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How To Write a Good Recruitment Email

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Talia Knowles is an avid reader, writer, and coffee enthusiast, with over five years of experience in writing and editing.

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As a seasoned HR professional with over 20 years of experience, Keca is an expert in various aspects of Human Resources.

How To Write a Good Recruitment Email

How To Write a Good Recruitment Email

Most experiences of “cold calls” are negative. You’ll probably recall awkward phone silences and annoyed hang-ups no matter which side of the call you’ve experienced. 

Cold calls get their name from the fact that they involve contacting a stranger and convincing them to take time out of their day to listen to a pitch. The modern recruiter’s equivalent of the cold call? The cold email. 

Recruitment emails are a form of “cold” communication as they are often impersonal, unexpected, and sometimes feel like a waste of time for recipients. Therefore, “warming” up your recruitment emails can go a long way in getting the desired response.  

Researching a candidate allows you to bring a personal touch to your email, pique their interest with something relevant, and convince them to enter a conversation with you. 

What Is a Recruitment Email? 

Recruitment is a challenging and complex process, so many skilled recruiters utilize several different methods simultaneously.

This is the recruitment equivalent of not putting all your eggs in one basket — though job boards might yield all the talent you need, diversifying recruitment methods gives you the best chance of attracting top candidates. 

One of the methods recruiters use to get a candidate’s attention is a recruitment email.

Recruitment emails are typically the first contact between a recruiter and a candidate and express the organization’s interest in that person for a specific role.

The problem that often arises with recruitment emails is that they can feel like junk mail if they are not carefully written. 

Candidates with desirable, in-demand skills will likely receive several recruitment emails daily, so taking the extra time to make yours stand out is essential. 

Why Send Recruitment Emails?

When you think of the most cutting-edge recruitment strategies, emails may not be the first method that comes to mind. 

The rise of recruiting platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed makes it easy to find qualified candidates and reach out to them directly. Other forms of social media like Instagram or TikTok are better at creating more engaging content and selling your brand as an employer. 

But suppose you’re hoping to recruit someone who isn’t actively looking for a position. In that case, they’re probably unlikely to check their messages on a job posting platform or be convinced to change jobs by a funny video. 

Sending this type of candidate a personalized email is an excellent way to attract their attention and initiate a conversation that wouldn’t have taken place otherwise. 

Recruitment emails can also be a cost-effective way to promote job openings and reach a large audience. Compared to traditional job postings, which can be expensive, recruitment emails are often free or require only compensation for your recruiter’s time. 

Additionally, though emails aren’t quite as personal as an old-fashioned letter, they can demonstrate a higher level of intentionality and personal touch than possible in a shorter message on an alternative platform. 

Most people wouldn’t feel bad about ignoring a generic message on LinkedIn. However, if they realize that a recruiter spent time writing a personalized email, they might be more inclined to respond. 

Even if they’re not interested in a new position at the moment, a new relationship has been forged that could translate into an interview somewhere down the line.

Finally, keep in mind that not all emails need to be about recruitment. Sending content other than job opportunities can help keep passive candidates in the loop about what’s happening in your organization. 

How To Write a Good Recruitment Email

Steps on Writing a Good Recruitment Email

Now that we’ve established the usefulness of a quality recruitment email, let’s look into how to write one. The process begins with identifying a desirable candidate. 

In most cases, this person is already employed elsewhere, so it’s your job to convince them that your organization offers something even better without sounding gimmicky or insincere. Stumped? Let’s dive in. 

1. Identify Your Candidate

Select a candidate from your talent pool whom you wish to recruit. One of the most common ways to find potential candidates is through online job boards such as Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn. You can use keywords to search for resumes and profiles of people who have the skills and experience that you’re looking for.

Employee referrals can be another great way to find candidates already familiar with your company’s culture and values. You can ask your current employees to recommend qualified candidates or to share the job posting on their social media networks.

Using professional networking sites such as LinkedIn or Xing or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great way to broaden your search and identify talented candidates to email. 

2. Do Your Research

Before beginning to write a recruitment email, it is essential to spend some time researching the candidate. 

Of course, not everything about a potential recruit can be learned from the Internet. Still, general knowledge of their professional history will help you write a more convincing letter and demonstrate that you took the time to familiarize yourself with their background. 

Most recruiters will at least do the bare minimum — Googling a candidate and referencing their most impressive search result in their letter. However, the bare minimum won’t help your organization stand out if the candidate is in high demand. 

Dig deeper into the candidate’s professional background to better understand the trajectory of their career, their unique strengths, and what might be particularly appealing to them about your company. However, invading their privacy is not a good look, so keep your research professional. 

Instead, specific references to their professional experiences and skills will demonstrate that you genuinely believe they will be an asset to your company’s unique needs. Another tactic is to ask a clarifying question about their experience: if they respond, you’ve successfully initiated a conversation. 

3. Avoid Gimmicky Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing a candidate will see and sometimes is enough to convince them not to open your email. To avoid this, keep your subject line as concise as possible and avoid things like gimmicky language and overuse of exclamation points. 

