Skip to content
Log in
Get hired remotely, Using Handshake

How to wow recruiters that message you

Four tips for responding to a recruiter’s message on Handshake and making employers want to hire you.

One of the biggest benefits of having a Handshake profile is getting messages directly from recruiters who think you could be a good fit for their jobs! Last year, employers sent more than 16 million messages to students on Handshake.

Most often, recruiters will send messages to invite you to RSVP for an upcoming career fair or event, to apply for a job or internship, or to help you learn more about their company. They may even connect you with an alum from your school that works at the company.

Chatting with a recruiter is a great way to learn about new jobs and events, and it helps you make a personal connection to the companies you want to work for. Here are some tips for replying to recruiters that message you on Handshake.

Learn more

You’ll want to do a little research about the company before you respond to the message. Start by visiting their employer page on Handshake. You’ll find profiles of other students that have worked there, along with reviews, Q&As, and an inside look at interviews when available. If you’d like more information, you can reach out to any student with a blue Message button at the top of their profile.

If you’d like to dig a little deeper, go through their company website and look for indicators that they have the qualities you’re looking for. Whether it’s employee benefits, values that you like, or sustainability initiatives—this information will also help you think of questions you can ask during an event or potential interview. Lastly, do a quick online search to find any recent news articles or press releases, so you have the most up-to-date company information.

Respond quickly and thoughtfully

When you get a message from a recruiter, make sure to reply as soon as you can. Responding within one or two days shows your interest in the opportunity and your enthusiasm about finding the right job or internship. Start by thanking them for reaching out and sharing the event, job, or information. Express your excitement for learning more about the opportunity. And end your message by letting them know that you plan to follow up on their suggestion by RSVPing to the event, applying for the job, etc.

What if the job or internship isn’t a good fit for you? You should still respond to the recruiter’s message—especially if you are interested in other opportunities at the company. The recruiter saw something in your profile that they liked, so communicating with them will keep you top of mind when more opportunities become available.

You could say something like, “Thank you for thinking of me for this role. Although it sounds like a great opportunity, it isn’t what I’m looking for at this time. However, I am interested in other opportunities with your company that may be a better fit.” And then share briefly the kinds of roles that you are seeking.

Even if they don’t have anything now, you never know what will be available in a few weeks or months.

Tip: Download the Handshake app in the App Store or Google Play, so you can be notified when a recruiter messages you.

Take action

Be sure to follow through with any action you told the recruiter you were taking. Sign up for that event or send in your application for the job or internship! You can easily apply to many jobs on Handshake with Quick Apply. If you need to create a cover letter and update your resume, check out these resources that can help you.

And consider following the employer on Handshake by clicking the Follow button on the top right-hand corner of their page. This way, you’ll be the first to know when they post new jobs.

Follow up

Finally, send a message to share your progress with the recruiter. If you attended the event they recommended, send a message sharing something you enjoyed or learned during the event. If you applied for a job or internship, let them know and share your excitement about the opportunity.

End your message with an optimistic note about any next steps. Whether it’s chatting with another employee, applying to an upcoming opportunity, or potentially interviewing for the job you just applied for. And don’t forget to thank them again for reaching out to you.

Log into Handshake and head to your Messages dashboard to get started.

Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.