provide a thorough recruitment effort, often creating detailed reports involving multiple researchers and recruiters on a single assignment.

Contingency Recruiters

Contingency firms work in competition with each other and get paid only if they find a suitable candidate for an open position. Most contingency recruiters provide more of a resume referral service and spend less with each client. Usually, the relationship between contingency recruiters and their clients is usually less intense, with a lower level of mutual commitment and less personal contact.

In-House Recruiters

In-house recruiters are direct, salaried employees of the hiring company. They usually recruit for multiple open roles at the company and handle the hiring process through multiple phases. They may or may not have domain expertise in the function they’re hiring for, depending on the size of the company. 

Executive Recruiters

Executive recruiters are specialized professionals who are intimately familiar with every aspect of candidate identification, sourcing, and selection. With committed to strict confidentiality, the recruiters know how to advise and counsel management so that the best hire gets made. Not only to the seekers, but the recruiters also help employers evaluate their expectations, and bring industry expertise to assist with the development of job descriptions, reporting relationships, and compensation programs.

Whether the vacancy results from retirement, growth, or other circumstance, the executive recruitment company can lend its resources to ease the entire process.

Also known as executive headhunters or executive search agencies, the recruiters act as an independent contact between potential candidates and client companies to fill certain positions within the company.

Connect on LinkedIn

Finding recruiters is easy on LinkedIn with a few simple search techniques. The very first thing to do is to get familiar with the Advanced People Search function that will make the task easier throughout your job search. Type in this phrase: 

“recruiter OR recruiting OR recruitment OR candidate OR sourcing OR staffing”

Then choose the “people” tab in the search results. This will allow you to check which industry head-hunters and hiring managers are already in your network. 

Often, job hunters get the best results by using the keywords field. Since LinkedIn will typically turn up a massive list of recruiters, you can continually refine your search parameters until you find the best contacts in your results.

If your LinkedIn profile is optimized well, you might even have recruiters reaching out to you. If that's the case, be sure to perfect how you respond to recruiters on LinkedIn.

Google it

Nothing is easier than just hitting Google to find anything, including a perfect job or maybe an executive recruiter. With the long list of recruiting offices available on Google, it is simply impractical and a waste of time to contact all of them indiscriminately. With a little research, you can find out which firms specialize in your industry of choice or specific positions you are seeking.

For instance, a simple search for “IT recruiting companies” brings up over 1 million results, with most of them not desirable. It will take some trial and error but with the right search terms you can find some high-quality lists of niche recruiters in the field and region you’re interested in. For example, if you are looking to explore opportunities in biotech, you can find an article like this list of 50 top recruiters published by a reputable industry trade journal. 

Make it easy for recruiters to help you

Present your resume in a format that makes it easy for the recruiters to quickly identify your skills. The statistics have suggested that the recruiters spend only a few seconds while going through the resume.  In order to grab the attention of the recruiters, include ATS keywords of the most important specific skills, knowledge, and expertise from the role. If you’re hoping to save time customizing your resume, you can use our free Job Application Tracker. It pulls in job postings from over 40 popular job posting sites through a simple chrome extension. Once you’ve pulled in a job description, the job tracker will scan through and highlight the important keywords to include in your resume.

Reconnect with recruiters

If you have been contacted in the past, even if it was years ago, follow up with the recruiters who contacted you and let them know you are now actively searching. Stay on their priority list by regularly checking to let the recruiters know your interest.

Once you have contacted recruiters, try to build good relationships. Treat recruiters similarly to the way you would treat any other networking contact.  Share leads, email articles of interest, or just check-in by phone every few weeks. By being interactive, you ensure the recruiter remembers you the next time they have a vacancy match for your background and interests.

Use online social networks to find additional contacts

In today’s world of social media, it is now fairly easy to get in contact with a variety of recruiters. Conduct a search on the popular social media sites, including twitter and LinkedIn for recruiters in your area. This search would result in a list of professionals specializing in placement strategies. Make sure to only contact recruiters that specialize in your area of expertise.

There’s a wide range of recruiters out there. It’s important to understand the different types, and important to understand that some recruiters can help your job search. Don’t let confusion or an unpleasant experience with one type of recruiter prevent you from using them as a channel in your search. 

Use Teal's Job Application Tracker to manage your job search and increase your chances of finding a job you love.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to initiate contact with a recruiter when I don't have a referral?

The best way to initiate contact without a referral is to send a personalized LinkedIn message or email. Introduce yourself, express your interest in the company or a specific role, and briefly highlight your relevant skills or experience. Be professional, concise, and mention any mutual connections or specific reasons why you're reaching out to them.

How often should I follow up with a recruiter if I don't receive a response to my initial contact?

It's appropriate to follow up with a recruiter after one to two weeks if you haven't received a response to your initial contact. Send a polite and brief message reiterating your interest and asking if they need any more information from you. Avoid multiple follow-ups in a short period, as it may be perceived as pushy.

Is it acceptable to contact multiple recruiters from the same company during my job search?

It's generally best to contact one recruiter at a time within the same company. If you don't receive a response after following up, you may then consider reaching out to a different recruiter. Ensure your messages are personalized and respectful of their time, and avoid sending a generic message to multiple recruiters simultaneously.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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