The subject line is also a great place to call someone’s attention to a referral. If you found this candidate through a referral, a possible subject line is “Adam Jones suggested we contact you” or something similar that is specific and compelling. 

4. Maintain a Friendly and Respectful Tone

Now it’s time to start drafting your email. Be sure to maintain a friendly yet professional tone throughout your letter, as overly corporate language is sure to turn off many candidates. At the same time, a tone that is too familiar can come across as presumptuous or disrespectful. 

You’ll want to find the sweet spot between professionalism and casual friendliness, as veering too far to one side can discredit your message. For example, if you open an email and read “To whom it may concern,” you’ll quickly realize that you’ve received a mass email that is most likely irrelevant. 

On the other hand, imagine sending an email to someone named Robert. If it begins, “Hey Bobby,” they might be insulted by the overly familiar language — especially when written by a stranger who clearly wants something from them. 

These scenarios demonstrate why research on the candidate is so important. If you can specifically reference their experience, you bring a personal touch to a professional letter. This assures readers that you know who you’re writing to and value their time. 

5. Compliments

Some recruiters make the mistake of being overly complimentary in their emails — while demonstrating that you recognize their value is essential, most people have a good sense for when someone is insincere. 

Especially if your compliments aren’t rooted in their actual accomplishments, your email will sound generic and overly fluffed-up. For example, “I am impressed by your accomplishments in your field,” could be applied to anyone and doesn’t demonstrate familiarity with their professional history. 

Overly generic compliments can also raise a candidate’s suspicions that they are being scammed. Instead, stick to what you know about the candidate, and link your compliments to future possibilities for them at your company. 

6. Figure Out What They Want

Though providing context on your organization is helpful, don’t bog down your email with paragraphs about the ins and outs of your company. Remember, the candidate will be reading with the thought: why does this matter to me? 

Some recruiting emails spend far too much time selling the company rather than connecting with the candidate. Instead of explaining your growth in the last five years, focus on the candidate themselves.

Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. Someone you’ve never spoken to before has sent you an email and spent the first five paragraphs discussing how great some company is. 

Avoid this by remembering who you’re writing to. Though you can’t know exactly what the candidate wants until you begin a conversation, do your best to infer the aspects of your organization that would be attractive to someone in their position. 

For example, if they’ve been stuck at a certain level in their company, perhaps you can offer them a higher-ranking position. Or, if they’re experiencing burnout, perhaps your organization can support a healthier work-life balance. 

7. Keep It Short

At a time when everyone receives hundreds of spam emails a day, don’t waste time getting to the point. Remember the purpose of your email: to make a connection with a candidate and entice them to learn more about your organization. 

A short recruitment email is more likely to be clear and concise, making it easier for the recipient to understand the message you’re trying to convey. This can also help you avoid any misunderstandings or confusion and encourage them to respond to you directly for clarification. 

Additionally, many people check their emails on their mobile devices, and long emails can be difficult to read on a small screen. By keeping your recruitment email short and to the point, you increase the chances that the recipient will have a positive experience reading it on their phone. 

We also advise sending recruitment emails to yourself first, before sending them to candidates. This will allow you to check that your formatting looks good from the recipient’s side as well as ensure mobile accessibility. 

8. Make It Easy 

Even a very well-written email can fail to convert if you don’t make it easy for the candidate to respond. If you request too much from them, they may decide following up will be too time-consuming and let it go. 

Alternatively, if you express an interest in them but don’t outline clear next steps, you will probably experience the same result. 

To avoid these scenarios, include a call to action at the conclusion of your email. This could be an invitation to call or email you with questions or a chance to set up a meeting to discuss the opportunity. 

You can also make it easy for potential candidates to research your organization by hyperlinking to the company’s website in your email. Do the same with job descriptions and contact information, encouraging candidates to follow through now rather than set it on the back burner. 

9. Follow Up

Sometimes emails slip through the cracks during a busy week. So if you don’t get a response after a week or two, don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email.

This gives candidates a second chance to respond in case the first one passed them by. However, if someone doesn’t respond after you follow-up once, it’s important to take no for an answer— at least for now. 

If you pester candidates with repeated emails, they may be more likely to block you or unsubscribe, thus preventing any future communication.

Remember, you never know what’s going on in a candidate’s life beyond their professional ambitions. It’s possible that what was not feasible months ago is a great option for them the next year. Recruitment requires you to play the long game, so don’t be discouraged if your emails don’t yield immediate results. 

Things to Avoid in a Recruitment Email

Spelling Mistakes

Bad spelling is always a red flag. A recruitment email is often the first impression that a candidate has of your company and can have a significant impact on their decision to apply for the job. Spelling mistakes can make your email appear unprofessional and suggest a lack of attention to detail, making candidates feel disrespected or unimportant. 

Awkward Language and Tone 

Similar to spelling mistakes, awkward language and tone can discourage candidates from responding to a recruitment email. Messages that sound like they were auto-generated give the impression that the recruiter didn’t take the time to write the email themself. 

In that case, why should the candidate spend their time replying? Even if they do sound like they were written by a person, poorly written emails negatively impact your employer brand and often accomplish the opposite of what was intended. 

