A hidden truth of job seeking is this: There are no unimportant steps. Every communication you have with a hiring manager, recruiter or your future employer, whether it’s sending a LinkedIn connection request or firing off a quick email response, forms a part of their overall picture of you as a candidate. The less they know about you, the more important each of these pieces becomes, which is why it’s crucial to communicate professionally from the outset.
If you’re interested, don’t beat around the bush. Employers want enthusiastic hires, so if you’re genuinely excited about the role, let that shine through. Mention a little bit about why you’re interested and what makes you a good fit by briefly summarizing your relevant experience and key achievements. Make sure the reasons you express are relevant to the company — “I’m passionate about renewable energy / providing cutting-edge UX design / crafting a relatable brand voice” is a good reason for wanting the job; “I’ve always wanted to live in New York City” is not so much.
Enthusiasm also doesn’t mean you need to respond immediately, but don’t let the email linger in your inbox for too long — reply within 1-2 business days at most.
Your response should be specific to the company. Avoid vague phrases like “I’m very interested in this opportunity” that sound like you could be copying from a generic bulk reply. Mention the company and role by name, and if you can, throw in something about what interests you about this company in particular, rather than the industry in general.Be concise
Striking the right tone in a professional email isn’t always easy. Aim for warm and pleasant, but not overly familiar — do thank the employer or recruiter for reaching out to you, but don’t feel the need to describe your full work background in detail or explain why you really, really need this job. A couple of short paragraphs is usually sufficient to get your point across without wasting the hiring manager or recruiter's time by adding a lot of unnecessary detail. If you have a lot to say and it’s all relevant, bullet points are better than walls of text for conveying a lot of information in a way that’s still readable.Be prepared
Another tip? You don’t need to start from scratch! Scroll down for word-for-word templates you can copy and paste when replying to a recruiter about a job you’re interested in.
Thanks for reaching out! This looks like a great opportunity — [Company Name] has been on my radar for a while and the role aligns with where I’d like to take my career. I’m particularly impressed with [a recent development or something the target company does well].
I have [X] years’ experience [mention the industry and your field of expertise, e.g. rebranding and running successful social media marketing campaigns for small businesses]. In my current role at [Your Company], I recently [describe a particularly impressive accomplishment relevant to the job you’re interested in].
I’d love to schedule a chat to discuss the role in more detail. I’m available on [list of dates you’re free]. You can reach me at [direct email address] or [phone number]. I look forward to talking to you!
What to do if you’re interested but need more information
It’s not unusual for recruiters to reach out to likely candidates on LinkedIn or through other channels, even if you haven’t expressed interest in a job. Sometimes these miss the mark, but other times they contain promising leads. If you think you might be interested in a job but want to find out more before you commit, you want to send a reply that paints your potential candidacy in a positive light and leaves the door open for future communication.
This template strikes a good balance between enthusiasm and curiosity — it signals that you’re interested in the opportunity but would like to discuss it further before officially throwing your hat into the ring. If you already know something about the role, you can attach your resume, otherwise wait for more information so you can tailor it appropriately.
Thank you for your invitation to interview for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name, e.g. Resume Worded]. I am available at [confirm the proposed date and time or suggest a few specific times you are available throughout the week] and am looking forward to meeting with [Hiring Manager] at [the company’s location or via Zoom if it’s a virtual interview].
[If the recruiter asked any follow up questions, answer them here.]
Please let me know if I can provide any additional information prior to the interview. I look forward to discussing this position in more detail.
If you’re partway through the hiring process, now’s not the time to let down your guard. This is arguably the most important part of the process, when recruiters are actively evaluating everything you do.
This message is enthusiastic and concise at the same time. The information you’re trying to convey is that you’re available to interview on a specific date and time, so don’t let that get lost in a longer email that contains unnecessary information, like rehashing your experience or interest in the position.
I’m thrilled to accept the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name].
As we discussed, my starting salary will be [X amount], with [mention any extra details, e.g. bonuses, flexible working arrangements, and benefits]. I look forward to joining the team on [start date]. Please send any onboarding documents to be signed and let me know if there’s anything further you need from me at this stage.
Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and you’ve received a job offer. Even if you know straight away that you want to accept, it’s okay to ask for more information (for example, about salary or any benefits if that haven’t already been discussed), or to negotiate the details of the offer. The most important part of replying to a job offer is making it clear that you’re accepting (or declining) the position. It’s also a good idea to get important details, like the salary and start date, in writing. And if there’s any part of the offer you want to negotiate, now is the time to do it — once you’ve formally accepted the offer, you should consider your title and salary locked in.