The Right Way To Respond To a Recruiter Email

by Heidi Cope
Get The Job - 10 months ago

Find a Job You Really Want In

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.

Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.


The time has finally come — you’ve applied to your dream job, waited patiently for a response from the recruiter and now you’ve just received an email about following up with you. How do you respond?

Or perhaps you have been contacted by a recruiter about a job that you didn’t even apply for, which happens most often on job sites like LinkedIn. How do you respond to a LinkedIn message or email about a job that you know nothing about? No matter what, getting contacted by a recruiter is an exciting moment. Someone has looked at your information and is ready to learn a bit more about you.

If you are wondering how to respond to a hiring manager or a recruiter who wants to learn more about you as a potential job candidate, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be polite, professional and answer their questions.
  • Use the email response to plan a time to speak about the opportunity versus brain-dumping information about yourself on the recruiter, unless they are asking for that information.
  • If you are getting generalized recruiter emails to jobs you didn’t apply to, check and make sure they aren’t spam before applying.

Now that you know what to think about as you read the rest of this article, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of how to respond to a recruiter’s email if you’re interested in the position.

How To Respond To Generalized Recruiter Messages

You’ve signed up for newsletters and email lists for job sites and suddenly you are receiving recruiter messages that look like they’ve been sent out to a thousand candidates. You are probably asking yourself, “Are these real job opportunities? And if so, are they worth pursuing?”

Sometimes these types of emails can be spam, but a quick Google search or LinkedIn search will give you a lot of answers about the legitimacy of the company that’s contacting you. If the company seems real and has some reviews on Zippia or another company review site, then you can probably assume that the job position is real.

Sometimes the recruiter isn’t for a specific company, but a few companies. Look up the recruiter on LinkedIn first to see if they have a profile. You can also ask follow up questions about them if you decide to respond.

The next step is how to respond.


Source:Mary Cullen

How To Respond To Recruiter Emails After Application Submission

In this scenario, you’ve applied for a specific job and now you’ve been contacted about your application to begin the next steps. It might seem scary, but it’s great news. Every time you have a chance to speak more with a recruiter, you have the chance to solidify their impression of you as a great job candidate.

However, try and keep the conversation to scheduled times set by the recruiter. If the recruiter is asking you if you have time to hop on a call to discuss your resume, use the email response to lock-down time to talk to do so versus talking about how great your resume is in the email.

If the recruiter is asking for more details about you, you can answer via email, but offer up options to continue the conversation in a call if they’d be interested.

Generally, the first times you communicate with a recruiter don’t need to be novels. They are usually logistical correspondences so that you can get to the great conversations face to face or over the phone.

Top Questions A Recruiter Might Ask You In an Email And Example Answers

A recruiter will generally ask you two different types of questions: logical questions to plan out a meeting to go over your application or informational questions to add certain details to your resume. Sometimes, questions may be industry-specific, like a practice test or proficiency test on skills related to the job position.

Here are a few common questions recruiters will ask via email and sample answers of how to respond:

“Are there any details you’d like to add to your application?”

  • Thank you for contacting me about my application. I have attached examples of my previous work related to (industry or job title), as well as links to (websites, LinkedIn, etc) for you. If you have any questions or would like to set up a time to chat, please let me know.
“Could you send another copy of your resume?”

  • Thank you for contacting me about my application. I have included a copy of my resume for you. Please let me know if you need anything else for my application to the (job title) position. I look forward to hearing more from you about this opportunity soon.
“When are you available to interview?”

  • Thank you for reaching out to me about my application to (job title/ company). I am excited to speak more with you about this opportunity. I am available (dates & times). Let me know your meeting preference.
“Would you be available for a second interview soon?”

  • I greatly appreciate speaking with you last (first interview time) and would love to discuss this opportunity further with you soon. I am available (dates & times). Let me know what time works best for you.
“Do you have time to answer a few quick questions over the phone?”

  • Thank you for reaching out to me about my application to (job title/ company). I would love to speak with you more about my application and answer any questions you might have. I am available (dates & times). Let me know what works best for you.
“When would you be available to take a proficiency test?”

  • Thank you for contacting me about my application to (job title/ company). I would be happy to complete any proficiency tests needed. I am available (dates & times). Please let me know if my availability works for testing.

How To Respond To a Recruiter Email If You’re Not Interested Example

Let’s say you get contacted by a recruiter but you are not interested in the job. Should you ignore them or reply?

If you are contacted by a recruiter about a job that you didn’t apply to, it is polite to answer them, but if you have no desire to work for that company ever then it’s not required. However, if you have applied for the position and a recruiter emails you about the position, but you are no longer interested, you should reply.

Here are two examples of responding to a recruiter for a job you are no longer interested in:

Thank you for contacting me about my application to (company). Unfortunately, I have already accepted another position and am no longer an active job seeker. OR Unfortunately, I am no longer able to pursue this job position. I deeply appreciate your time in reaching out to me.

Thank you for contacting me about this exciting opportunity at (company). At this time, I am not seeking employment but I appreciate your offer to discuss this position.

You’re A Recruiter Response-Pro Now

Responding to recruiters can be a scary experience: you are so excited that you’ve finally made it to the next step but you don’t want to mess it up. Luckily, there are common questions recruiters ask when planning the next steps in the job hiring process and we’ve come up with some examples to help you craft great responses.

Now that you’re a recruiter response pro, get back to your inbox, fire away some replies and get one step closer to your dream job.

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time