Whether a recruiter has contacted you directly, you have seen a post online or you've been referred by a colleague, it is important when making that initial contact to leave a good impression.
If you have a Recruiter's (or hiring mgr's) email address always, Always, ALWAYS include your updated resume when you make that initial contact!! I cannot express enough how important that is!
Recruiters and hiring managers respond to hundreds of inquiries a week, if you do not attach an updated resume it is highly likely your efforts will end up in the "circular file".
This morning there were 2 emails in my inbox that represent the incorrect way to respond or introduce yourself:
#1. Hi, Thank you for reaching out to me. While I'm not currently available, I will be available to start interviewing next month. I've attached a copy of my resume. Its outdated and doesn't show my current project but if you look on linkedin you'll see the information there. Thank you.
#2. Hi, My colleague Jane Doe referred me to you. I'm currently looking for new opportunities. I am an RN with some EMR experience. Thank you. (no resume attached)
Probably at first glance you can determine what is wrong with both these examples. #1. - Recruiters and Hiring Mgrs don't always have the extra time to hunt down your linkedin profile and then update your resume themselves so they can enter your appropriate information in their database. (they may not even use linkedin) An email like that one will either get put way back on their backburner or the resume you provided will get uploaded in the system without showing your current qualifications so in the future when they search their database, your most recent qualifications will not factor into their search and you will possibly be looked over for positions you are qualified for.
In example #2. That person will never make the database or be considered for future positions because they didn't bother to include a history of their qualifications. Being an RN with EMR experience?? Is that training? Build? optimization? just user-end knowledge? So many unanswered questions. If the recruiter or hiring mgr isn't too busy they may email back requesting a resume, but why should they have to? Its just common sense to include your resume when inquiring about job opportunities.
When making first contact on linkedin there are a few issues. Not all recruiters or hiring managers can access files through linkedin so its unlikely they can receive your resume through an "inmail". Due to this, if you are actively seeking new employment your linkedin profile should mirror your resume. Additionally if you have the email address of the person you are wanting to review your qualifications, you should ALWAYS package up your resume with the necessary information regarding your career search (location, perm/contract, salary desires, availability etc) and email them instead of using linkedin.
And finally, the following email that also happened to be in my inbox this morning, is the perfect example of how to make that initial contact:
I received your contact information from my friend Jane Doe. She felt you may be able to help me in my career search. I've attached my updated resume for your review. To summarize, I have 15 years of LIS full life cycle implementation experience which includes design, build, testing, training and on-going maintenance with both Cerner PathNet and Sunquest applications for large and small hospital systems. Additionally I have a clinical background as a Medical Technologist and Lab Assistant. I've been traveling for the last 5 years as a consultant and I'm hoping to get off the road and find a permanent role here in the Philadelphia area. Remote work would be ideal. I may be open to relocation for the right position. My salary desires are negotiable but I probably wouldn't consider less than $80,000. I just rolled off my last project last week so I'm available anytime for a phone conversation to discuss my qualifications.
I look forward to speaking with you.
Thank you for your consideration.
The more thorough you can be, the more likely you are to get what you're looking for. A recruiter can never have too much information on your skillset and career objectives. Providing an up to date resume and a clear overview of your objectives will also save you time since you wont be receiving calls about positions you would have no interest in.
Taking the extra few minutes to update and attach your resume and make the appropriate introduction will keep you on track for finding what you're looking for and save everyone valuable time in the process.