If you haven’t read a candidate’s resume, you shouldn’t be messaging a candidate. A common complaint from cleared candidates is that recruiters will message them with a job opportunity without reviewing if the candidate would actually be a decent fit. One recent thread pointed out that a recruiter seemed super connected and interested in the first message, but after they responded, it was clear they hadn’t done their homework or had amnesia.

Your recruiting team may have done some thoughtful data analysis and found that it usually takes 50 cold messages to candidates to get a response from three candidates. While numbers are important, they aren’t necessarily everything to building a meaningful connection or relationship with a potential hire – especially in a market today when candidates have the ability to be picky about their next employer.

Besides, referrals are actually one of the quickest ways to staff programs.

“They are just trying to fill a quota with copy and paste messages in hopes of getting a catch. I get these all the time,” one candidate complains on the thread from above. Some recruiters do their Boolean searches and bulk message candidates because they have message send parameters from their supervisors or are trying to save time by doing monotonous tasks quickly…and end up being done sloppily.

Once a candidate finally does respond back to your boilerplate message, some recruiters will schedule a phone call, and others will ask what experience they bring to the table having not reviewed their background in the first place.

This will immediately turn a candidate off from furthering the conversation about your opening. One candidate notes, “If a recruiter didn’t even look at my profile, then I won’t even respond.”

Though it takes time, recruiters should not trust a blanket Boolean search and should review every resume before they reach out to a candidate.

That’s not to say that recruiters might be looking at hundreds of profiles and just don’t recall your experience or immediately remember your name – however, your inclination may be to respond quickly to that cleared candidate, but take your time, review their experience, and concoct a thoughtful message back to the candidate to continue the process of building a meaningful connection.



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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