How to Best Respond to Online Recruiters

by Tim Nelson

When seeking employment, online career management sites such as LinkedIn and other networks can be helpful in many ways. They offer a large network of contacts that may have leads for employment opportunities or help you find the best online recruiters for your particular field of expertise. Technology has significantly changed the way that job recruiters seek highly qualified candidates to fill positions, especially positions that are difficult to fill, require extensive experience or specialized degrees.

Online recruiting generally benefits the employer, as the employer is able to engage only those candidates who meet specific requirements as set by the company. If you are approached by an online recruiter, here are some steps to help you best respond to their inquiry and achieve your desired results.

Determine What the Recruiter Wants

In some cases, the recruiter simply wants to gather information from you in a sort of screening process to see if you meet their requirements for the next steps in the recruitment process. The recruiter may ask you for information such as your resume or curriculum vitae or ask that you complete an online test, survey or assessment of your personality type. The recruiter may also ask you to complete an online job application for the company after he has seen your resume or you have completed the other assessments or surveys.

When a recruiter approaches you with this type of request, you have the right to question what will be done with the material, which position they are recruiting for and to see the position description. You do not need to provide the requested information if you feel uncomfortable about doing so or if you have no interest in that particular job or company. If you decline the recruiter's request to provide information, be polite in doing so and explain your reasoning with a neutral answer, such as you are seeking a different type of position other than the one listed with the recruiter.

What to Expect

After providing initial information to an online recruiter, expect to hear back from the recruiter within one to two weeks. The recruiter may request that you take a test specific to the position which the company is trying to fill or may ask you for personal and professional references. Some recruiters may request that you provide certified copies of your college transcripts so that the company can verify you hold the degree that you claim to have earned.

Always be polite and prompt in your messages to the recruiter. Never use "text-speak", slang or any offensive language in your communications, as word travels widely in the online recruiting field. The next step in the recruiting process usually involves an in-person meeting or interview with the hiring manager.


Many recruiters send requests to hundreds or thousands of job applicants in a sort of spam method trying to capture as many job applicants as possible. Any recruiter that asks for a fee should be ignored or even reported to your state's legal authority that investigates such matters. Never provide your personal information such as bank accounts, credit card numbers or social security numbers to an online recruiter.

This post was written by Tim Nelson

Tim Nelson operates MAP in Houston-a career management firm. Tim helps others in their career by using his career knowledge about the corporate world. You can find him on his Twitter and Google+.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Arnold Concini June 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hello. fantastic job. I did not imagine this. This is a excellent story. Thanks!


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