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The Only Five Recruiter Emails Your Job Search Will Ever Need

Whether it’s the job or your dreams or you’re just keeping an eye out.

The Only Five Recruiter Emails Your Job Search Will Ever Need
[Photo: SeanZeroThree/iStock]

Getting approached about a job opening can feel super flattering (and it’s a sure sign that you’re doing something right!), but depending on where you are in your career, figuring out how to respond can be a bit of a headache.

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You don’t want to come off as rude or dismissive if you aren’t interested, and you definitely don’t want to seem desperate or needy if you are. So yes, finding the right words can be tricky, but these five templates will make responding to recruiters a breeze—regardless of your current status.

1. If You’re 100% Not Job Searching

You love what you’re doing, and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to convince you to consider a new opportunity—at least not for the foreseeable future. But you don’t want to close the door on what could be a potentially helpful relationship down the line, either.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for reaching out! This certainly sounds like an interesting job, and I appreciate your consideration.

I really love the work I’m doing for [your company] and am not in the market for a new opportunity at the moment. That said, if I find myself looking to make a change in the future, I’ll be sure to get in touch.

Thanks again!
[Your name]

If you happen to know someone who might be interested in this role, you could also add something like, “I may have a colleague who could be a good fit for this role; would you mind if I passed your contact information on to them?” For recruiters, the next best thing to finding the right candidate is finding someone who knows the right candidate.

2. If You’re Open To The Right Opportunity

You’re pretty happy where you are and haven’t given a lot of thought to finding a new job, but this role sounds like it could have some potential. The goal here is to be upfront about your status while also conveying your interest. You’re essentially playing it cool—if this person wants to schedule a quick call, great; if he doesn’t, that’s fine, too.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for getting in touch!

I’m pretty happy in my current role with [your company] and am not actively looking to change jobs, but I’d be open to discussing this role, as I never turn down a chance to chat about [compelling trait about the job description, e.g. software development or sales enablement]. Would it be possible for us to connect sometime next week? I should be available for a quick call on [dates and times that’ll work with your schedule].

Moving forward, you can reach me directly here: [your email address and/or phone number].

Looking forward to speaking with you!

Best,
[Your name]

3. If You’re Actively Searching But Aren’t Interested In This Job

When you’re in the market for a new job, hearing from a recruiter is really exciting—until you realize that the job she’s approached you about isn’t at all what you’re looking for. But don’t worry too much about the role itself; this is a great opportunity for you to establish a relationship with someone who might be able to help you find the right one. Now’s your chance to tell them what you’re looking for and ask whether they know of anything that lines up with your goals.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for thinking of me for this role! I am currently exploring new opportunities, but would ideally like to find a position that would allow me to [traits of your ideal position here, e.g., work from home, expand on my content development experience, step into the nonprofit space, earn at least $X annually, etc.]. It sounds like this particular role isn’t quite what I’m looking for, but do you happen to know of any other opportunities that may be a better fit? If so, I’d love to connect!

I’ve attached my resume for your review, and can be reached directly at [your email address and/or phone number] moving forward.

Best,
[Your name]

4. If You’re Intrigued By This Opportunity

Now we’re talking! You’re open to new opportunities, and this one sounds like it could have some serious potential. You can keep your response pretty straightforward—the goal here is to confirm your interest and get an initial interview on the calendar.

Hi [Name],

This sounds like a really interesting opportunity—thanks for thinking of me!

As you probably saw on my profile, I have [X years] of experience in the [industry or job function, e.g., digital marketing or project management] space, and am particularly interested in opportunities that allow me to [relevant job duty/deliverable, e.g. leverage my creativity in a design-focused role or build new programs from the ground up]. Based on the information you’ve shared, it sounds like the role certainly could be a great fit!

I’d love to schedule a time for us to discuss how my skills and experience could benefit the team; would it be possible for us to connect sometime this week? I’ve included my availability below:

[dates/times]

You can reach me directly at [your e-mail address and/or phone number]. Looking forward to connecting!

Best,
[Your name]


Related: How To Turn Your Current Job Into Your Dream Job

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5. If This Is Hands-Down Your Dream Job

Be cool. Your dream job just literally fell into your lap. You’ve got this.

Demonstrating enthusiasm for a role’s always a great move (recruiters love working with motivated candidates), but don’t forget that you’ll want to highlight the myriad reasons that you’re absolutely perfect for this job. A response that demonstrates your excitement and emphasizes your transferable skills should all but guarantee that you’ll land an initial interview.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for getting in touch! Based on what you’ve shared about this role, I’d be eager to learn more.

It sounds like you’re looking for an [job title] with [relevant skills/experience] expertise and a talent for developing [insert outcomes, e.g. unique and compelling marketing campaigns across a variety of digital channels]—that’s me!

As someone with [X years of experience] in the industry, I know what it takes to deliver [deliverables based on job description, e.g., flawlessly executed e-mail campaigns from start to finish]. In my current role at [your current company], I [description of relevant experience and tangible results based on job description, i.e. guide the production and execution of 25 unique monthly email campaigns and have grown new lead generation by 50% in just six months].

I’d love to schedule a time for us to discuss how my skills and experience could benefit the [company name] team; would it be possible for us to connect sometime this week? I’ve included my availability below:

[dates/times]

You can reach me directly at [your e-mail address and/or phone number]. Looking forward to connecting!

Best,
[Your name]

If you happen to have something in common, like a shared connection or alma mater, it wouldn’t hurt to mention that at the end of your message. Try saying something like, “By the way, I noticed you’re a Chico State alum, too. It’s always great to hear from a fellow Wildcat!” or “it looks like you’re also connected with [Name of Mutual Acquaintance]. I used to work with her at [Company Name]!”

Going beyond the basics serves to establish a more personal connection and might just give you an edge.

Finding the right candidates to approach about an open position can be a tough job, and recruiters spend a lot of time trying to track qualified people like you down, so receiving a response—even if it’s a “Thanks, but no thanks!”—is always appreciated. Taking a few minutes to write back will help you to establish what could be an invaluable career ally. And if the role you’ve been approached about is exactly what you’re looking for, even better!


This article originally appeared on The Daily Muse and is reprinted with permission.

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