Why A Headhunter Contacts You, And What You Should Do Next

When a recruiter contacts you, it means you have expertise in a field that they’re interested in. 

Dan Martineau, president of Martineau Recruiting Technology—which specialises in IT executive positions with salaries of $85,000 to $200,000—says that when he contacts an individual, it can be because someone has referred them, he’s read about them, or wants to learn more about a particular market that they’re in. 

When a recruiter does contact you, Martineau says you should sound eager, but not desperate. 

“Desperate is problematic. Eager is not. I want people who are eager and excited,” Martineau told us. “It’s only a good investment on my end if it’s a good investment on your end.”

If you are interested after the initial contact, it takes some time to form a relationship between the recruiter and yourself. Most of the time, they are trying to fill a specialised position so there’s some research involved in trying to figure out if you fit the role.

To get a better understanding of what’s a legitimate contact from a recruiter and what isn’t, we included some examples that our team at Business Insider has received. Below are both good and bad examples:


This email seems like an appropriate way for a recruiter to make initial contact:

recruiter email

Photo: Business Insider


This email is an example of something you should probably disregard because no legitimate recruiter would write this:

recruiter email

Photo: Business Insider

Now read 8 mind games that recruiters play during interviews> 

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