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Messaging Your Applicants

When a new applicant comes along, a lot of recruiters are quick to fire off that email to arrange a phone interview and place them in the queue. But it’s important to remember that the first email you send after the apply is a critical one. It kicks off the candidate experience and can help your company stand out from the rest.

In this competitive landscape, if you’re messaging Samuel, Helen and Joe, it’s likely that other recruiters are doing the same. Sending out generic form letters or templates may be efficient, but crafting an authentic, personal message that expresses your sincere interest in the applicant will have a positive and lasting effect.

In the tips and samples below, we’ll show you how to position your company as a standout employer of choice and encourage applicants to take action and look forward to the next phase of the hiring process.

Introduce yourself and orient the reader.

The applicant may have applied to YOUR job ad, but they don’t know who YOU are. This is your chance to make a personal connection. And remember, they may have applied to a handful of jobs over the past week – so make sure to include the company name, job title and location right from the start.

Hi Christopher,

I’m Bethany, a recruiter with Acme Company and I’m so pleased you applied for the Project Manager role in Boston.

Tell them why they made the cut.

Go on, flatter them! Make sure the applicant understands what you value most about them. It will give them insight into the skills and experience you’re after, boost their confidence, and prepare them for the next step in the process.

…I’m happy to say you are one of our top applicants. The thing that really stood out for us is how you were able to transition a team of 23 into an agile workflow and its positive impact on productivity. That was incredibly impressive and something we hope to do here in the near future…

Get them to the next step.

Consider this your call to action. Make it clear that they’ve made it to the next stage and you need them to act. You might direct them to an online survey, ask to schedule a phone interview, or invite them to a hiring event. Whatever the case, ask for a reply, confirmation, or RSVP so you know that they are interested in moving forward.

…I’d like to schedule a 15-minute phone interview next week. It would be great if you could meet on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon – just reply back with the day and time that works best for you.

Give them an inside glimpse.

A little snapshot of your place at the company and how you see the people who work around you will do wonders when it comes to generating interest.

…I’ve been with Acme Company for a little over 3 years and I love it here. There’s a strong focus on inclusivity and people are really smart, upbeat and driven. I happen to know the hiring manager for this position personally and he’s one of our all-stars. The team output is amazing, and they’re recognized quite often by the executive team. I have a feeling you’d fit right in…

Close with a reminder.

This is where you can thank them for applying, offer to answer any questions, and remind them about the next steps you mentioned previously.

…Thank you so much for your interest in Acme Company. I’ll keep an eye out for your reply about the phone interview. Just let me know what day and time work best for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

Talk soon,

Bethany Cortland
Recruiter, Acme Company

After the email is sent…

Be on the lookout for responses. When questions, interview times, or RSVPs come through, get back to them ASAP. It will go a long way in terms of establishing a strong candidate experience and building trust among the top applicants you seek for your open roles.

Once you find a format that brings you the most responses – use it as a starting point to develop a template that can be tailored to each applicant like what you see below:

Hi [Applicant Name],

I’m Bethany, a recruiter with Acme Company and I’m so pleased you applied for the [Job Title] role in Boston.

I’m happy to say you are one of our top applicants. The thing that really stood out for us is [impressive accomplishment or skills]. That was incredibly impressive and [how the accomplishment or skills can be applied to this role].

I’d like to [enter what the next step in the process is]. Just reply back with [tell them what you want them to do to confirm] by [set a deadline].

I’ve been with Acme Company for a little over [X] years and I love it here. [Enter details about company culture/environment/people]. [Enter a little information about the team’s impact.] I have a feeling you’d fit right in.

Thank you so much for your interest in Acme Company. I’ll keep an eye out for your reply [reiterate call to action instructions]. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

Talk soon,


[Your Name]
[Your Title & Company]