Career Management

You finally found it—your dream job. And after some detective work on Google, the company website, and social media, you’ve tracked down the HR manager or recruiter responsible for filling the position.

How do you proceed? This is your first impression, and you want to make a good one.

Before you contact the recruiter, take a deep breath and remember they are a person, too. Instead of thinking about what you want, focus on building a relationship with the recruiter and fulfilling their needs.

Here are some tips to remember when communicating with recruiters that could help you secure your dream job:

Make a connection:

Recruiters receive about 250 resumes for every position. So how do you get their attention?
Relationships are the key. Connect with recruiters on social media and job boards. According to a survey from Jobvite, 93 percent of recruiters already use or plan to use social media to support recruiting efforts and 73 percent plan to increase their investment in social recruiting this year.

Although recruiters are active on multiple social platforms, choose one to connect with them. Don’t bombard them with messages and requests. Reaching out through multiple platforms will only annoy recruiters, placing you on their stalker list instead of their list of qualified candidates.

Break the ice:

Sending a cold email or message over social media can feel awkward, uncomfortable, and forced, like a first date.

To break the ice, find something you both have in common. Do you have similar interests? Do you both belong to the same organization? Did you graduate from the same school? Searching social media and job boards may give you some leads.

But, just like a first date, you don’t want to come on too strong or appear desperate. Express your enthusiasm without going over the top.

Mind the details:

When contacting recruiters, be sure you are qualified for the position you want. About 50 percent of job seekers don’t have the basic qualifications for the job they are pursuing. In addition, 38 percent of companies have open positions they cannot find talent to fill.

Recruiters spend a lot of time sorting through candidates who aren’t right for the position—don’t waste their time or your own. Contacting a recruiter about a job you aren’t qualified for will only frustrate them.

After carefully reviewing the job description to make sure you are qualified, tailor your communication to that position. Be specific, and explain why your experiences and skills are a good match.

Although you want to customize your communication to the job, don’t twist information to fit certain qualifications. About 96 percent of recruiters follow up with references before hiring. If you embellish or lie, the truth will come out.

Be patient:

Waiting for a response is nerve wracking, and you may want to frequently check back in with the recruiter. But don’t give in to temptation.

Although you can and should follow up with a recruiter, constant communication will do more harm than good. On average, filling a position takes about 24 working days and can take up to about 39 days in some fields. Be patient. The process will take some time.

If a recruiter doesn’t give a specific timeframe in which to expect a response or update, ask for one. If you know when to expect communication, you will have some peace of mind and the recruiter will not have to handle your constant stream of emails, phone calls, and messages.

If you are trying to establish a relationship for future job opportunities, stay in touch with the recruiter. But remember to give them breathing room. A relationship is a two-way street—it’s not always about you. Make yourself a knowledgeable resource, not a pesky job seeker. Send along articles you think they will find interesting or useful, comment on or share their social media posts, and stay active on social media platforms you are connected on.

Have you had success communicating with recruiters? What are your tips?

RELATED: How Not to Contact Recruiters On LinkedIn

Author: Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web.

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