The Art of the Email

December 22, 2014
3 min read

One of the harder skills to master is the way to capture a person’s attention without any physical contact. Yes, I’m talking about the art of writing an engaging email.

Especially for recruiters, the title of the email is everything followed by the next 3 lines of the email content. I instantly delete a lot of recruitment emails because it simply doesn’t get to the point fast enough, or it demands a response but doesn’t give enough content for me to follow up on. I can summarize some of the email fails from the recruitment inbox attack from Linkedin.

  • Assuming that the reader cares about your recruitment organization.Giving statistics that the recruitment agency is award-winning and nice. It’s basically assuming that the job seeker cares more about the recruiter’s firm than the job at hand.

  • Does not recognize or acknowledge the source. I have basically no idea where this person found my contact information, and why they’re contacting me. There’s no clear transparency in this invisible link. ie. Pasting in a job description or telling me to “help them out” by referring someone that is in need of a job.

  • No immediate engagement. The recruitment agency found you through an indirect source instead of your actual website or your portfolio, which signals that they took the time out to review your work. On top of that, some people may email about the wrong type of job, a job field that you are not in. Give a reward for reading, inspire them.

  • Immediately tries to close the deal by asking if we have time to talk on the phone or even meet in person. It would be a total waste of time, if you don’t know if this person is a match. I think there should be an established interest first, then proceed to next steps. Instead of jumping the gun and not explaining the purpose, people expect others to be just as excited towards a project they know nothing about. Establish trust above all else. Don’t sell before you have established this person as a trusted source and a friend.

  • Talk to the recipient in a way that recognizes their engagement towards you.Figure out what understanding they have with your company and if they don’t, educate. You can’t really convince someone that is not engaged. Don’t waste people’s time unless you have something valuable to say.

  • Give a reason to speak to you. A reward maybe? An opportunity to talk? Or a casual conversation that could possibly give the user a lot more reason other than just jumping on a call just for shits and giggles. Create a level of eagerness and excitement, speak in a tone of a friend and be generous.

  • Do. Not. Be. Creepy. Don’t repeat people’s names often ie. “You are the best designer, [your name]”, don’t use inappropriate closing statements like an inspirational quote by Gandi, and NO “XOXO, Gossip Girl”

  • Write a great subject line. Use powerful verbs, numbers, promises. Use something clever, funny. It’s all about content marketing. Keep things very short, ask questions, make it personal, add some personality, don’t be boring, don’t be cold and selfish, and use a natural voice.

  • Be clear about intentions without being pushy. Work towards a deadline, a goal, but don’t pressure people into meeting with you. Also keep in mind that emails are emails, people will be quick to delete and not respond, and no harsh feelings.


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