Impersonal Email Addresses

Before they even open the email, a candidate will notice your subject line and the sender’s email address. If you use an auto-generated email address, such as [email protected], most people’s scam senses will be activated. 

Even if your email is something like [email protected], without an actual name, candidates may not feel obligated to respond or even read what you have to say. Instead, use your own work email address to send recruiting emails. 

On the other hand, [email protected] gives impressions of both authority and personalization and will encourage candidates to open your email and read what you have to say. 

Repetitive Emails

Another common mistake is a lack of communication within your recruiting team. If two recruiters from the same company send a candidate duplicate emails, they may feel your organization is disorganized and inefficient. 

Make sure to coordinate within your recruiting department to ensure there is no accidental overlap and candidates don’t feel like their under email attack. 

Irrelevant Content

Even if you have a well-written email, if you share information that is irrelevant to the candidate, they’ll likely ignore you and experience frustration that you didn’t do your research and wasted their time. 

Examples of this situation include candidates who have drastically changed careers, candidates who live somewhere else and won’t relocate, and candidates whose experiences don’t match the job requirements. 

Obvious Templates

A template can be helpful to make sure you’ve hit all your selling points and included as much personalized information as possible. 

However, you’ll want to be careful to avoid giving the impression that you used a template, as this conveys a lack of attention and makes your email seem like part of a mass recruiting campaign rather than an individual offer. 

Rather than a rigid template where you just have to fill in some blanks, opt for an outline to help you craft your recruiting emails. Bullet points of things to include will help you consistently produce compelling emails without sacrificing the personal touch that candidates seek. 

Auto-Generated Emails

Recent advancements in AI technology have made saving time on recruitment emails easier than ever by having a bot do them for you. Though this seems like a compelling option at first, candidates will likely see through even a well-written email that wasn’t written by a human. 

Even if the email is decently written, using AI to write recruiting emails for you sends the message that the candidate was not worth your time and effort. These emails are often professionally generic, and won’t give a candidate a clear picture of what life is like at your organization. 

Here is an example of an AI-generated recruiting email template:

Subject: Exciting Job Opportunity at ABC Company

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

I came across your profile on [source], and I was impressed by your experience in [specific skill or job function]. I believe that your skills and experience could make you a great fit for the [Job Title] position we are currently hiring for at ABC Company.

At ABC Company, we are dedicated to [company mission or values], and we are committed to creating a positive and collaborative work environment. As a [Job Title], you will have the opportunity to [highlight specific responsibilities or projects].

To be considered for the position, we are looking for someone with the following qualifications:

  • [Qualification 1]
  • [Qualification 2]
  • [Qualification 3]

If you are interested in learning more about the position and would like to apply, please send your resume and a cover letter to [contact email address] by [deadline]. We will review your application and get in touch with you to schedule an interview if we believe you are a good fit for the position.

Thank you for considering this opportunity, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

ABC Company

As you can see, the best part about this template is that it can work for nearly any position under the sun. 

However, this is also the worst part about this template, as it completely lacks the personal touch that could convince candidates that a real person wants to speak with them about a real opportunity. 

As with most technologies, AI-generated text can be very helpful in moderation, but it is a poor substitute for the human touch. 


By now, we’ve covered the ins and outs of recruiting emails, but there’s no perfect recipe for an email that will always yield results. Though there are always things you can do to improve the likelihood of an email leading to an interview, this process ultimately requires a trial-and-error approach. 

The key takeaway from this article is to do your best to understand your audience. Place yourself in the candidate’s shoes to consider what factors might make them more likely to bite the hook you’re dangling. Respect, transparency, and a personal touch will be your most valuable tools in crafting recruitment emails that convert.  

Writing a Good Recruitment Email FAQs

Where can I find good candidates for recruiting emails?

Think about what brings your target demographic together, especially common grievances they may have about their profession. For example, nurses may feel overworked and underappreciated, while people in the tech industry desire a better quality of work/life balance.

Why are recruiting emails only effective sometimes?

Unfortunately, there are many factors that go into whether or not a recruiting email leads to an interview, which makes it very difficult to tell what exactly worked or what didn’t. This process will always include an element of trial and error, but ensuring that your content is tailored to your audience can go a long way in ensuring it is received positively.

Is it necessary to include salary?

This is a tough question, and there’s no solution that works for every business. However, whether or not you include a specific salary range, it is important to be transparent and communicative in your email. Cagey responses.

Is it important to respond to all emails?

Especially for larger organizations, it can be very difficult to ensure that all emails receive a timely response. However, it should be your goal to pay all applicants the respect of a reply. After all, you reached out to them with an opportunity. Even though this position isn’t the right fit, you don’t want to burn bridges in case something could work in the future. Also, every small interaction a candidate has with your recruiting process will contribute to your brand as an employer. A positive employer brand will make it much easier to generate responses to future recruiting emails.

What is the best time to send a recruitment email?

The best time to send a recruitment email is during normal weekday business hours. Avoid sending emails during weekends or holidays as these may seem like an invasion of personal time and are likely to be ignored.