Have you ever applied to a posting online you were excited about and felt like you were a perfect candidate for just to never hear back from anyone? I know I have and yea, it totally sucks. Everyone I know who has ever been in a job search has experienced it and it is absolutely no fun
The whole purpose of this email is I am going to teach you (and give you a template) how to write an email that will help get your foot in the door by writing the perfect email to a recruiter. So, maybe you are new to my blog and are wondering why I am qualified to do this. The answer is that I have spent just under a decade in Talent Acquisition both on the agency side and the corporate side. That means I have seen hundreds of these, both good and bad. Below is how you write a great one!
Before we get into what makes a bad email and what makes a great one, let’s start by talking about the steps it takes to get in the position to deliver one of these emails. Let’s assume you have a role with a company you are interested in. Go on LinkedIn, find that companies page and scroll down until you see the list of people who work for this company. Look through those profiles, find a recruiter (or a few if you can find them) who currently work for that company and then add them. As soon as they accept you are in position send the email.
Now let’s get to the email!
The first thing I want to do is show you an example of a bad one. Now these, I get all the time. If you are writing emails like the one below, don’t feel bad, just know that they most likely won’t help and now that you know this, never write one again.
Thanks for adding me on LinkedIn. Please look at my profile for any suitable positions. Yours truly.
So, first thing, if you think I don’t get emails like that, you are wrong. I get emails all the time that look exactly like that and the truth is, they aren’t going to help you accomplish anything. From the recruiter’s standpoint, it doesn’t look like they put in any effort and frankly they don’t do much in helping you know exactly what it is they are interested in. Now, let’s take a look at the type of email that is going to motivate a recruiter to move you into their interview process (in case you would like to use this as a template, I have written everything you would need to change in red).
Thank you for accepting my connection request. I recently saw an opening at your company that intrigued me. The position was titled Mechanical Engineer for your Franksville, Wisconsin location. I read through the job description and not only did it seem interesting to me, but it seems to be an ideal match for my skills and experience. Below are the requirements for the job, I have taken the liberty of expanding on how my experience stacks up next to these requirements.
- Bachelors in Engineering or related field required (I have a BSME from MSOE, 3.81 GPA)
- 2-4 years of related experience required (I have 5 years experience in a similar field)
- Experience with manufacturing processes such as die casting, fabrication, material handling and assembly and distribution required (I have strong experience with die casting and metal fab)
- Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, AutoCAD, and Solidworks (I have completed 5,000 Hours in Solidworks)
- Competency with Microsoft Project and leading projects is also a plus (I have expert level skills in Microsoft Project)
I have been in my current role for 4 years with my current company. While I am not necessarily looking for a change, I have always admired your organization and the role sounds great. I would love the chance to ask you about the role and walk you through my qualifications. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time that works for your schedule. Thank you for your time and I look forward to talking with you.
Now it should be pretty easy to see why this email is going to be much more effective than the first. It addresses the recruiter by name. It demonstrates that you have a specific position in mind while also demonstrating your qualifications for this role. For the recruiter, you have basically taken care of everything and made reaching out to you a no-brainer.
The fact of the matter is corporate recruiters are very busy people. Most of them have between 20 and 50 roles that they could be working on at one time. So, if you want to get their attention, your best is showing them in a very clear fashion that interacting with you is worth their time. It’s not that they are bad people and enjoy deleting vague messages sent to them on LinkedIn, they just have time to chase down every potential lead that does a poor job showing them why it is worth the effort.
I know this approach is more work, but it comes down to how much you want the role. If you really want to get your foot in the door and get a chance to sell what you bring to the table, it is worth putting in the effort. Especially because the sample letter above is essentially a template for you to use!
Once you have the interview and they are getting ready to make you an offer, I recommend reading How to avoid accepting an offer with a company that has a toxic culture, just to make sure it’s a good environment. Also, if you want my recommendations on a great leadership book, check out my most recent post 3 Books that Completely Changed How I View Leadership.
Thanks again for visiting! If you liked this post please share on your social media accounts, I really appreciate it. Take care!
Additional note: In the “good email” I copied and pasted an actual job description and just added in bold the qualifications this hypothetical candidate has. The template can be used by changing the role specific details and personal contact details to match the role you want to inquire about (again, all written in a red color); however, the rest of that message should be good to go, feel free to tinker with it to make it your own.