My answer probably isn’t what you expect.

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When is the best time and day to email a resume and cover letter to a recruiter?

That is the question for today. Let me start off by asking, why are you sending it to recruiter? Why not just try to find the hiring manager?

The hiring managers the actual decision-maker who's going to make the choice about whether or not you're actually going to be interviewed. Some recruiters may do that so why not go directly to the hiring manager? That's point number 1.

Point number 2 is, "But I can't find the hiring manager!" has some tips about how to do that.

3rd. If you insist upon sending it to the recruiter, I saw one opinion it's a Tuesday through Thursday night from 9 PM or later. Why? The opinion is because it is waiting in the inbox for the recruiter to say 1st thing in the morning when he or she walks in.

Maybe a sense of what happens from a recruiters perspective. This is a corporate recruiter for more well-known firm who spoke at an organization. They are well known, well regarded, well-liked, and I don't know what her day is like, but that 9 o'clock, email is pretty well buried in my inbox when I walked in the door.

I'm getting stuff sent to me all night long from people who are trying to get my attention. If there is someone sending it to me at 9 PM, is also summing sending it to me at 1 o'clock in the morning. At 2 o'clock in the morning. At 3 AM. At 4 AM. At 3:05 AM. At 3:07 AM. On and on and on until the next morning.

It is my suggestion. Instead of playing that game of being the 1st 1 in the inbox to be noticed, consider conceding that time because, in my case, let's say there are 50 messages I walk into on a Tuesday morning (it's actually more than that) or a Wednesday morning, I will start off with the top few of them and the one sent to me at 6 PM the night before… I won't see them right away. I'm not starting with the oldest 1 1st. I'm starting with the more recent 1 1st… I'm kind of working my way down.

Then new stuff comes in and I'm responding to, and then I'm going to the older stuff. Newer than older.

My thought is that instead of sending for a 9 AM arrival where we are playing that game, send it for a 10:30 AM or 11 AM arrival. Monday you could go later morning than that, like 11:30 AM, noon, or 12:30 PM arrival.

Or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… Do it then. Don't do it for 9 AM. Do it for later in the morning where people have a chance to get caught up on some things. Mondays may be hard because they do on boarding, or they may have 3 days worth of emails (Friday after close of business, Saturday, Sunday or early Monday morning). You don't want to be competing with all those.

My thought is late mornings are ideal. It could even be late morning early afternoon on Monday. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday – – mid-to-late morning. Friday, do not send it in the afternoon. You are better using Outlook to delay the send of your resume and cover letter. By using delay/send, your preventing yourself from being caught up in the weekend emails but so that it arrives on the following Monday.

I get calls from people on Friday at 5:30 PM as though I'm waiting around to have a detailed conversation with someone Friday at 5:30 PM or 6:30 PM or 7:30 PM! It's bizarre! Are you sitting around waiting for recruiters to call you? Why do you think I'm so excited to be talking to you at those times?

Again, think of what it's like to be the recipient of your contact. Pick times that are relevant (which is what I've been suggesting here) and work within those frameworks.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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