Interview: Things Recruiters Love + Hate

Nothing beats hearing it from the horse's mouth.  Five recruiters and headhunters share some of the things you do in emails that they love and hate.


E-mails that clearly feature your title, level, current gig, link, referral (if applicable), and whether you're into freelance, full-time, or both, and your breadth of experience. – Kati

When you inject a dose of personality into your email. So I can get a feel for who you are as a person. – Cecilia

Tell me how you came across my name: did someone refer you to me, Linked In, Twitter, etc.?  - Laura

Always make sure to leave full contact information including all links to portfolios. – Kimberly

Simplicity of navigating sites – Lori

When they send me a follow up link with updated work 6 months to a year later. I may not have had a job then, but I might in the future. – Cecilia


When you ramble. 6 paragraphs are 4 too many. – Cecelia

Unfinished portfolios: if you can't coordinate your own book, my agency will have a difficult time hiring you and I will have a hard time placing you.  – Laura

Long-winded explanations of each piece of work. – Lori

There is nothing worse than a glaring typo. Check everything (spec copy, name of the person you're emailing, company names, etc). Typos are a reflection of your own attention to detail.  – Kimberly

People who are lazy email communicators, who type 'r' instead of 'are,' 'ur' for you're & your.  Please email me like I am a colleague, not your drinking buddy.  – Laura

Overkill on the follow-up; recruiters can definitely use follow-up e-mails, but please give us a couple days to respond before trying again. – Kati

There you have it. Be nice, be concise, be buttoned up and be patient.

See more email tips The Art of Emailing and Email Dos & Don'ts

Happy emailing!

Special thanks to my wonderful and informative interviewees:
Cecilia Gormam: VP, Director of Creative Services, Y&R/Wunderman Irvine & Owner, Creative Career Management 
Kati Llewellyn: Associate Creative Recruiter, Draftfcb Chicago
Kimberly Easley: VP, Director of Creative Resources/Recruiting, Publicis Modem NY
Laura Bonetti: Creative Recruiter, Kay & Black NY