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When it comes to technical recruitment emails, one of the most important elements is the subject line. It’s the first thing the candidate will see and ultimately helps them decide whether to even open the email or immediately hit delete. With 65% of our developer survey respondents saying e-mail is a "great" way to hear about new job opportunities, crafting the perfect pitch is critical. 

I asked developers what email subject lines they dread seeing in their inbox, and here’s what they had to say.  

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“Looking to hire a Software Ninja”

Chances are these companies are looking for software developers, not software ninjas (unless they want someone who can code and participate in guerrilla warfare). So why advertise the job over email with a silly title? Developers hate jargon and buzzwords, so drop any terms like guru or rock star from your vocabulary when talking to them.

“Good Day Sir”

Email subject lines that are extremely generic likely won’t even make it into a developer’s inbox. “Good Day Sir” or “Hot Opportunities” aren’t indicative of what the content of the email is all about. In addition, they just sound spammy. When’s the last time someone said “Good day Sir” to you in person?

“Hiring Residential Outside Sales Consultant”

The worst types of recruiter emails to receive are the completely irrelevant ones. What makes someone think that a web developer has any interest in a sales position? Shefik Macauley, a Programmer at Merck & Co., recently received an email with this subject line in his inbox, despite the fact that he works in web development and has zero interest or experience in sales. Advertising for a position in a department you don’t work in is all sorts of wrong.

“Senior Developer Role at Amazing San Francisco Startup”

Do you know how many startups exist in San Francisco? Although there’s no official number, Angel.co lists 10,140 companies. All of which I’m sure which label themselves as “amazing”, which doesn’t help narrow down the company to the candidate. When recruiters or hiring managers fail to be upfront and give the actual company’s name, they lose the trust and interest from the developer. It shouldn’t take numerous back-and-forth emails just to find out which company they are looking to hire for – that should be apparent in the first interaction.  

tech recruiting email guide


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