So you've decided it's time to look for a new job, and in your search, you come across a company that is calling your name. Everything about this job is perfect, you were basically born to do it! So you send out an amazing email, expecting that your superior skills and outstanding qualifications will hopefully get you noticed and (fingers crossed) an invitation to interview. But when it's been more then a couple days and the hiring manager or recruitment consultant still hasn't responded, you start to wonder if you should cut your losses and move on.
While it is certainly bad practice and poor service on the part of the hiring manager/ recruitment consultant (and something we've been challenging for 25 years here at Stopgap!), there are a few things you can be doing to increase your chances of getting a quick response.
1. Keep it short and professional
If you can keep an email to less than 5 sentences, it’s going to be much easier for your recipient to read- and read it quickly. If your email is longer than a paragraph or two, people will often put off reading it, which means you're going to be waiting longer to get a response (or perhaps no response at all- argh!).
It's important to know your audience, but generally speaking, a generic, “To whom it may concern” introduction isn't really going to cut it these days. You should always try to personalize your email to a hiring manager/ recruitment consultant. That means knowing the person’s name & official title- information a quick LinkedIn search or visit to their company website will tell you.
2. Be reasonable with your request
If you want someone’s feedback or advice on something, be concrete and ask a specific question that can be answered in a few minutes - at most! Say you're migrating to a new country and want to learn about the process to obtain a visa. While the hiring manager/ recruiter will be able to provide some topline insight, beyond that, you should be speaking to a specialist immigration consultant.
Oh and then, of course, there's the classic 'brain picking' or 'getting your thoughts on something" email. While most hiring managers and recruiters are all for collaboration & helping out where they can, these sorts of requests are vague & open-ended and show that you don’t have a concrete goal/ aren't really sure what you want.
3. Format your email for readability and clarity, and make sure any attachments open properly!
Ok, so this point might sound obvious but you would be surprised at how many emails the consultants at Stopgap receive with email body text in 3 different fonts/ sizes & CV's that fail to open in .doc & .pdf properly.
Considering that the hiring manager or recruitment consultant may have 30+ applications for any given job, if they can't skim it quickly you are creating a lot more work for them as they try to decipher what you are actually saying, and therein decreasing the likelihood of receiving a quick response.
4. Know what you want and make it clear what you want the hiring manager/ recruitment consultant to do
We get it, moving jobs or even changing careers is a massive and typically really difficult decision to make. While the best recruiters/ hiring managers (ahem wink wink nudge nudge) will tend to double as career coaches, many are working to a tight agenda that isn't going to allow time for 45-minute counseling sessions over email, the phone or in person. Do your best to be prepared and have a clear, defined idea of what you want/ are looking for support with.
For any hiring manager/ recruiter, it can be really frustrating to receive an email where someone sends over a load of information but fails to actually say what they’d like you to do.
Do you want them to introduce you to someone at a certain company? Do you want them to read your CV and give you feedback? Do you want to meet them for a coffee to talk about your career? Be clear and say it explicitly up front.
5. Make it memorable and show them why they should take the time to help you
What can you contribute to the role or business that they haven't already heard in the cover letters of other applicants? While being a great communicator, hard-worker and having all the necessary skills outlined in the job description is great, chances are they've heard it all before.
So how can you stand out in a sea of top talent? Last month, Stopgap sponsored the B&T 30 under 30 awards where we heard the amazing story of a young Brand Strategist who got his job in quite an unconventional way. Based on the insight that many advertising agencies would blindly accept any award, he and his two friends created a fake advertising award as a way to sneak their CV's into agencies across the country. As a result, they won four international creative advertising awards and landed several job interviews. How's that for ingenuity!
Ultimately the job of a hiring manager/ recruitment consultant is to fill vacant positions with great talent so if you're the right person for the job, they want to be speaking with you! When you're searching for your next opportunity, keep the above in mind and we think you'll be one step ahead of the game.
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