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Help! Why won’t recruiters reply to me?

Problem: Help! I'm contacting recruiters but not getting any response! What should I do?

Solution: You are clearly missing something in the application process - let's try and figure out what it is!


Action #1

I'm contacting lots of recruiters via LinkedIn and Facebook but not getting any interest


  • you are not personalising your contact to the recruiter eg. using their name

  • you are just spamming them with bullet points of your experience

  • you are just sending them your resume and asking them "can you get me a job?"


Recruiters are real people too. They are trying to locate the BEST teachers to place in jobs. If they work for an agency (not a school) they most likely work on commission, so they have a VESTED INTEREST in placing candidates (because that's how they get paid; place more candidates = make more money). Recruiters also have a vested interest in placing the RIGHT CANDIDATE in the job (not just anyone who applies). If the candidate leaves within a certain time frame they will need to replace them or refund the fee to the school. If the candidate leaves and they have to replace them it creates more work and the school probably won't be happy. Selecting a shortlist of the RIGHT CANDIDATES and presenting them to the school takes a lot of time and effort. Pre-screening, long-listing, interviewing, assessing, short-listing, reference-checking all takes time and energy. Recruiters are VERY UNLIKELY to even be interested in candidates who can't even be bothered to personalise an email or message by using their name.

So this exact situation occurred when I received a message on LinkedIn last night. A teacher (with quite good IB experience) sent me a message essentially just spamming me with their qualifications, and asking for a job. I explained that I was not a recruiter but a career coach and offered advice that they should work on their approach if they wished to be successful in a teaching role. The response from them was "You're not a recruiter so don't give me recruitment advice!".

I was a bit shocked because a) this person contacted me, not the other way around; b) if they didn't want advice, why were they contacting me; and also c) if they had bothered to read my profile, they would have realised that I have experience both agency and client side as a recruiter, am an IB teacher myself, and also am a Masters qualified career coach. I have over 24k connections on LinkedIn and many of them are recruiters. I often connect candidates directly with recruiters if I know they have a certain skill set or I know that they might be able to help each other. My business is not about recruitment. I don't make any money by placing people in jobs. I DO help people refine their skills, experience and approach so they are able to communicate this to schools in the most positive way that GETS THEM HIRED.

Anyway, I was curious about this because these teachers are applying for jobs in INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS. If you are applying for jobs in international schools then you should have some understanding of what is, and what is not, appropriate for the application and recruiting process (oh, and also just use basic manners).

SO... the solution:

WHEN you contact a recruiter directly:

  • READ THEIR PROFILE (seriously!)

  • PERSONALISE your email to the recruiter - USE THEIR NAME

  • DON'T list all your skills in bullet points and then ask "can you get me a job?"

  • BUILD a relationship with the recruiter, introduce yourself first, explain your position, what you are looking for

  • REMEMBER that the recruiter is a REAL PERSON

  • FIND SOMETHING INTERESTING to talk about with the recruiter (so they know you are not just spamming your details to all recruiters) eg. I read your comment on... / I read your article in....  / I saw that you are interested in.... (this makes you sound like a real person who is interested in building a relationship with the recruiter)

  • Talk about your dream school/ teaching role and WHY you want to work there/ in that role

  • Attach your resume in pdf at the bottom of the email/ message

  • ASK THEM what opportunities they might have coming up which possibly could be suitable

Recruiters deal with hundreds if not thousands of candidates and they are not bothered to deal with people who are rude to them or can't be bothered to make an effort. If you choose to spam your details to recruiters you are heading straight for DELETION. When I was a recruiter I never bothered to even respond to these people because I don't want to work with them. They are time wasters. I am sure recruiters today don't want to work with them either.

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