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Smart developers are in high demand, which means the average programmer is receiving more emails from recruiters than ever before. With 65% of developers citing e-mail as a “great” way to hear about new job opportunities, it’s clearly important for recruiters to perfect their pitch.

So what do developers want to see in recruitment emails? According to our survey results, developers want to see a personalized message, salary information, a description of the team they’d be working with, a run-down of the company culture, and more. Learn how to write a recruitment email that developers will actually want to open.

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Nail the subject line.

Developers are busy people, so if you can’t catch their attention with an interesting subject line, you will get nowhere. To write a successful recruitment email subject line, be sure to keep the message short, mention candidate-specific information, and hint toward the contents of the e-mail.

Do your research and don’t forget to personalize.

A recruiting email is not the same as a job listing – you don’t want to overwhelm the candidate with irrelevant details or pressure them to apply to the job. Instead of focusing on the job or company itself, focus on the developer. Mention a side project of theirs that you found interesting (this is where doing your research pays off), what skills of theirs stood out to you or how you see them impacting the success of the company.

Be transparent.

Unless you tell the candidate which company has the open position, the opportunity isn’t seen as compelling or legitimate. Avoid vague references such as “a large tech company” or a “Fortune 500 in NYC”, since those don’t help either. If the company cares enough about hiring the right talent, they will be open to providing their name for the developer. Adding in some details about the company culture, the benefits and a description of the current developer team are great ideas as well.

Double-check for misspellings.

This one sounds pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised at the number of recruiters who write emails full of grammatical errors or misspellings. It makes you appear lazy and uneducated and immediately turns off the candidate from replying. And while you’re at it, edit out any jargon or marketing buzzwords – developers hate it.

If using a template, customize it.

Templates are used for a lot of business documents, including emails reaching out to candidates. While the word template might get a bad rap, they are a good way to provide structure when tailoring your document.  It’s important to note that using a basic email template and not customizing it at all is bad practice and will return no results. But using a template as a guide and then taking your time to craft a highly personal and detailed email is perfectly acceptable. Once you’ve gotten the hang of what works for you, you might not even need to rely on the original template anymore. Just remember- one size does not fit all.

For more tips on how to write a recruitment email to developers, check out these posts by Alex MacCaw, Matt Youell, and David Walsh.

tech recruiting email guide


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