Skip to main content

The Ultimate Guide To Creating Amazing Recruiting Email

July 02, 2019

Email is more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in reaching individuals. This is a powerful statistic in talent acquisition. Receiving a text or a call from a complete stranger with a job offer can come across as intense, invasive, or spammy. This doesn’t mean that recruiting emails won’t come off as spammy. But we do know that emails are generally perceived as more formal, official, and appropriate. This alone makes it the ideal way to communicate something as important as a career move.

Email remains the lifeline of recruitment and recruiting email templates will continue to be a powerful tool. Whatever you do, you still need to send messages in the form of emails to communicate with candidates.

As important as email is, many recruiters still struggle to produce quality recruiting emails. In fact, we often see recruiters being publicly shamed for their cringe-worthy compositions.

You’re busy. You have at least a twenty interviews to schedule in the next two days, and maybe you’re even trying to organize your first employer branding video shoot. We get it. But don’t let your recruiting emails go by the wayside and don’t neglect your recruiting email templates. We all know that first impressions last, so make your email outreach count.

Rules for a great recruitment email

Tone of voice: is it appropriate for your target candidate? You should be communicating with recent grads differently than executive candidates. Tailor your tone of voice for your audience. This can mean changing your salutation (“Hi!”/ “Hello”/ “Dear”), length of your sentences, use of slang or casual terms, and even the use of emojis.

Personalization: A little personalization goes a long way. Make sure that even if you’re using templated emails that you customize them appropriately, including the candidate’s name, referencing your previous contact, or even mentioning specific skills or experience they have.

Frequency: When was the last time you contacted that candidate? It’s important to keep frequency in mind. Too frequent or not frequent enough emailing can lead to poor candidate experience. Make sure you follow up with candidates in a timely way and don’t bother them with too many emails.

Conciseness: Keep your emails short and to the point while making sure you’re communicating all the necessary information. Make sure there is a clear action point at the end of the email so the candidate knows what they need to do to contact you.

If you follow these principles when writing, you’ll have highly effective recruitment email templates in no time!

Subject line

The subject line could well be the most important part of your message. If it doesn’t cut the mustard, the beautiful flowing prose that you’ve written will never actually get read!

There are a few major trends recruiting emails that may get opened.

1. Keep it personal

The subject line is your first opportunity to stand out from competitors and show candidate’s that you’ve done a little research and that you’re genuinely interested in talking to them.

The easiest way to do this is a  little personalisation. Simply mentioning the candidate’s name will increase your open rate by as much as 26%. You don’t just have to stop there, though, we’ve found it’s particularly effective to reference something like education in your email subject lines. A subject line formula that found particularly effective is:

“Candidate Name: From [University or College] to [Company]”

This kind of subject line works particularly well because it shows that you’ve taken the time to research their education.

2. Highlight a mutual connection

If you have any friends in common, don’t wait until the main body of the message to highlight them.Mentioning a mutual connection in your subject line will increase your chance of getting a response.The reason for this is simple. The candidate may not have heard of you, but by mentioning a friend, colleague or acquaintance in the email subject line you’re providing an endorsement of trust and giving them a reason to speak to you.

3. Keep it short and sweet

When you’re writing your subject line you need to make sure candidates know exactly what your message at a glance. You need to state exactly why the recipient should open the message in as few words as possible.

4. Create urgency

Humans are hardwired to put things off unless we think we might be missing out. If you want to encourage immediate action from your candidates you need to use your subject line to inspire the same sense of urgency. People have to feel like they might be missing out on something special.

Use simple email subject lines like: “Got time for a chat today?” or “Not accepting applications after today” to spur your candidates into action.

5. Ask a question

Whenever you sit down to write an email to a candidate you’ve never spoken to, there should be only one thing on your mind. How can I start a dialogue with this person?

The best recruiters know the value of building a relationship and starting a conversation with candidates before ‘selling’ their opportunity.

One of the best ways to start a dialogue is to include a question in your subject line. The question doesn’t have to be about a role you’re trying to fill.

In fact, asking a candidate a question about their work or a project that they were involved in is one of the best ways to kick things off. Try something like: Noticed you were part of some project, what was your motivation for getting involved, etc.

Advertise your Recruitment

Next, you’ll want to advertise your recruitment so you can begin reviewing applications and interviewing candidates. This process might look slightly different depending on whether you’re recruiting or hiring for a position.

Here are some examples:

Reach out to the candidate directly via LinkedIn or another job search website.

Recruit soon-to-be graduates from a college campus. For example, your company may host a networking event to meet and interview students on campus.

Connect with employee referrals. For example, your company might have an employee referral program in which they can introduce you to people they believe would be a great fit for a specific opportunity.

Advertise an opportunity on your company’s social media accounts. You can also add a link to your careers page or specific job description to your bio.

Writing the Body

The body gives you a chance to make a connection with the candidate before you ask them to do a certain action. A good body helps you warm up the candidate and make them interested in your offering. Don’t oversell in the body instead focus on creating value.

The first step of personalizing the email begins with writing the candidate’s name in the email. However, writing it more than 2 times has a negative effect. The second level of personalization is achieved by knowing the candidate and mentioning the same in the body. You can mention things like:Current Company, Skills, Interests, College they went to, Projects and Certifications

Most of this possible by doing some research before writing out the email or using a tool like Recruiterflow which extracts this data from the web and adds it to the email automatically.

You should always write short and sweet sentences. Try not to exceed 15 words in a sentence, lesser the better.

More than 66% of emails are opened on a mobile device. You need to make sure your emails are readable on them. People tend to spend less time per email on mobile devices. For instance, 40 percent of iPhone user spent 3 seconds or less on each email. You need to be on point and not write more than 3 paragraphs.


There are plenty of other factors at play when it comes to writing the perfect emails like Personalize, Be specific, Use the right keywords, Use bullets to break the monotony, Keep the tone conversational, Provide details when you can

Ultimately, though, none of them matter if you can’t get a candidate to ‘click’. If you have written anything wrong it’s over before it started.

More Articles from Our Blog

Global Team

Our teams consist of seasoned talent search consultants that operate on our expansive worldwide network. Our global reach extends throughout North America, United Kingdom and Europe.

Let's Talk