How Recruiters Treat the Resume You Send


Wondering what happens to your resume when you e-mail it to an executive recruiter as part of a job search campaign?

Contrary to long-standing conventional wisdom, many recruiters are actually more receptive to receiving unsolicited resumes than used to be the case, and they do generate some good responses. Most will at least give your message a quick look and decide whether it holds potential immediate interest for them or at least may be something they’ll want to keep in their files for possible future reference. Of course, there are still many who will ignore any resume received in this manner, preferring to source their candidates through networking or their own research.

ExecuNet’s 15th Annual Job Market Intelligence Report offers the following statistics showing the shift in recruiter attitudes in the past 15 years:


Selectively Respond: 45%/75%
Answer All: 24%/8%
Do Not Respond: 21%/3%
Other (such as postcard) 10%/15%

You can see that a large proportion do selectively respond, which tells me that (1) You want to make sure your e-mail message and resume are attention-getters, (2) Since most do at least briefly review the resume, lack of an immediate response does not mean all is lost–yours may be in the reserve-for-future-consideration pile, (3) It is to your advantage to actively network with recruiters when you DON’T need them for your own job search, so your name will be familiar and your resume welcome when you send it.