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How to write the perfect cold recruiting email in 2023—with 7 high-converting email templates

Learn how to write compelling candidate outreach emails that stand out in every inbox. Use our top tips and 7 high-converting, highly customizable templates to find the best talent.
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With so many people hunting for the right job and so many companies for the right talent, you’d be forgiven for mistaking recruiting for a win-win situation. 

Unless you’re a recruiter or a job-seeker, ofcourse. 

Then you know that this is a classic case of “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.”

It’s hard to find a job that one likes and that pays well. Likewise, it is hard to find the right talent at the right price, especially in the wake of a changing world of work. 

With emerging trends like a preference for remote work, demands for better work-life balance, pursuit of side hustles, quiet quitting, The Great Disconnect, and The Great Resignation, recruiters are hard pressed to bridge the talent gap.

One recruitment tactic that has stood the test of time, though, is cold emailing. 

Why write cold recruiting emails?

Cold outreach is one of the most underrated ways to chance upon the right candidate.

Estimates show that around 80% of the workforce is always passively looking for a job change. A cold email in their inbox on the right day can translate into a filled position for your company and a dream job for a previously uninspired employee.

Cold emails are also a great way to find referrals, build connections, and discover new opportunities for collaboration or partnership.

And the best part is that they don’t require the investment of a lot of time, money, and resources, when done right.

How to write cold recruiting emails that get results?

Cold emails may be the holy grail of recruitment, but how do you, as a recruiter, stand out in a professional inbox that receives 120 new emails each day on an average but has a response rate of only 25%?

In this blog, we share 5 of our best tips for nailing that cold recruiting email and give you 7 high-converting templates that you can customize to impress (and hire) potential candidates.

Top 5 tips for writing a compelling cold recruitment email

1. Craft an irresistible subject line

Whether you’re a recruiter or marketer, one thing is clear. Your subject line will decide the fate of your email. Recruitment emails have an open rate of 21.14% and 33% of recipients open emails based on the subject line.

This means your subject line needs to be highly clickable but not all clickbait. It has to be powerful yet precise. Compelling but also concise. 

There’s a lot of room for making mistakes. 

Tell me, which of these two emails would want you to take a sneak peek at immediately?

Subject line 1: Greetings from [company] & a job opportunity 

Subject line 2: [First name], your experience with [automotive engineering] is perfect! 

While the first subject line looks templated and generic, the second one is customized to speak directly to you. It is to-the-point and shows that the sender has done their research before approaching you.

Here are a few additional pointers for crafting great subject lines:

  • Keep it short; 6-8 words is ideal
  • Make it as specific as possible
  • Ask a question and invoke curiosity 
  • Use the recipient’s first name to boost your open rates
  • Keep the language simple
  • Keep the tone conversational and friendly

Bonus tip: Use the Preview or Pre-header text to provide more information about the contents of the email and make it relevant. 

2. Know your candidate and personalize your outreach

Ever received a LinkedIn connection request with a lovely personalized note that got everything right except your name?

Researching the candidate and their background thoroughly before reaching out to them can help you prevent such a faux-pas and keep your email from being shoved straight into trash. 

It will also give you the information you need to personalize your message, which is always a good thing.

3. Keep it short and actionable

8 seconds. That’s the attention of an average human being today. And that’s all you get as a recruiter to convince the candidate.

So, make sure that your outreach emails don’t harp on about:

  1. how great the candidate is (sure, appreciate them, but don’t go overboard)
  2. how great your company is (a crisp link to the website or testimonials should do it, no?)

Include only the essentials in the first email. You’ll get all the opportunity to go into detail in the next rounds, anyway. 

Lastly? Be clear about what you want the candidate to do. Include a Call To Action (CTA) such as one requesting a reply, confirming the time slot for a phone call, or scheduling a video meeting, among others.

4. Focus on the follow-ups

After you’ve followed and executed tips 1 through 3, all you’ve to do is sit back, relax and wait for the candidate to come straight to you, ready to join forces, even before they listen to your offer. Right?

Wrong. Chances are they won’t even read your email, let alone respond to it. 

Does it mean they are totally uninterested? Probably not. Life gets in the way and the money, as they say, is in the follow-ups. 

Don’t forget to follow-up with your prospective candidates but don’t annoy them with your relentless emails either. Wait 2-3 days before sending consecutive follow-up emails and don’t give up too soon (many seasoned recruiters believe 5 follow-up emails is where the magic happens!).

5. Rely on automation

Made it so far? Good, we’re proud of you!

Recruitment outreach is grueling. 

When you’re not scrolling endlessly through LinkedIn for the right profiles, you’re typing the same email over and over, carefully inserting the right first and last names, meticulously tracking your calendar for calls booked and interviews scheduled, actually getting on calls and convincing potential hires…before repeating it all from scratch.

It can be pretty frustrating and mind-numbing.

The solution? Automation!

Automation can help lighten the load by taking over repetitive, everyday tasks and letting you focus on value addition. You can get a lot done with the kind of automation tools in the market today, including templating your LinkedIn connection requests and outreach emails, autotyping frequent messages, automating follow-ups, and even integrating the whole process with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). 

One excellent tool that can automate your repetitive typing is OSlash. As a text expander, OSlash lets you create shortcuts and insert them to autotype frequent texts (such as email copy) within seconds. So, you just type the shortcut and have the pitch email or LinkedIn message ready to go!

That’s it, you’re all set to send out the perfect cold recruiting email now.

So, how do you start?

Check out the email templates below! Then, download OSlash and save them as shortcuts/snippets. Now, you can autotype your recruitment emails in a couple of keystrokes.

You can also edit the variables in square brackets [  ] to customize your message. Easy peasy! 

