As a recruiter, you’re well aware of the challenge of grabbing attention when reaching out to potential candidates and clients. With hundreds of emails flooding their inbox, it’s tough to stand out. So, how can you make sure your outreach has an impact? One powerful tool is killer subject lines. In this blog, we’ll delve into the art of recruiter outreach and explore best practices and strategies for writing killer email subject lines. From understanding the language that resonates with the recipient to the impact of formatting on open rates, we’ll uncover new perspectives on effective communication tactics. Get ready to elevate your outreach game and make your emails shine in a crowded inbox!

Getting candidates and clients to open your email

We’ve all been there – staring at our screens, wondering why our carefully crafted emails go unopened. The truth is, the subject line is everything. It’s like the shiny wrapping paper on a gift – it’s what entices people to open your email in the first place. So, how can you create a subject line that grabs attention?

Keep it short and sweet

Aim for concise and relevant subject lines that capture the reader’s attention. Anything too lengthy may discourage them from clicking open.  Use relevant keywords to pique the recipient’s curiosity. Avoid adding details or excessive information that can distract from your main message. Keeping your subject lines clear and concise will help you to catch your recipient’s eye and effectively convey your message.

Use actionable language

Using actionable language in your subject lines can greatly enhance the impact of your outreach emails as a recruiter. By incorporating verbs and other action-oriented words, you create a sense of urgency and encourage the recipient to take action. For example, using phrases like “Join us for a webinar,” “Register now,” or “Request a call” can prompt the recipient to take immediate action, particularly in the world of recruitment. Actionable language helps convey the purpose of your message and encourages recipients to open your email and engage with your content. Just be sure to align the action in your subject line with the content of your email to ensure consistency and credibility in your outreach efforts. Some recruitment CRM’s can help with this by using merge fields when mass emailing or marketing a CV.

Be descriptive

Clearly conveying the purpose or benefit of your email in just a few words can pique your recipient’s curiosity and entice them to click open. Avoid generic or vague subject lines that don’t provide any insight into the content of your email. Instead, use specific and descriptive language that highlights the value or relevance of your message to the recipient. For example, using subject lines like “Exclusive Job Opportunity for You,” “Personalised Career Advice,” or “Networking for Future Opportunities” can provide a clear idea of what your email entails and why the recipient should open it and find out more.

A/B test your subject lines

With A/B testing, you can create multiple variations of your subject lines and test them against each other to determine which one performs better in terms of open rates and engagement. You can experiment with different elements such as wording, length, tone, and personalisation to see which resonates best with your target audience. By analysing the results of your A/B tests, you can gain insights into what subject lines are most effective and make data-driven decisions to improve your outreach strategy.

Don’t mislead

Maintaining honesty and transparency in your subject lines is crucial in your outreach emails as a recruiter. It’s important to avoid misleading or deceptive subject lines that may result in disappointment or loss of trust from your potential clients and candidates. Your subject line should accurately reflect the content and purpose of your email. Avoid using clickbait or exaggerated claims that don’t align with the actual content of your message.

Don’t be scared to utilise humour

Humour can help to break the ice, create a positive tone, and make your emails more enjoyable to read. However, it’s important to be mindful of the tone and style of humour you use, as it may not resonate with everyone. Consider your target audience and their preferences before incorporating humour in your subject lines. Avoid controversial jokes that may offend your recipients. Additionally, ensure that the humour is relevant to the context of your email and does not overshadow the main purpose of your message. When used appropriately, humour can be a valuable tool in creating engaging and memorable subject lines that leave a positive impression on your potential clients and candidates.


Crafting killer subject lines and mastering the art of recruiter outreach requires careful consideration. Keep your subject lines short, descriptive, and engaging, using actionable language that conveys the purpose of your message. Avoid misleading subject lines that may disappoint or deceive recipients and be transparent in your communication. Don’t be afraid to utilise humour, but be mindful of your audience and ensure it is relevant and appropriate. Finally, consider conducting A/B testing to optimise your subject lines for maximum impact. By following these tips, you can craft killer subject lines that grab the attention of the recipient and increase the chances of your emails being opened and read.

Credit: Hannah Walters