If you’re searching for work, connecting with a recruiter can help increase your odds of landing your dream job. Using the email format you need to get noticed by recruiters is a crucial part of standing out among a sea of applicants clamoring for their attention.
When you’re writing an email to a recruiter the same standards of professionalism you would use when writing a cover letter, sending an email to your boss, or other similar written communication apply. The tone of your email, the subject line, content, and even your signature all matter when emailing a recruiter. Following this format can help you nail the details needed to catch a recruiter’s eye and get the ball rolling toward landing an interview.
Many recruiters will scan their inboxes to check for potential job seekers that match positions accordingly. This is where a subject line when formatting your email can help you get noticed first and foremost before other applicants.
Use a subject line that calls out what type of position you are looking for, the industry you are in, or a specific position the recruiter might have posted about on a networking site if available.
Examples: Accounts Payable Manager Position – [Your name]; Inquiring About [Industry] Opportunities – [Your name]; Job Applicant – [Your name]
Do as much background research as you can to ensure that you have a recruiter’s name spelled correctly in your email greeting. A proper salutation such as “Hello” or “Good morning” followed by their name and a comma is appropriate.
The first line or two of your email format to a recruiter lets them know who you are and why you are emailing them and what you are seeking to gain. You can’t just jump into exactly what you want from them, you have to introduce yourself in the email.
This will be different for each recruiter depending on whether or not you have ever met and if they have posted about a specific job somewhere or are just recruiting for a general industry.
Once you nail down those details, crafting the introduction to your email is simple.
While you may have met some recruiters at a job fair or connected at some point on a networking website, sometimes you will need to send a recruiter what is known as a “cold” email. In other words, an email that introduces yourself to a person you have never met.
If this is the case, you will need to include a bit about who you are, what your experience is, and how you found them at the beginning of your email.
Example: “My name is [Your name] and I am a [Current job title] with [Number] years experience seeking new opportunities in [Field of work]. I noticed on your website that you recruit for positions in this industry and wanted to connect to see if you have any opportunities that may be a fit.”
If you have a personal connection to the recruiter, this is one place you can mention that.
Perhaps you went to the same college or have a mutual acquaintance. Making that connection within your email introduction can help you stand out to a recruiter.
If a recruiter has posted about a specific job on a networking site, you can use this part of your email to call attention to the posting.
Example: “I saw on [Networking site name] that you are currently seeking applicants for [Position posted] at [Company name] and would like to submit my resume for consideration.”
If you are emailing a recruiter about a specific opportunity, make sure to include details about the position within the body of your email. Explain why you would be a fit for the role and express how you plan to tackle the role’s objectives.
Also, include a note that you will attach your resume and cover letter to the email for their review.
Be sure to double-check the job posting for specific instructions about how to do this before doing so.
Example: “My prior experience with [Type of role] means that I am proficient in [Skill], [Skill], and
[Skill], all qualities that will allow me to execute the skills necessary to [Specific info from job
You can also mention specific values you possess that align with the company’s mission or objective. This will show a recruiter that you have done your homework about the company and are prepared to assimilate into their workplace culture.
If you are not emailing regarding a specific role, but rather inquiring about potential opportunities, you will still want to list specific skills you possess, but also include information about what type of role you are looking for. Then, offer to send over a resume specific to any roles they have available if the recruiter is interested.
Example: “My prior experience with [Type of role] means that I am proficient in [Skill], [Skill], and [Skill], all qualities that I plan to carry with me as I transition into a new role in [Type of role/Industry]. I am currently seeking a position as a [Type of role] and would love to submit my resume if you know of any specific roles where I may be a fit.”
Call to action
Including a call to action in your email to a recruiter is a great tip that marketers use when emailing potential clients and contacts.
Basically, one of the last lines of your email should include a clear directive that prompts the recruiter to contact you. Including this tactic in your email format increases your odds of hearing back from the recruiter.
Example: “Please let me know when you are available to discuss this opportunity further. I would love to set up a call this week to answer any questions you might have.”
To end your email, thank the recruiter for their time and consideration at the conclusion of your email and show enthusiasm about the potential job you are inquiring about.
Example: “Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I am excited to hear more about this opportunity.”
Wrap up your email with a respectful sign off such as “Sincerely” or “Warmest Regards” followed by a comma and your name.
Use a professional email address: If your email account is still the same one you used in high school, chances are it reads something along the lines of RockStarGal2004@hotmail.com. That might have been fine way back when, but a recruiter would much rather see a professional address that includes some variation of your name and initials only.
Send a follow-up email when appropriate: You don’t want to clog a recruiter’s inbox, but if your initial email hasn’t been replied to in a week and the job posting you inquired about is still active, it is acceptable to send a follow-up email. This should just be a short note to remind the recruiter that you want to connect.
Something like this is appropriate:
“Hello [Name of recruiter],
I just wanted to follow up on the email I sent on [Date]. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Check your signature: Your name, phone number, email, website (with an appropriate hyperlink), and address should all be clearly stated in your signature when emailing a recruiter. This shows your professionalism, a willingness to be contacted, and it makes it easier for a recruiter to reach out to you when your contact information is all in one place.
Do your homework and be specific: The examples above include the bare bones of what an email format to a recruiter should be. The more specific you can be, the easier you can make a recruiter’s job and the more willing they will be to work with you.
It is of the utmost importance that you round out this format by filling in specific details about the type of role you are seeking, information related to specific job postings, and any information you can use to highlight the definitive qualities that will set you apart from other applicants.