Articles by Smart Recruit Online

Mistakes to avoid when writing cold recruiting emails

The future of work

Companies require the best talent for them to thrive and this makes recruitment a key aspect in the operations of any organisation. When sourcing for the best talent, most HR departments opt to email potential candidates in the hope that they will open the email and apply for the open position. Most recruiters, however, make mistakes when sending such emails and this puts off prospective candidates. The recruiting emails end up in the spam folder and the company misses out on great candidates who would have positively impacted the organization. To improve the effectiveness of their recruiting campaigns, companies need to avoid the common mistakes when writing cold recruiting emails and they include;

Grammar and spelling errors

The emails that you send should be error-free and this is why you need to read through them several times before you hit the send button. A spellchecker is a great asset to have in this regard so as to ensure that your recruiting emails get to the prospective candidates without any errors. Spelling and grammar errors will make your company appear unprofessional and the candidates will not take seriously your efforts to recruit them. Once you have drafted the message and used a spellchecker to weed out obvious errors, get someone else in the organization to read through the email. A fresh look will be able to identify errors that might have been missed at the first instance such as wrong word order, fragmented sentences and the wrong choice of words.

Using the wrong email address

Your recruiting emails need a personal touch and that is why you should avoid using generic emails accounts when reaching out to potential candidates. Generic emails accounts like and appear automated and the candidate at the other end of the email will not feel special when they receive such an email. You should instead use a personal company email address when sending cold recruiting emails so that the receivers know who they are talking to. Such emails have a reputable feel to them and this increases the chances of the receivers opening the email and even responding to them.

Job advert writing ebook - download here

The subject lines are boring

You need to entice the potential candidate to open the email and read it and for this to happen, the subject lines to your recruiting emails should not be boring. You may have designed a captivating job description for the candidate together with good work benefits but all this will count for nothing if they don’t open the email. The subject line to your recruiting emails should, therefore, be captivating so as to capture the attention to the high-value candidate that you are trying to recruit. High-value candidates receive recruitment emails all the time and as such, you will need a captivating subject line that will get them to open and read the contents of the email.

A good subject line is brief and to the point. It also does not contain vague phrases such as “interesting opportunity” and “chance of a lifetime”. Try and make the subject line personal by mentioning the candidate by name and what their role will be at the organization.

The message is too long

Just like the subject line, the message in your email should not be too long. At the receiving end, the potential candidate is receiving an email from someone he or she doesn’t know concerning a job position that he or she has not applied for. If the message is long, the potential candidate will not bother to read it and this is why you need to keep your recruiting email messages short and sweet. The message should be well-structured and to the point. It should also not take more than 20 seconds to read lest the candidate abandons the email halfway without getting to the crucial parts. Most people use email clients on their phones to read emails and a short and well-structured message will make it easy for them to skim through the email as they are doing other things.

There is a problem with the tone

Most recruiters take an overly formal approach when sending cold recruiting emails and this has been highlighted as one of the reasons why candidates hardly get back to them. The “Dear Candidate” or “To whom it may concern” approach is too formal and it comes off as particularly off-putting and impersonal. Similarly, being too friendly too quickly is a bad move since the recipient doesn’t know you. You may have learned a thing or two about the candidate from their professional social media accounts but you still need to keep your engagements professional. Typically, keep the tone friendly but professional.


Emailing prospective candidates is a popular recruitment strategy but you will not be able to get the best candidates to work for your company if you keep making the mistakes highlighted above. Avoid these mistakes and enhance your chances of landing the best talent.

Manage all of your candidate communication from our talent attraction and candidate management system, book a 30minute demonstration and we’ll deliver a personalised tour of our platform.

Click to view a demo of our recruitment software

Author’s Bio:

Randolph Bunnell is an experienced copywriter and marketing consultant. He has a deep knowledge of digital marketing and SEO. Randolph also has a medical background and enthusiastic about healthcare technologies.