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How to Get a Recruiter's Attention for the First Time


Contract positions are very different from the typical full-time employee position. Not only are they obviously a shorter term, meaning you search for work more frequently, but the turnaround time to fill a particular role tends to be much shorter, sometimes a matter of hours. This makes the power of a relationship with a recruiter absolutely crucial. A solid relationship means that as one contract is coming to an end, somebody is already helping you find your next one. When an opportunity arises that needs to be filled tomorrow, somebody is calling you before you even had a chance to turn on your computer and visit a job board.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that recruiters work on filling multiple roles and come across dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes on any given day. This means that getting a foot in the door to start that relationship with a recruiter can prove challenging to an independent contractor, especially those who are new to the market. To help with this tough scenario, we surveyed Eagle’s recruitment team to find out the best ways to grab their attention and here’s what we learned:

Contact Them Directly!

All of Eagle’s recruiters agree: the most effective way to connect with them for the first time is some sort of direct communication. While starting the conversation at a networking event or applying to their jobs may be a good start, they won’t have as much of an impact as an email, phone call, or even a LinkedIn message.

To start, do a bit of research on the best person to speak with. Does the agency have a recruiter who specializes in your industry or skill set? Is there a recruiter with whom you already have a common connection? Once you’ve honed in on who you want to get in touch with, decide how you’ll do it. 55% of recruiters said they prefer email; however, it shouldn’t be a generic or mass email. 30% said a phone call would be most effective and the rest said they’d prefer a direct message on LinkedIn.  It’s important to note that nobody, not a single recruiter, said to come right into the office. Face-to-face meetings are invaluable for getting to know each other, but unannounced introductions can be intrusive and awkward.

Don’t Give Up

As already mentioned, recruiters are busy. Very busy. If they don’t answer the phone or if they take a while to respond to your email, don’t assume they’re not interested in building a relationship with you. Your next best option is to get yourself out there and make sure they find you when they need you. Do this by applying for their jobs and building your profile on the agency’s job board, as well as some other places across the Internet. This begs the question, where are recruiters going to look for you? We’ll cover that in a future post in the coming weeks.