Recruiters Are People Too: 3 Times You Should Email Your Recruiters
By Leya Aronoff
When first encountering a recruiter for a job or internship you really want, it can be daunting, like everything you say can and will be held against you. Well, I will outline 3 times when I have reached out to my recruiter and got something good out of it.
Instance 1: Clarification on the job application
During my sophomore year, I wanted to apply to a startup with 2 internships that I wanted. However, I felt weird sending 2 applications to the same startup, especially since the recruiter was the same for both. Additionally, the job description was unclear on what recruitment documents was necessary. I sent the recruiter an email, explaining that my background may be good for both roles, but would like to learn more about each role, and asked about recruitment documents. After I received her clarification, I submitted 2 different resumes and cover letters, each tailored to the job description of each internship. By the end of the recruitment process, the recruiter offered me an internship that combined the best parts of both positions, which felt like exactly the type of experience I wanted at the time.
The lesson here is to reach out to and work with your recruiter for any clarification. They want their organization to succeed with the best talent possible. I worked with this recruiter to create the perfect internship for me. Especially if you are looking to work in an organization with a less formal internship program, working with the recruiter rather than seeing the recruiter-applicant relationship as transactional can go a long way.
Instance 2: Turning Down Interview Opportunity
In December of my junior year, I accepted an internship as the FYP Intern. However, days before I received that decision, I was invited to a first round interview for another internship. After some reflection, I realized that the FYP Internship was more up my alley and what I needed at that point. I respectfully emailed the second recruiter that I had accepted another internship offer as soon as the decision was made. But I noted that I was still interested in the company and would like to keep in touch regarding future opportunities.
This point also goes for competing offers. If you decide to accept one offer while another is on the table, you can politely tell the recruiter that you have accepted another offer, but that you are interested in the company and would like to look into future opportunities.
My takeaway from this experience is to keep every door open even if it is not useful right now. An example is this interview I turned down. I ended up applying and accepting a full time job offer from that company as a senior! It is important to keep all connections and doors open because you don’t know when they will come in handy.
Instance 3: Following Up on Late Notices
During my senior year, as I was actively recruiting for full time jobs, I had scored a first round interview at a company I thought was perfect for me. During my first interview, they explained that the next round was the following week and they should notify me on the Monday beforehand. However, Monday had come and gone without any notification. At this point, I wanted to get the rejection email over playing the waiting game. So I reached out to the recruiter, noting when my first round interview was and that I was still waiting for the second round decision. A day later, I was given the news that they would not move forward with my application. While I was disappointed, I felt more relief when I knew the outcome rather than waiting.
Another time I followed-up was when I submitted an online application and did not hear from the company for several weeks. I emailed the recruiter when I had submitted an application and when I would know about the recruitment process. Some got back to me, saying that my application was one of their first and that they won’t interview me until a few weeks later. Others sent a generic rejection email, but at least I knew and I could move on.
The lesson here is that it is OK to follow-up with your recruiter, especially if they take too long to send an update. Recruiters may have many applicants for several different positions, so juggling all of these applicants could leave others to fall through the cracks, especially if they either don’t think they will actually extend an offer to you or are disorganized (it is fairly obvious to notice the difference).
Recruiters are people too. They make mistakes, take too long, and can be unclear. As someone who has recruiting experience, there were countless times where I had a typo in the applicant’s email address or sent an email to the wrong person, and my applicant pool was probably nothing compared to large firms. It can get messy quickly. So let your recruiter know if anything comes up, whether you accepted another offer or simply waited for more than two weeks. They will appreciate your outreach and answer your questions before you get upset.