"I’m reaching out to you about a great opportunity..."
Depending on what stage you’re at with your job search, these words can feel like a massive breakthrough or an unwelcome time sink. But even if it doesn’t herald a straight shot at your dream job, a message from a recruiter can be a great opportunity — whether or not you’re actively job searching.
Both internal and external recruiters often contact job seekers directly about openings. This is an especially common practice on LinkedIn (so if you aren’t monitoring your LinkedIn messages and InMails, this could be a reason to start). If you’re getting recruiter emails on LinkedIn, it’s time to leverage that interest to your advantage.
The most obvious reason is that they saw your profile, thought you’d be a good fit for an open position, and want to set up an interview. There are other reasons recruiters may be reaching out, too. Maybe they don’t have any open positions right now but are looking to connect with you for potential future opportunities, or you’re in their network and they’re trying to build connections. Which isn’t to say that recruiters don’t sometimes miss their mark, but in general, if you’re getting interest in your profile, consider it a positive sign.
Obviously, the best-case scenario is that a recruiter contacts you about a job you really want. But that’s not the only reason to respond to messages. Even if it’s not the right role, or you aren’t actively job searching, it’s worthwhile to build professional relationships and foster connections that could help you down the line. After all, you never know when you might want to work with them in the future or be in need of a helping hand.
Why not respond? Well, if you’re busy — and let’s face it, who isn’t? — responding to every request you receive could start to feel like a chore. That’s why we’ve created these templates — so you can spend your time and energy on the things that matter, without the risk of missing out on what could be a great opportunity. Scroll down for some word-for-word templates you can copy and paste when responding to recruiters, no matter your situation.
Hi [Recruiter name],
Thank you for reaching out — I’m eager to learn more about the role!
I’m excited to see that the position calls for [X knowledge or experience]. I have [X years] of experience [in the relevant industry or with a particular job function]. [Mention a specific accomplishment here if applicable, e.g. Last year I improved product sales by 12%, which led to a 20% increase in annual revenue.] I’m particularly interested in the opportunity to [relevant duty from the job description, e.g. think outside the box to build the company’s brand and reputation] and I think this role could be a great fit.
I’d love to chat further about how my skills could benefit the [Company name] team. I’ve attached my resume so you can review my experience.
I’m available [dates and times of availability]. Feel free to contact me directly at [phone number and/or email address]. I look forward to talking to you soon!
Here's what to do if you are interested in the role.
You’ve hit the jackpot — the perfect opportunity has just landed right in your lap. So how do you put your best foot forward right from the start?
This is a great way to show your enthusiasm for a position and highlight the things that make you a good fit for the role, without coming off as overly sales-y. Including your availability and contact details makes it clear that you’re interested in chatting more, and it’s easy for the recruiter to schedule a follow-up.
Hi [Recruiter Name],
Thanks for reaching out to me about the [specific role] at [Company Name]. I’d love to learn more about the position.
I currently work at [Your Company] working on [projects you’re working on, e.g. growing traffic to our website]. However, I’d never turn down the opportunity to discuss a great role [mention something appealing about the company of job description, e.g. working on public outreach to service vulnerable members of the community).
Could you tell me a little more about the role? I’m happy to connect later this week. I’m available [dates and times of availability]. You can contact me directly at [phone number and/or email address]. I look forward to being in touch.
Here's what to do if you want to find out more information about the job.
You’re not convinced yet, but you’re open to it. If you’re looking for a new role, this could turn out to be a great lead. Or maybe you’re not actively job searching, but you’d be open to moving on if the right opportunity presented itself.
This email is polite and professional. It signals to the recruiter that you’re open to discussing the position further and highlights what you’d be looking for in the role. This template is a great choice if you’re potentially interested in the position but not 100% sold.
Hi [Recruiter Name],
Thanks for reaching out to me. I’m currently searching for a new role, so your timing is perfect. I’m familiar with [Company Name] and excited about the work they do. Unfortunately, I don’t think this role would be the best fit because [give a specific reason, e.g. this is a technical role and you’re looking for a customer-facing sales position].
I’m currently looking for [describe the kind of role or traits you’re looking for, e.g. the opportunity to expand my creative portfolio, a position that would allow me to work from home]. My experience [highlight your relevant experience, e.g. as the top sales associate at Your Company] would make me a great fit. If you know of any open or upcoming positions like this, I’d love to be in touch further.
I’ve attached my resume for your consideration, and you can contact me directly at [phone number and/or email address]. I look forward to staying connected and wish you the best of luck in your search to fill this role.
Here's what to do if you are looking for a new job but you’re not sure it’s the right role.
This is a pretty common scenario. On one hand, you’re actively looking for a new job, but on the other hand, you’re just not sure this is the one. If you’re trying to keep your options open, crafting a good response to recruiters can help you in your ongoing job search.
This email lets you turn down a bad fit role while still keeping the relationship alive. Being specific about your expertise and what you’re looking for allows the recruiter to quickly gauge if they might have a better opportunity already on the table and to keep you in mind for future opportunities if they don’t have anything right now.
Hi [Recruiter Name],
Thanks for connecting with me! I’m currently enjoying the work I do at [Your Company] working on [projects you’re working on, e.g. growing traffic to our website] but I’m always happy to learn about new opportunities. I’m particularly interested in [describe one or two traits from the kind of role or position you’re seeking].
If know of any opportunities like this at [Company name]. I’d love to chat. I’ve attached my resume for your review, and you can reach me directly at [your phone number and/or email address].
This can be an awkward situation, but it doesn’t have to be. What do you say when a recruiter has connected with you but hasn’t told you anything about a specific job?
Sending a short, professional message signals that you’re proactive and approachable. It opens the door for the recruiter to continue the conversation and lets them know what kind of position you’re looking for. If you aren’t job searching at all, this is also your opportunity to say so without sacrificing the connection.