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How to Craft a Message That Job Seekers Respond To

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With the ever-increasing demand for top tier talent, job seekers’ inboxes are bombarded with messages from recruiters every day. As a recruiter, how do you craft a compelling message that potential candidates respond to? What will result in a reply instead of a banishment to the spam folder?

Follow these tips to improve your chances of getting responses from potential candidates:

1. Craft an interesting subject line

Just like all good pieces of writing, the most important part is the subject line or title. How is your message going to stand out compared to all the others? Is there something about a role that is unique and interesting? Does the company offer a one-of-a-kind benefit? Highlight this in the subject line to make it really eye-catching.

2. Know the technical job requirements

While job seekers don’t expect recruiters to know everything about their field, we do expect you to know the basics. Don’t get me started about every time a recruiter saw my experience in JavaScript, then proceeded to tell me about a role working with Java (they are vastly different!) Be prepared with some technical knowledge and don’t waste a job seeker’s time connecting them to roles that aren’t a good fit.

3. Broaden your role as a career advisor

Job seekers can sometimes feel like cattle being herded here and there. As a recruiter, go the extra mile and view your recruiting role as more of a career advisor. When reviewing a job seeker’s work history, help them see several years into the future and craft a career trajectory together. This builds trust instead of the unease that often comes with pushy recruiters who just want to fill a role quickly.

4. Be polite and use proper grammar and spelling

As a job seeker, receiving messages that are in ALL CAPS or have an unnecessary number of exclamation marks is usually a red flag. Yes, we get that you’re excited about a job listing, but this can come across as desperate. Also, be sure to double check for proper spelling and grammar.

5. Be discreet.

As a recruiter, you should protect a candidate’s job search with the utmost discretion. I once had a recruiter email me after being unable to reach me when calling my employer’s main telephone number. A colleague ended up answering her call and took a message. It was an awkward situation to say the least and I did not feel I could trust this recruiter to protect my privacy. Be cognizant of communication methods and frequency with candidates.


Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

This article was written by Emily Chen.

Emily Chen is a consultant and entrepreneur who has over 10 years of experience in accounting, government, non-profit, and tech industries. She has worked as a CPA, auditor, diplomat, and software engineer. In her free time, Emily enjoys writing, piano, and rock climbing.

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