I mentioned to a few Google recruiters that I find some headhunter emails very enticing and others not at all enticing. They asked for some examples, so I put a few up here.
From my experience, I've found there are a few guidelines that will make the headhunting email 10 times more effective:
Hi - Please send your resume if you would be interested in java or C++ work We have contract and full time opportunities that may be of interest to you. What are your compensation needs these days....hourly and annually?The job description is too vague. Listing all the details of one particular position (company, product, group) is much more tempting. If you don't want to be too narrow, start with that one position, and then state that other positions are also available. (See MSN example #3.)
Also, it asks me to do a bunch of work right away -- reply with updated resume, compensation. It's much better to just ask for a quick reply.
Subject: Niniane Wang --- XXX Phone Interview April 26, 2005 We found your resume online . ... If you are interested, our Staffing Consultant, XXX XXX, has the following time available to speak with you: Tuesday, April 26th, 2005 at 11:00am PDTSeveral problems:
Subject: Seattle / .NET / long term contract I found your resume posted online and was hoping that you or someone you know would be interested in the following contract position. The contract could last 1-2 years. If you are interested, please send an updated copy of your resume along with your hourly wage requirements and we can schedule some time to speak.My resume shows that 1. I no longer live in Seattle, 2. I have stayed away from .NET during my career, and 3. I have always chosen fulltime jobs rather than contract positions.
Also asks for too much work off the bat.
Subject: Development Lead position with Expedia I wanted to drop you a line in regards to an excellent opportunity we have here at Expedia in Bellevue, WA. We are currently looking for a development lead for our best fare search group. Our best fare search group is responsible for developing and implementing the search and pricing engine to support our award winning travel site. The group has some extremely challenging project ahead of it and we are looking for a passionate engineer to step in and lead the team. Your background is very impressive so I wanted to see if you knew of anyone that might be qualified for this role.This describes the position well, butters up the candidate a little, and requires just a simple response. Good work!
Subject: MSN Search Opportunity I located your resume during a Google search (!) and, if you are currently looking for a new challenge, I would like to discuss new opportunities with one of the largest software development companies in world with you. [..job description..]This doesn't sell the job very well. It also seems the recruiter did not look at my resume long enough to notice that I worked for Microsoft for 5 years, and would therefore probably be aware that it's one of the largest software companies in the world.
My name is XXX and I'm with Microsoft Staffing. I am writing you regarding an SDE opportunity we have available with Microsoft's Search team. I came across your resume on the internet and noted that you're a previous Microsoft employee and thought you may be interested in having conversations about possibly returning.This is better in that it shows the recruiter actually read through my resume. But it is pretty indifferent in asking whether I want to return.
I'm currently recruiting for a few companies and your resume came up in a web search I'm doing for Microsoft. I fully realize you've done the Microsoft thing and I understand if you have no interest in exploring opportunities with them but I can tell you outright, if you did want to consider going back, they'd treat you like a rockstar. They'd love someone with your experience.This one is better, since it considers things from my perspective -- it considers that people usually have a reason for switching jobs, so they usually don't want to switch back. Then it attempts to combat that with golden promises and flattery. Flattery works! But you probably already know that, since the fact that you're reading this page shows that you are exceptionally driven to knowledge and improvement. (See?)
In this case, a headhunter did something extra:
If a truly outstanding opportunity came up - would you take an honest and open look at it? The project can be summed up in the following: [..particular subfield of search domain...] The initial customer had a 6X increase in profits with this system and from this proof of concept, round A funding was completed.This is very clever. It asks for very little -- just to take another look at the opportunity. It also reiterates the strong points of the position -- the field, the stage of the company, the potential revenue. Well done!
Best of luck to the recruiters out there!
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