The Perfect Recruiting Email

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magnetizing You found the person you want to recruit. Maybe you found them on LinkedIn, maybe from your own database, maybe you found them through a trade magazine byline. Wherever you found them, you now have one important task: get their response and interest through a simple email.

Not everyone is receptive to random emails from strangers about open job opportunities (you may even hope they aren’t too interested!). Some professionals in hot fields may just get a high volume of such solicitations and others are often just too busy to even read through a long email from a recruiter.

So how do you quickly get the candidate’s interest and response? What makes for the perfect recruiting email? Here are some quick tips for writing great emails that attract candidate attention:

  1. Catchy Subject Line: A lot has been written about commercial email subject lines, but there is a lot less written about the semi-personal world of job recruiting emails. Some of the same rules apply. Make your subject line instantly connect with the individual – personalize and localize your message. For instance, you may get less response from “New job near NYC” than “Mike, quick note about a job in Bronxville.” Make your subject line specific and entirely crafted to the individual. Reference locations exactly near them, exact skills or projects from their profile, or someone in particular that gave you their name.
  2. Guess their Motivation: If you’re a recruiting pro, there is a good chance that you can guess a lot about a person just from their resume or social media profile. Are they climbing the corporate ladder and emphasize job titles on their resume? I’ll bet they would be motivated by including verbiage about the seniority and management focus of that open position you have. Do they work at an employer and team that you know works their employees to death with long hours? Emphasize the flexibility of your position or if they would work for a friendly management team, write that. Try to figure out what would make the candidate want your job – chances are it’s simple logistics like location, money, company environment, or management team.
  3. Portray your Competence: People get emailed all the time from recruiters that spend one second looking at their resume. They get emailed for the wrong jobs and even for positions that are in the wrong location. Make sure that you take special care to determine exactly what the candidate does, and only email them if you have a good match. Your communications should portray a competent recruiter that really took the time to understand their experience. Including simple, personal notes like “I saw you worked with SAP ABAP back at IBM and was wondering if you would like to again” do more than entice the candidate: they demonstrate your recruiting abilities and make the candidate comfortable.
  4. Highlight Connections: Do you have any personal or professional connection with the candidate you are trying to recruit? Have you recruited for one of the companies for which the candidate worked? Did you get their name from a reference? Did you have a friend at their college? Do you know some hiring managers from their current employer? Anything personal helps. Thoughtful notes like “BTW, I see you studied math at Tufts, I spent a summer there myself and know how hard you must have worked” go a long way with people. Optimally, a recruiting email should be less like a commercial email and more like a note from a friend about a great job they heard about.

Recruiters, have any secret email tips that you don’t want to keep secret? What’s worked well for you? We’d love to hear in the comments.

By Marie Larsen