3 Tips on How to Follow Up With a Recruiter

Ryan Morris
by Ryan Morris
Get The Job, Guides - 2 years ago

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A good follow-up email can make or break a job application.

Particularly when dealing with recruiters as opposed to applying to companies directly, follow-up emails are necessary parts of any job hunters toolkit.

They help you distinguish yourself, letting you strut a little while also making yourself stand out in the recruiter’s mind.

When it comes to finding a job, you don’t always have to be the best — sometimes you just have to be the most memorable.

But how does a person make themselves memorable to a hiring manager? In what situations should you even send a follow-up email in the first place?

If you do send an email, what are you supposed to even say?

Fortunately, we here at Zippia have put together a few tips to help you figure out this exact situation.


1. Why Should You Follow Up With a Recruiter?

When it comes to getting jobs or contracts through recruiters, candidates need to be aggressive.

There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of other candidates with similar education or experience as you that are also looking to recruiters to find them a job.

That’s why, as a candidate, it’s not always prudent to just sit around and hope to get a call from a recruiter you’ve been speaking with.

Sometimes you need to go on the offensive.

Following up with a recruiter is a difficult process, but it’s one that is necessary in many situations.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself looking for a gig at just the right time with just the right experience, and you’ll find yourself being chased by the recruiter. In times like this, you have all the power, and so it can sometimes be useful to wait it out after speaking to a recruiter.

But even in this situation, you need to be careful. Recruiters move fast — if you’re not actively being pursued by one for a job, you can bet that means that you’re the one who should be on the hunt.

In either case, you’re going to need to learn how to gauge the situation after meeting with an interviewer, and learn how to follow up accordingly.

2. How to Follow Up With a Recruiter

If you’re a candidate who’s recently met with a recruiter — whether you called them or you were the one who was called — then sooner or later you’re going to need to follow up with them.

The way that you follow up with a recruiter depends heavily on one thing:


Where did you meet the recruiter? Was it at a job fair? Did you reach out to them specifically, or them to you?

These are just a few of the things you want to think about before you send that email.

Here are some of the main things to consider before reaching out to a recruiter about a job:

  • Does it seem like they’re trying particularly hard to get ahold of you? If so, congratulations: you’re one of the best candidates they’ve found, and they’re trying to court you for the position. You hold all the power — take it slow before you send your email, and try to squeeze as make the person signing your contract sweeten the pot before you sign your name. Just be careful you don’t spend so long playing aloof that you wind up losing the position to their second choice.
  • Have a few days gone by since the date they said they’d contact you by? That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested, but it does mean that they’re busy and that you aren’t necessarily at the top of their priorities. This is when you need to start (gently) reaching out; they’ve likely just forgotten you’re around, but you still have the chance to distinguish yourself with a good follow-up letter.
  • Did you establish a personal connection with the recruiter while you spoke to them? If so, now’s the time to bring up that connection. If not, now’s the time to try to establish some kind of connection with this person — you’ll need it if you have any hope of standing out in their head amongst the dozens of other candidates.
  • Remember that the slowest part of the process should be negotiating compensation and benefits, which is obviously a late stage concern. If the process is moving excruciatingly slowly early on, that might be a sign that things aren’t going that well and that you should be preparing some kind of follow-up.
  • The best way to follow-up with somebody is almost certainly email — it’s relatively low stress, and it lets people respond to you at their leisure — but use your own discretion. If you know the recruiter prefers phone calls or face to face meetings, schedule one of those instead.

3. Following Up With Recruiters: Email Template

The following is an example of the kind of light check-in email that you could send to a recruiter in order to remind them that you still exist (and are interested in a job).

It’s important to note that this is a very loose template — don’t be afraid to play around with the order or with the kind of sentences you’re trying to include.

It’s important to hit certain points in your letter, but it’s more important for your letter to feel natural.

  • First sentence — say hi: “Hello [Recruiter’s Name Here (let’s call them Joe)],”
  • Second sentence — bring up something the two of you talked about the last time you spoke: “I’ve been thinking a lot about that industry problem we talked about. Has the team tried…”
  • Sentence three — the check-in: “I was just contacting you to check in and see if there were any updates on the job position we discussed.”
  • Sentence four — reiterate your interest and get out of there: “I’m still interested in the position and I hope to hear back from you soon. All best, Me.”

Wrapping Up:

That’s all for this one! Just keep in mind:

You want to be memorable, but you don’t want to spook the recruiter.

There are a lot of ways you can distinguish yourself (see above), and it’s often the case that you need to be aggressive in the job hunt in order for someone to remember you and pay attention to you.

But it’s also true that you can come off as a jerk pretty quickly if you end up being too aggressive too fast.

It’s a delicate balancing act that you have to strike between giving a recruiter the proper space and making sure to continually stick your foot in the door to check and see if it’s still open.

You don’t want to seem too timid, but you also don’t want to be a butthole.

Best of luck! Here are some other links to help you on your way:

3 Tips for Identifying the Worst Companies to Work For
3 Tips to Making a Lateral Career Move
3 Tips to Answering the Question “Why Should We Hire You?”

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