7 examples of successful cold recruiting email templates

1. Cold outreach template #1: Emailing a passive candidate

Subject line: [Company name] wants an expert like you, [first name]

Hi [first name],

I am [name], and I’m a [recruiter] at [company name]. 

I came across your profile while looking for a [job title] to join us. I believe your qualifications and experience make you a great fit for our growing team. 

If you’re interested, I’d love to discuss more and answer any questions you may have. 

Are you available for a [15]-minute call [this] week? You can choose a slot on my calendar [insert calendar link] or write to me with a suitable time if these don’t work.

Meanwhile, here’s a little something about [company name]: [link to website/company description]

Excited to get to know you!

Thanks a lot,

[Your name]
[Your designation]
[Company’s name and website]
[Your contact information]
[Social media icons with links to profiles]

2. Cold outreach email template #2: Emailing a candidate you found on LinkedIn 

Subject line: Impressive LinkedIn profile, [first name]

Hi [first name],

I am [name], and I’m a [recruiter] at [company name]. 

LinkedIn recently showed me your profile as a top pick for a [job opening] at our company.

My team and I were highly impressed with your journey so far and in particular with [a specific qualification/experience/achievement]. 

I understand that you’re currently with [company name] and may not be interested. But if you’re the least bit curious, I’d be happy to set up a call with you and discuss more.

You can choose a slot on my calendar [insert calendar link] or write to me with a suitable time if these don’t work.

Meanwhile, here’s a little something about [company name]: [link to website/company description]

Looking forward to hearing from you!

[Your name]
[Your designation]
[Company’s name and website]
[Your contact information]
[Social media icons with links to profiles]

3. Cold outreach email template #3: Emailing a referred candidate

Subject line: [Mutual connection] says you’re awesome!

Hi [first name],

My name is [X] and I am a [recruiter] at [company name].

[Mutual connection] recommended that I get in touch with you regarding our open position for [job title]. 

My team and I were impressed with the insights [mutual connection] shared about your background and your profile. We have a strong feeling you’ll be an excellent fit for this position. 

I am including a link to the job offer and our company’s website here [link]. 

Let’s get on a call [this] week if you’re interested in the role? Please let me know of a time that works for you. I am usually available between [timings] on [days].

Looking forward to our chat!

[Your name]
[Your designation]
[Company’s name and website]
[Your contact information]
[Social media icons with links to profiles]

4. Cold outreach email template #4: Emailing a candidate based on their work/portfolio online

Subject: Hey [first name], loved your videos on [topic]

Hi [first name],

I discovered your [YouTube] channel when searching for a [video creator] for [company name]. 

Your videos on [productivity tips for founders] show top-notch [storytelling and video editing] skills, which is exactly what we are looking for. 

Would you be interested in having a quick call [this] week so we can discuss more about the position? 

How does [date and time] sound? Alternatively, you could let me know a time that works for you!

Meanwhile, here’s a quick link [introduction video/company description] to help you know us better.

Looking forward to it!

[Your name]
[Your designation]
[Company’s name and website]
[Your contact information]
[Social media icons with links to profiles]

5. Cold outreach email template #5: Email to gauge interest 

Subject line: Open to working on [area of expertise] at [company name]?

Hi [first name],

I’m sure you get emails like this often, so I’ll cut to the chase.

I’m a [recruiter] at [company name]. 

We currently have an opening for [role] and I believe you’d be an excellent fit, based on your background and extensive experience with [area of expertise].

You’ll know what I mean when you look at the job description! 

Here’s the link [insert link]

If it makes sense to discuss more, I’d be happy to set up a call with you.

Does [date, time] or [date, time] work for you?

Excited to take this forward!

Thanks a lot,

[Your name]
[Your designation]
[Company’s name and website]
[Your contact information]
[Social media icons with links to profiles]

6. Cold outreach email template #7: Emailing a candidate for a hard-to-fill role

Subject: [First name], you’re a (rare) match 🖖🏼 

Hi [first name],

How does it feel to be the best?

Pretty awesome, right! 

I’m sure you get emails like this all the time, thanks to your list of stellar achievements at [current company name], so I’ll be brief.

We, at [company name], are very impressed by your profile and track record. Your skills and experience are a perfect and rare match for our current opening of [role].

If you’re looking to level up your career and transition into a role that seems tailored for you, we should definitely get on a call.

Do any of these time slots work for you?

[date, time]
[date, time]
[date, time]

I am also open to any other slot that may be more convenient. Just send me a quick reply here and we can fix it up accordingly. 

Curious to know your thoughts!

Best wishes,

[Your name]
[Your designation]
[Company’s name and website]
[Your contact information]
[Social media icons with links to profiles]

7. Bonus cold outreach email template: Follow-up email

Subject line: Re: [subject of the first email]

Hi [first name], 

I understand you have a lot on your plate.

I just wanted to check in and see if you got my last email. 

We are a [short description of your company] looking for an experienced [role], someone exactly like you. 

Could we have a quick 15-minute call [this week] to discuss further, if you’re interested?

Or please let me know when’s the best time to reach you.

I am really looking forward to speaking with you!


[Your name]
[Your designation]
[Company’s name and website]
[Your contact information]
[Social media icons with links to profiles]


Writing the perfect cold recruitment email can be tricky. This is why most of these emails turn out to be boring and impersonal. 

This is a great opportunity for you to stand out and source the best people for your organization. 

By following our tips and using the above templates, you’ll be able to do that in no time. 

Keep reaching out to potential candidates frequently using these templates and don’t forget to update, reiterate, and personalize them too.

Final tip? Consider using automation software to streamline the process further and skyrocket your productivity. For instance, with OSlash you can auto-personalize emails, save your emails as templates, create shortcuts to frequent resources and web-pages, and end up saving yourself and your team 30 hours every month!

Why not try OSlash today and take your cold recruiting to the next level? 

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