• PTP Chicago

How to Reach Out to a Recruiter? Guidance from PTP’s Own Recruitment Staff






Are you tired of writing to recruiters but never receiving a reply? Do your conversations with recruiters never go the way you expect? Are you worried about making a bad first impression, and want a better understanding of how to reach out to a recruiter? We sought the wisdom of PTP’s own recruiters to try and answer these questions.


Topics covered:

  • What is the best way to reach out to a recruiter?

  • What do recruiters respond to?

  • What don’t recruiters respond to?

  • If you could give one piece of advice to candidates it would be...

What is the best way to reach out to a recruiter?

There are three ways a candidate can get in touch with a recruiter—email, LinkedIn, and phone. Each medium has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Email: An email allows you a little more space to present your pitch. If you take the time to craft a well-composed email, it will make a good first impression. On the other hand, most recruiters receive hundreds of emails a day and yours might get overlooked.

  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is perhaps the most popular platform on which candidates and recruiters can connect. Both your CV and the role you are interested in can be easily shared, and there is an immediacy to the medium that does not exist with email. However, getting in touch on LinkedIn will mean that you need to be more conservative with details, and keep the length to the minimum. Email-length messages are unwise.

  • Telephone: “I prefer a phone call,” says Marcos Vargas, one of our technical recruiters. “It shows that they’re actively looking and very interested, not just blasting out a ton of emails hoping for a response. If you get my voicemail, definitely leave a short but detailed message to guarantee a call-back.” But remember, if you are speaking over the phone, even to leave a message, it is important to speak clearly and get your message across effectively. If you are not confident in your speaking skills, it may be best to just write.


What do recruiters respond to?


Recruiters want to get to know you. Their jobs depend on finding the best person for the role. But they are often inundated with messages and don’t have a lot of time to spend reading lengthy prose about your life, fascinating as it may be.


Keep your email or message short and factual. Be specific about the role you’re interested in and present only those aspects of your work history that are relevant to that role. Remember that the recruiter is interested in your CV, not your autobiography.


“I respond quickly to short and sweet facts. State the specific position you are interested in or reference our previous conversation if we’ve had one,” says Marcos. According to our to recruiters, they prefer applicants who:


1) Show that they have a real interest in their own career

2) Demonstrate their passion for the specific role

3) Show an awareness of the company culture, where they are seeking a position

4) Demonstrate a clear understanding of the technology

5) Stick to the point







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What don’t recruiters respond to?


Money- Asking about remuneration or benefits in the very first conversation is a misstep. Recruiters feel that if the first thing you ask about is money, maybe you are not really that interested in the role. According to Marcos, “If you ask about money right at the beginning, it may not be a deal-breaker, but you’re definitely starting from behind”.


Open-ended requests- If you don’t have a role and an organization in mind, don’t reach out. Recruiters don’t appreciate open-ended requests for work, and it's not their job to do your job hunting for you. Also, remember recruiters often work for a particular organization or set of clients. Make sure you are aware of their commitments when you get in touch.


Mass emails- Recruiters can spot the difference between a carefully thought out first message and an obvious mass email. Take the time to research the person you are writing to, find out about their work history, and whether you have any interests in common. Tailored emails are far more likely to get a response, than impersonal ones.


If you could give one piece of advice to candidates it would be...


We asked two of our staff what advice they have for potential candidates. This is what they had to share:


Marcos Vargas, Senior Recruiter

“Do your homework. A candidate we placed recently did more research than anyone I’ve seen. They knew me, they knew our owner, they knew the company. They knew where Nick went to school, that I’ve been in IT staffing for over 10 years, etc. It made a great impression on us.”


Jay Johnson, Vice-President Operations

“Job descriptions often don't paint an accurate picture of what the job is. When we get a job description from a client, we start looking for candidates immediately. Often, those job descriptions are from an old position and the project needs have changed, but we may not find that out until days or a week later. So, as recruiters, we’re often looking for someone who can do a wide range of things. And we’re always looking for candidates who want to learn and pivot as the technology changes.”


Conclusion


Reaching out to recruiters can be daunting. And occasionally frustrating. But remember, recruiters are busy people. If you want them to respond to you, you need to make sure your communication is worth their time. Recruiters, respond better to preparation and clarity. Remember that they are just as invested in getting a good candidate, as you are in getting that job. Be knowledgeable, be on point, and be clear. Next time you decide to get in touch with a recruiter, keep this advice in mind and you will surely do well.




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About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicago's premier Information Technology (IT) staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 23+ years. Named after Chicago's historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland.

Based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP's 250+ employees have a narrow focus on a single market (Chicago) and expertise in 4 innovative technical areas;

  • Cybersecurity

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Data Science

  • Cloud & DevOps

PTP exists to ensure that all of our partners (clients and candidates alike) make the best hiring and career decisions.

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Peterson Technology Partners is an equal opportunity employer.