Dear Recruiter:

The title of the e-mail alone conveys a message that someone did not do their homework. Job seekers need to spend the time to understand their audience before pressing the send button on an e-mail to ask someone to help them find a job. I mean, c’mon “Dear Recruiter” – are you kidding me? Be a little more creative than that! Direct snail-mail has a higher open rate!

I recently attended our SRA Fall seminar in Atlanta where we always have good outside speakers that provide a wealth of content to search practitioners including social media, candidate sourcing and yes… the use of e-mail. I was surprised in some ways by the content one of the speakers covered on hand – and then it all started to make sense. He spoke about the use of e-mail and how humans make a split second decision to read or not read an e-mail based solely on the subject line. We’re talking a split second here people. The same goes for letters sent to recruiters in my humble opinion. Do your research before using a shotgun approach of sending an e-mail blast to hundreds of people you don’t know. I’m only guessing the rate of return for half baked e-mail efforts is less than desired.

In the search business (like many businesses) time is money – and (I’m not trying to be rude here) but…I for one – don’t have the time to sort thru and answer every single e-mail I receive. The timeline from when I go to sleep at night until I log on to my laptop the next morning – somewhere between 25-50 new messages are in my Inbox (before my first cup of coffee). If I answered each and every message I would absolutely NEVER get anything done. NEVER!

Dear Recruiter does not work for me just like Dear Job Hunter probably gets less airplay from someone looking for their next opportunity. So… the next time you are tempted to send out an e-mail blast with a Dear Mr Recruiter title – don’t. In all likelihood very few people (if any) will be reading your message. Instead, do your research and pick up the phone and call someone and leave a message who you believe can help you. They may not be able to return your call right away but you can be assured by reaching out to them by phone you will have a much better chance of communicating with someone then by sending your (less than personal) Dear Recruiter e-mail.

I’m just sayin’.

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.


  • Dear Blogger – I appreciate your insights and always learn from your posts.
    Yours Truly, Career Coach

    It’s is unbelievable to me how this still happens. I received two resumes this week with ABSOLUTELY nothing in the message, just an attached resume!

  • The Professional Recruiter can manage his time to get all the information from both (Mails or Phones).
    the Subject , Mail Containing and Cover letter will be important and make the diffrence.
    so with my respect,,, you are so wrong.

  • HELP, I am Mandy and I have been a nurse for 14 years. During those 14 years I have been a very hands on nurse with a lot of clinical experience under my belt. Of recent the Internal Medicine practice I work with purchased Allscripts EHR / PM system. During the implementation of this system our trainer was here for 3 days, and that was it. She returned in 3 months I think to do some follow up training, nothing that was helpful. So many of my co-workers were left in the dark. So much so we had to utilize our nurses as “scribes” and “coders” to help meet meaningful use. We had to hire RMT (registered medical techs) and CNA’s to check our patients in, meanwhile our nurses (myself included) was pulled from the floor to go in the rooms with the doctors in order to do their “scribing” for them. During this time I found that I had an ability to learn the Allscripts program very fast, with ease and am still teaching others how to use different aspects of the program (I have also worked with E-Clinical’s EHR also). Some of the FNP’s here tell me that I should peruse a career in healthcare IT, but I have no clue where to start or what questions to ask. I have always worked on computers here and there on the side and even started college in the information technology program, but my heart was showing compassion and so I switched to Nursing. I have hobbies of video editing and digital photography. So I am very versed with a computer to say the least.
    Now our office has been bought by the local hospital due mainly to our staffing overhead, we cannot remain a private practice and pay the bills anymore. Buying the EMR system was costly and more staff had to be hired, but we are not seeing an increase in the amount of patients we see, therefore we lost profit.
    The physician that I work for was not offered a contract and in the coming weeks I may be out of a Job. I am a very knowledgeable person who works very hard and wants to be the best at what ever the task at hand. I am knowledgeable with ICD-9 coding, procedure coding and Medicare requirements for both. I can build templates in the Allscripts system with ease and make my way around the program with troubleshooting issue’s with little frustration and most of the time a resolution is found. I do all this within the contents of my own job as a nurse. So can you please offer some advise as to where I start. I need to continue brining in an income. I cant go back to school for an IT degree now. How can I merge my clinical, coding and computer capabilities with my local hospital’s IT department. How do I explain to them that I have talents in the “healthcare IT” area. The to closet hospitals both have EMR’s one use’s Allscripts and the other E-Clinical. Both of which I have used.
    Any Advise would be appreciated

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