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5 Examples of Recruiting Outreach Messages to Help You Attract Great Talent

Imagine receiving an email from someone looking for a job who didn’t call you by your right name, didn’t have experience relevant to your industry, and didn’t really know anything about what your company does at all. Chances are, not only would you not be impressed, you would probably escort that person right out of your inbox and into the trash immediately with the click of a mouse.

Well, this is the same kind of reaction that top talent can have when they receive the wrong kind of outreach emails from recruiters.

As a recruiter, you spend much of your time focusing on the ways that prospective employees need to leave a great first impression on you, but it’s important to remember that first impressions are a two-way street—especially when you’re vying for the best talent with the competition in your industry. It’s every bit as important that you impress the people you’re trying to bring on your team and one way you can do that, with both active and passive candidates, is by crafting effective outreach messages. The following are some strategies, along with examples, to help.

1. The Strategy: Personalize Messages

Job seekers are regularly advised on the importance of addressing the contacts at potential employers by name, so when you’re contacting the people you’re interested in hiring, you need to always do the same. Also, you need to mention the qualifications that attracted you to the prospect in order to demonstrate that you’ve looked at their qualifications and carefully considered whether or not they are a viable candidate. 

The Example:

Dear John,

I’m a recruiter at XYZ Widgets. I had a look at your LinkedIn profile and noticed that you have an impressive marketing background. We have some open positions in our communications department and I think you would be a great candidate based on your marketing and public relations experience and education.

Are you available for a quick call? I would love to tell you about the company and the positions we have open.

2. The Strategy: Pay a Compliment

Did the person you’re writing to win an award? Congratulate them. Do they write a blog with interesting information about your industry? Mention a post and what you liked about it. By finding an area where you can pay a sincere compliment, you further demonstrate that you’ve done your due diligence before contacting them—which can go a long way toward leaving a good first impression.

The Example: 

Dear John,

I’m a recruiter at XYZ Widgets and I saw your blog post about the history of Super Bowl advertisements and how effective they are. I shared it with the marketing team here and they all loved it! They’ve been reading more of your posts and are impressed with your writing skills and deep knowledge of advertising.  

The marketing team has an open position right now and we would love to learn more about your marketing expertise, and tell you about our company. Are you available for a call next week? If so, please let me know what days and times work for you. 

3. The Strategy: Keep It Brief

Outreach messages should really only be a couple of paragraphs of targeted text that piques a candidate’s interest with few words. You not only get one chance to make a good first impression, you also only get a few seconds. 

The Example: 

Dear John,

I’m a recruiter at XYZ Widgets. I saw your LinkedIn profile and your computer science experience, particularly your work in data modeling and design, is exactly what we’re looking for.

We are currently interviewing candidates for a computer systems analyst position and I would love to tell you about the job. Can we schedule a time to talk next week?

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4. The Strategy: Mention Shared Connections

If you notice that the person you’re targeting knows someone that you do, it’s always a good idea to mention it in your outreach message—and get information about them from your shared contact before you do. This can get the candidate’s attention and immediately boost your credibility. Also, if you are a member of the same industry organizations or went to the same college, these are other areas where you can begin to build a rapport with a candidate. 

The Example: 

Dear John,

I’m a recruiter at XYZ Widgets and I noticed on your LinkedIn profile that you previously worked with Shirley Bonan at ABC Widgets. Shirley mentioned that you would be an excellent fit for an engineering positon we have open and I’d love the opportunity to tell you about it. 

I’d like to schedule a meeting with you to learn more about your experience. What day and time works best for you?

5. The Strategy: Follow Up

If you haven’t gotten a response to your outreach in a reasonable amount of time, be sure to follow up. This helps to keep your company on people’s radar and shows them that you’re truly interested in hiring them—not just throwing emails against the wall to see what will stick. 

The Example: 

Hi, John,

I hope this note finds you well. I’m just checking in to see if you received the previous message I sent about our job opening in the accounting department at XYZ Widgets.

I still believe you would be a good fit for the position and I would love to talk to you about it if you’re interested. Let me know if you would like to schedule a call.

The saying “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is not just a cliché—it’s a phrase to live by when you’re trying to get someone interested in positions at your company. Remember that your organization is not the only one looking for talent and if you turn off prospects in the first message you send them, you probably won’t get the chance to get the second one read.    

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