The answer to this question depends upon what type of recruiter you are working with.  Now before I launch into my answer, let me explain two different types of recruiters you may run into.

Corporate Recruiters work within an organization and represent many different hiring managers and departments.  There are times where an organization may have specialty recruiters that focus on a particular discipline and other times where one general recruiter focuses on all jobs for the company.  Specialties might include finance, production, IT and/or engineering.  Other times, you might see one general recruiter that focuses on all jobs for the company.

Agency Recruiters, aka 3rd party recruiters, represent multiple organizations.  They typically specialize in an industry and on a particular type of hiring such as temporary, temp to hire and/or direct hire.  Industry specialties are typically broken up into office/administrative, IT & engineering, finance, legal and medical & science.

Agency Recruiters need bullet points

In going back to my original question, I think that it is more important to send your cover letter to a Corporate Recruiter than it is to send it to an Agency one.  Agency Recruiters typically don’t have time to read both a cover letter and a resume.  They need quick answers and easy to find information.  It is much better to send them an email with a few key points such as:

  • What you are looking for salary wise (give them a range)
  • If you are willing to relocate
  • Where you want to work/commute to
  • Type of work, such as contract work or direct hire

This gives them all the information they need to quickly match you to any open positions they may have in their system.  Of course they will need to have additional conversations with you in order to determine your fit, but since they are under the gun, bullet points are the key.

Corporate Recruiters have time for the full package

Corporate Recruiters have less competition to fill positions than Agency Recruiters.  They also know their corporate culture inside and out.  This gives them an edge.  Not only do they have more time to look over the full package you send them, but they can also typically submit your cover letter with your resume to a hiring manager whereas an Agency Recruiter cannot.

Either way, you should remember to keep it simple and make it easy for all recruiters to gather information from your application!

What are your thoughts?  Have you had better success with one type of recruiter over the other?