Career Tip: How Being Kind to a Recruiter Can Get You a Job

Hired Stamp

Emily here. I work day in and day out to make sure great companies are looking for you on Seelio. I’ll also be sharing career tips with you to help with your job and internship search.

Here’s the story behind my first Career Tip: 

I hopped into the full-time job market in 2009 as unemployment numbers were soaring. As I was still searching in early 2010, The Atlantic was featuring <sarcasm> uplifting </sarcasm> articles about America’s jobless era.

There was one unexpected step I took that helped me land my first grown-up job: writing a friendly, sincere response to a rejection email from a recruiter.

By that point, I’d sent out scores of cover letters and resumes and even had a good number of interviews. Sadly, back in those days, Seelio didn’t exist yet. More often than not I wouldn’t hear back about a job I’d applied for. So, when I saw a rejection email from an actual recruiter’s email account, I wrote a brief but sincere reply:

On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 10:42 AM, Emily Keller wrote:

Dear Ms. James*,

I am pleased to hear that you have found a qualified candidate for the Administrative Assistant position with the Pew Environment Group. I look forward to future opportunities to be a part of the great work you are doing at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Have a wonderful week.


Emily Keller

By 3:00PM that day I had a call from the recruiter I had emailed asking me if I was still looking for a position. Apparently a lot of people don’t respond to recruiter emails, especially when they’re rejection emails! She asked if I could come in for an interview and then proceeded to learn more about me in order to place me in a position that was a much better fit. By April of that year, I started my new job and a year later she still remembered my email and helped me get my first promotion too!

Career Tip Takeaway: always, always, always be kind to recruiters

They’re people too and they’re looking to make sure that you + the job + the company = a great fit. Be honest with them, and respond promptly when they contact you even if it’s to say that you already have an opportunity lined up. Sometimes they just might help you find the position (and then the promotion) you’ve been dreaming of!

Have other career tip questions or suggestions? Email me at


*Name changed and email addresses omitted for privacy’s sake :]