What to Do When a Recruiter Calls about a Marketing Job

You’re probably aware of what recruiters are and the role they fill in the business world. But many people don’t know what to do when they’re approached out of the blue by someone offering a job opportunity.

It’s easy to be caught off guard by a recruiter call, especially if it’s your first one. Getting a response after you’ve applied to a job is one thing—but being contacted when you’re not even looking for work is entirely different.

But it pays to be prepared and respond positively. First impressions matter, and your initial reaction could influence whether you’re considered for a sweet new marketing gig or overlooked. This becomes more important the further into your career you goo—many marketing executive searches are filled not via job applications but by proactive recruitment.

When a marketing recruiter or executive search specialist reaches out, do this to make the most of it.

Pick up the Phone!

Or respond to the email. Or follow up on the voicemail. Or get back on that LinkedIn inquiry. Whatever.

The important thing is; when a recruiter engages you, it’s worth you time to hear what they have to say.

Remember, it never hurts to at least learn about a new opportunity. Even if you’re already happy with your current position, you never know when an even better, higher paying role could come along.

Make Sure They’re Legit

Unfortunately, you can’t put complete trust in everyone who calls you out of the blue offering you a job. Some might be scams or Multi-Level-Marketing schemes you’ll typically want to avoid.

At best, these ‘recruiters’ waste your precious time until you realize they’re not trustworthy. At worst, they can take advantage of you.

If you’re ever even remotely suspicious, there’s never anything wrong with looking into the recruiter and the business they work with. Feel free to ask for time that you can use to look up their presence online and research their reputation.

Trust your gut. If the recruiter you’re speaking with dodges simple questions or demands more than you’re comfortable giving, simply tell them you’re not interested or cease communications.

Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

If you have a potential job opportunity coming up, you’ll need to present yourself in the most positive and accurate way possible. Once you’ve expressed interest, the recruiter will probably follow up soon asking for your resume and a connection on LinkedIn. Make sure they like what they see!

Be Honest

You might be tempted to exaggerate your accomplishments and experience to sound more qualified for the role than you really are. Or if you’re asked for information you don’t want to disclose, you might feel pulled to give false information. I highly recommend against either.

If you’re pulled further into the recruitment process, odds are good the truth will come out eventually. You’ll be asked about your experience during the interview, and any recruiter worth their salt will perform background and references to verify your claims.

Some sensitive topics might come up, like your salary or work history. If you trust the recruiter, I generally recommend being open and honest with them. If you’re less confident in the person you’re speaking with, you can decline to answer until later. Whatever you do, don’t be deceitful—I’ve seen that come back to bite promising candidates too many times when the truth inevitably comes out further down the hiring funnel.


Still confused about how the recruitment process works for advanced marketing professionals? I just completed a comprehensive guide that explains the entire process from beginning to end. Check it out here!