How to Reply to a Recruiter (The Right Way) | Zipjob

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how ZipJobs uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

The job search process is always challenging, but there are few things more difficult than the second-guessing that we all go through at various stages of the process. Did you properly customize your resume to appeal to that hiring manager? Did you answer those interview questions properly? These are all areas that can have us wondering whether we might have made a fatal mistake that could cost us the job. One area in which most people struggle involves knowing how to reply to a recruiter.

The fact is that, aside from contacting you to let you know that you have been selected for the position, there are relatively few reasons that a recruiter would contact you. As a result, you should be able to properly prepare for those contacts and provide a prompt and confident response to any email you receive. Here are four possible responses, and the proper way to deal with them.

If you’re looking for information on locating recruiters, check out our post on how to find and email a recruiter here.

Replying to a Recruiter

How to respond to a recruiter (correctly)

1. Are you available for a phone interview?

This question might not seem like it would throw you for a loop, but you’d be surprised how many people get caught up searching for just the right words to use in their reply. Look, if they want to talk to you on a scheduled call, chances are that you’re still in the running for the job. Keep your response simple and to the point.

For example:

“I’d love to speak with you, and appreciate the opportunity. Please be sure to let me know if there’s more information that I can provide between now and then.”

If they ask for times that you’ll be available, just include a quick line that provides those details. Yes, it sounds simple–but that’s really all that you need!

2. When would you available for another interview?

Don’t be alarmed if you’re asked to come in for a second interview. This is a requirement for some companies that use tiered interviewing processes.

Just reply with something short and sweet:

“I look forward to the opportunity to meet with your team. I’m available (insert the best days and times). Please let me know which time works for you, and if there’s anything else that you need from me between now and then.”

These days, many recruiters use tools to schedule interviews. If you schedule something through a link they provide, it’s still polite to send an email noting the time you have selected.

3. Do you have time for a chat?

This question is usually not the prelude to a formal interview on the phone, and could be indicative of just about anything. That uncertainty could make you anxious, but that’s wasted emotion.

The fact is that the company might want another interview, could have questions about your resume, or may simply want to hand down its decision on your application.

Regardless, your response should be simple:

“I appreciate you following up on our earlier contact. I’m available to talk (insert the best time), so if that works for you then let me know. Otherwise, I’m open to meet your scheduling needs. “

This response shows that you’re flexible, open, and accommodating–not anxious or desperate!

4. We’d like you to resend your resume to us.

This message might raise an eyebrow when you receive it, but there’s no need for panic or concern. There are any number of reasons why your resume might get lost or damaged. Technological systems can be unreliable, and even traditional filing systems don’t always provide the results we want.

Your electronic resume may have been accidentally deleted. Paper copies may have been misplaced. Whatever the reason, just resend it with a short message:

“Thanks for contacting me again. I’m attaching a copy of my resume with this email. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to send other materials as well.”

Remember that your resume should be both optimized for an ATS and written to highlight your accomplishments rather than duties. That way, it will pass the computer scan and appeal to an employer.


Before you become paralyzed with anxiety about how to respond to any of these requests, keep one thing in mind: every single one of these contacts represents an opportunity to reinforce that positive first impression you’ve made with the company’s hiring personnel.

Most of them provide an additional opportunity to continue your conversation with the company’s representatives, and they can all indicate that you’re still being considered for the job.

With those things in mind, try to maintain your optimistic outlook and simply respond in the most straightforward manner possible. Above all else, respond promptly. Don’t worry that an immediate response might be seen as a sign of desperation.

Quickly respond with the requested details, thank the recruiter for the contact, and then wait for the next reply. Once you learn how to reply to a recruiter in a simple and clear way, you’ll wonder why these types of contact ever made you nervous in the past.

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An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how ZipJobs uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

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