Introductions can be tricky. No matter who’s meeting who, one thing remains the same: first impressions are crucial. For a few precious moments, one has the opportunity to influence how they will be remembered by this new person. Just like we can’t reverse time (at least not yet), we can’t take back our words. Fortunately for recruiters in today’s world, this initial contact can be made through social tools like LinkedIn, allowing for a thoughtfully crafted introduction to be prepared beforehand. It is important to keep in mind, however, that once you hit send your words are cemented in time just as if you spoke them. Below are some tips that you might find helpful when preparing to reach out to candidates:

Reel ‘Em In!

The subject line is arguably the most important part of any email. It should be clever and catchy, yet not overly cheesy. This is the first thing a person sees, so the subject line often will determine if an email gets opened or sent straight to the dreaded trash. While the goal is to grab their attention, keeping it personal and sounding like a human is just as important. Avoid including job titles or talking about yourself in the subject line, and instead aim to start a conversation with your candidate.

Know Your Target

It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many recruiters do little to no research before reaching out. While there might be some candidates who are openly seeking change, it’s also true that a lot of people are simply happy where they are and won’t have a problem ignoring an impersonal message. Don’t just glance at their LinkedIn page and think you’re ready, either. Surely it’s a good start, but try digging deeper. Finding things like mutual connections, their Twitter page, and projects they’ve worked on will allow you to send a much more personalized message that shows genuine interest rather than a generic template of a spiel.

Short and Sweet

A sourcing email should be a quick read for candidates, focusing on them and how their skill set can create a positive impact. Try to avoid a lengthy wall of text or showering them with compliments; within a matter of seconds a candidate will decide if they are going to read on or simply close and delete your message. A good rule of thumb is to include your reason for reaching out, one or two personalized lines, and your contact information, while keeping it between 300 and 500 characters. Additionally, be sure to provide an easy way to contact you should they be interested.

The fact that a candidate is able to read and re-read your words multiple times before choosing how to proceed means that the content of your writing might just be what makes or breaks a valuable networking opportunity for you and your company. We hope you found these pointers helpful, and best of luck out there!

Thanks for reading!

Meredith