Tips for Crafting Clickable Recruitment Email Subject Lines

Do you spend hours crafting beautiful email messages to send to prospective candidates, only to hastily tap out a subject line in a couple of seconds?

The subject line is the first thing an email recipient sees. In fact, 35% of email recipients open emails based only on the subject lines. So, shouldn’t you spend more time and thought on writing an excellent subject line that people will click on? Learning how to increase the response to recruiter emails might be an immediate way to make more placements.

Create the best recruitment email subject lines with the following tips and examples. Try out several ideas to discover what works best for getting responses from candidates.

How to write recruiting email subject lines (with examples)

Use subject lines to tease candidates to open your email. You can use several strategies to catch candidates’ attentions and get them to keep reading.

Below are strategies and examples of subject lines you can use. Try using individual strategies or combining strategies.

Set expectations

Tell people what to expect inside the email. Set up their expectations so they know what they are getting into.

Be careful with this subject line tactic. Don’t mislead recipients by promising one thing in the subject line and presenting another in your message. People will be disappointed and delete your email.

Examples:

Job opportunity with [Client Company]

Advance your [X] skills with this new job opening

Ask questions

Ask questions in your recruitment email subject lines. Asking a question can be a good way to start a conversation. And, a question can make the recipient pause to consider the answer—hopefully resulting in them opening the message.

Examples:

Are you interested in joining [Client Company]?

Are you ready to advance your career in [profession]?

Add urgency

Create urgency in your subject line. Urgency encourages action from recipients, and is among popular recruiting best practices even outside of email. People might feel like they’re missing out on an opportunity and will act quickly.

Create urgency by suggesting a deadline or action. However, try not to use “urgent” or similar words because your email might look like spam.

Examples:

Do you have time to talk?

It’s the last day to submit an application

Use personalization

Whenever possible, personalize your recruitment email subject lines. Candidates will be more interested in opening the email if it’s tailored to them. This also helps your emails stand out because it differentiates them from standard mass mailings.

You’ll need to do research before you personalize the subject line. You can use the person’s name, current company and title, past projects, professional or personal interests, and skills. You can often find this information on social media sites and personal websites.

Examples:

[Candidate’s Name], interested in becoming a [Job Title]?

[Candidate’s Name], advance your career by becoming a [Job Title]

Interested in going from [Current Company] to [Client Company]?

Use your [X] skills at [Client Company]

Include referrers

If you got a referral for a particular candidate, mention it in your subject line. If you add the referrer’s name, it can act as an introduction between you and the candidate.

Examples:

[Referrer’s Name] said you’re great at [skill]

[Referrer’s Name] thinks you’re an excellent [Job Title]

[Referrer’s Name] thinks you’re a good fit for [Open Position]

Reconnect with candidates

Just because a candidate didn’t work out for one job, doesn’t mean they aren’t a good fit for a future job. Store candidate information, including their email, in your recruiting software. When a new position opens up, get their contact information your recruiting database and reach out to the candidate.

Your email subject line doesn’t need to encourage a candidate to build a relationship with you because you already have some sort of relationship. Instead, entice the candidate with the new position. Send them positions that you already know interest them.

Examples:

Check out this new job opportunity at [Client Company]

A new [Job Title] opportunity for you

Interested in the [Job Title] opening at [Client Company]?

Tips for recruitment email subject lines

While writing catchy subject lines is good, you can make your open rates even better by following some rules.

Typical desktop email inboxes will show about 60 characters in the subject line. And, most mobile devices will only show 25-30 characters.

Most emails have subject lines between 41 and 50 characters. But the highest read rate (meaning the email is opened) is for subject lines with 61-70 characters.

As you can see, determining the best subject line length can be difficult. Don’t be afraid to experiment with subject line lengths. What works for you might be different than the averages from a study.

It’s important to keep your emails out of the trash and spam folders. Avoid certain words to remain in the inbox. Here are just some things to avoid:

  • Additional income
  • Home based
  • Money making
  • Open
  • Click here
  • Success
  • Apply online
  • Urgent
  • Not spam
  • #1
  • Don’t hesitate

To learn what works for you, A/B test your email subject lines. This is where you have two subject lines that you essentially pit against each other in a competition to discover which one recipients respond best to. This works best when mass mailing.

Even if you send individual messages, you should still test out different subject lines. See which ones people respond the best to. Record your findings so you can learn which subject lines you should use.