Getting a Job

How To Respond to a Recruiter

Most recruiters have some common questions they ask when reaching out to a candidate. In this article, you can learn how to respond when a recruiter sends you an email about a job opportunity. 

How to respond to a recruiter’s inquiry 

 Here are several steps to follow to prepare an effective response to a recruiter: 

1. First, establish the recruiter’s credibility

The first thing you should do before ever responding to a recruiter is to verify their credibility. Doing some brief research on business-oriented social media platforms can help you discover more about them. For instance, it can tell you if they work for the company directly as an internal recruiter or for an external staffing agency recruiting on behalf of another company.  

Establishing credibility is an important first step to ensure the role they are offering is a legitimate one. After all, doing your research into any potential employer is critical to finding the right job in any situation. This step gives you the opportunity to explore a recruiter and employer in-depth before ever pursuing the opportunity. 

2. Second, read the recruiter’s message carefully

Before getting excited about a new job, you should always read an incoming email from a recruiter carefully. 

Consider various factors, for example:

  • Does the message seem tailored to you?
  • Does the position steer you in a direction you want to go? 
  • Does the company interest you?

If you answer no to any of these questions, you should respond politely and professionally to turn down the offer. In the case of a message that reads like it was sent as a mass email, you may choose not to respond at all. 

Of course, if the position and company do interest you, and you believe that the recruiter is truly targeting the message towards your skills and interests, you can create a unique response that will express your excitement and qualifications. 

3. Third, decide if you want to pursue the opportunity

Receiving an offer from a recruiter can potentially help you plan a new direction in your career. When you receive an offer, take some time to consider it.

If you decide that you are interested in speaking to the recruiter about the details of their offer, you can continue with more in-depth research about the company and position. Or, if you decide it is not the best fit for you, but you believe they may have other positions in the future that you might consider, you should still work on crafting a detailed response to communicate that. 

4. Fourth, write your response

There are four common ways to respond to a recruiter’s message and these generally consist of asking for more information, offering insight into your current status, setting a time to talk, or declining the offer. 

Common recruiter response examples

Here are the most common examples of how to respond to a recruiter:

Example email response to a recruiter: request more information

Dear Mr. Walker, 

I received your offer regarding the open position at the Evans Association. I currently manage a secretarial role at my present company and I am curious to know more about the position you are looking to fill. If you could please forward a quick description of the duties and responsibilities, I would be happy to discuss my qualifications further. 

I look forward to hearing from you,
John Lee

Example email response to a recruiter: request more information share your current job status

Dear Mr. Walker, 

I received your offer regarding the open position at the Evans Association. Unfortunately, I don’t feel as though this position would be the best fit based on my qualifications and career goals. However, I researched the company in-depth and I would be excited to learn about other potential opportunities related to the field of Marketing as I am looking to grow into another role within the coming year. I would be happy to forward my resume in the event that a better fit comes along. 

I appreciate your consideration, 
John Lee

Example email response to a recruiter: schedule a time to discuss

Dear Mr. Walker, 

I received your offer regarding the open position at the Evans Association, and I am excited to inform you that my qualifications match what you are seeking. I have attached my resume so that you can review my skills and certifications. I am available for a phone call after work hours from 5 pm to 7 pm any evening this week. Please let me know if you need any other information from me in anticipation of our conversation. 

I look forward to hearing from you,
John Lee

Example email response to a recruiter: declining an offer

Dear Mr. Walker, 

I received your offer regarding the open position at the Evans Association, and I am writing to politely decline your offer. I am not presently looking to leave my current position, but I do appreciate your consideration. 

Thank you, 
John Lee