Messaging Best Practices

Tawnya -

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Helpful articles to review before sending messages: 

Here are four steps all recruiters should follow when messaging college students:

1. Put your best foot forward.

Your subject line matters. It will appear as the subject in the students email, their Handshake inbox, and the push notification they see on their phone!

Be sure to mention your company in the subject line — that’s the basis of our default subject line, which works surprisingly well! Handshake always offers a default subject line of “Mallory at ABC Company has sent you a message on Handshake.”

That being said, we encourage all employers to use outbound messages to tell their brand story and let their voice shine. When customizing a subject line, we see slightly higher read rates if you include your company name, or the word apply! Finally, the messages with the highest read rate have subject lines somewhere between 80 and 110 characters.

2. Make me feel special.

Start your message with a personal note. Getting emails from employers is new for many students. It’s important to explain why they are getting a message from you when maybe their chem lab partner is not. Phrases like “I saw you’re a Communications major,” or “We’re looking for people with GIS/leadership/writing skills like you,” help add a personal touch and drive up your read rate.

Similarly, make sure you sign off using your real name (the one your parents gave you), instead of a generic recruiting email address. Students want to hear from Sally the recruiter, not ABC Company Recruiting.

3. Tell me what to do.

Make your Call To Action crystal clear. As with any email, make it super clear what you’re asking them to do. Bold it, underline it, put it in color, but most importantly, hyperlink it. And keep the asks simple, like: Apply to this job. RSVP to this event. Stop by our Career Fair Booth.

If you have an application deadline or an event date, make sure to include it to drive urgency.

Finally, if you’re asking the student to apply to a job at your company, make sure you post that job on Handshake and direct them there. That way, you can track how many applicants you sourced from particular campaigns to test and improve future versions. Also, if the job is in Handshake, students can favorite it for reference!

4. Bring your brand to life.

Have an awesome Handshake Branding Page? Or a sweet marketing video you show all candidates? Finish the message off by giving the student a little bit more information about what it’s like to work at your Company. Not only does it help you tell your full brand story but it also helps guide students to do their homework before submitting an application.

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