How To Write Killer Recruiting Emails in 5 Steps

March 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM by William Clarke


Effective writing is an underrated aspect of recruiting. We constantly discuss the ins and outs of finding talent, but the outcomes of your outreach will depend in large part on your ability to communicate with candidates. All the strategic sourcing in the world won’t get candidates to respond to badly written, poorly conceived emails.

You don’t have to be the world’s best writer. You just have to remember these few things: Concise is better; personalize as much as you can; don’t tell candidates all the details in the first message; talk like a real person.

This is how that all looks in action.

First: Don’t skimp on a compelling subjective line. Keep it concise and to the point.

The question you’re answering: Why should I read this email?

Cory, Leadership Opportunity at Fast Growing Company

Second: Introduce yourself, give context, and make it personal. The who, why and what.

The question you’re answering: Who are you and why are you reaching out to me?

Hey Cory,

A colleague of mine saw your work on _____ and recommended you as someone I should reach out to. I’m part of the team at ____ and we’re on the lookout for smart, talented people who might be interested in building out our ____ team. 

Third: Include background intel about the company. 

The question you’re answering: What sets you apart?

If you’re not familiar with us, we’re a company of around _____ people founded in ____. Our focus is on making the _____ industry more efficient . We’ve launched ____ products and our customers include  [name two or three familiar companies here], just to name a few.

Fourth: Show off your special culture. Content and recent news helps paint the picture.

The question you’re answering: What’s important to your company’s people?

Our blog offers a great, behind the scenes look at how we operate. Here’s a post that gives you a look at our approach to team building:

Fifth: Propose next steps and thank them for their time. Politeness never hurts.

The question you’re answering: How can I learn more?

If you're open to it, I'd love to connect and share some more information about what we're up to. Would you be free to chat in the coming week?


People are all motivated by just a few straightforward desires: personal growth, self-fulfillment, and realizing their potential. Your message needs to appeal to them on those levels by showing them that you’re someone who can help them attain their goals. The better you do that, the most likely it is that they’ll want to hear more. And always remember to send follow-up emails!   

Have your own go-to pitch email tips? Share them in the comments or, even better, show us some of your best work!

Related articles:
How to Keep Candidate Outreach Personal At Scale
4 Cliches to Remove From Your Recruitment Messaging
5 Candidate Outreach Methods to Try this Week


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