Having a candidate pipeline full of qualified people takes work. You’ll need to build relationships, regularly pitch roles to your potential candidates, and be trusted as someone who can help them.

Unfortunately, that’s hard work.

69% of employers have difficulty filling active jobs.  As a recruiter, you need to be engaging candidates before, during, and after the hiring process.

It’s the only way to ensure candidates keep you top of mind.

Email is the perfect channel to do that.


It’s personal, direct, and active - you’re not relying on candidates approaching you.

But, writing good emails to candidates is tricky. What should you include? How often should you follow up? Should you be reaching out at all?

In this guide, I’m going to clear it all up for you. 

You’ll see our best email templates for recruiters, covering all aspects of the candidate journey.

From cold outreach to passive candidates, to following up after an interview, you’ll find the perfect templates for every scenario. 

Importance of Email for the Modern Recruiter

If you only rely on people applying to your open positions you can’t guarantee that the best talent applies.

You need to be building a pipeline of candidates all the time. Then, when you have a new role to fill, all it takes is a friendly email to check if the candidate wants to apply.

There’s a misconception that candidates don’t want to hear from recruiters.

Truth is, no one wants to hear from recruiters if the email is clearly sent to 100 other people.

Most recruiting emails aren’t personalized to the recipient. If you send a personalized email that shows you care about the relationship and not just your commission for filling a role quickly, most candidates will be happy to keep in touch.

Keep Your Email Templates Jargon Free

Before we jump into the templates, it’s important to note that you need to keep your emails simple.

Avoid unnecessary jargon — making your emails too complicated will put people off. 71% of people agree that if they don’t understand a term in a job description, it’ll make them feel underqualified.

You’ll miss out on good candidates because they think they don’t meet the requirements — even if they do.

As well as that, don’t make your candidates guess. Make the role, salary, and location clear upfront if you’re actively hiring. Job listings that include a salary range get 75% more clicks than listings that don’t. In your email outreach, that means you’ll get more replies.

Applicant Sourcing Cold Email Templates

1. Cold Outreach to Passive Candidates

This template is perfect if you’ve identified a candidate based on their personal website or LinkedIn profile and believe they are an excellent fit for the role you’re hiring for.

It’s perfect if:

  • You want to build a network of candidates

  • You’re actively hiring

You can swap out the second paragraph if you’re not actively hiring, but looking to build your passive candidate list.

Here’s the template:

Subject: Interested in this [Job Title] role?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Found your profile on LinkedIn and based on your past experience at [company] I thought you’d be interested in a role I’m hiring for.

The role is for a [Job Title] with [Company]. We’re based in [Location] and salary starts at [Base Salary].

Are you open to having a 15-minute chat about this on {{date}}?



Why this template works:

  • Clear and straightforward

  • Includes necessary details

  • A clear call-to-action that a candidate can answer

2. Presenting New Opportunity to Past Candidates

Your existing candidate database stored in your ATS, CRM, or spreadsheet is full of great candidates. When you’re hiring for a new role you can tap into your database to find candidates who are a perfect fit but aren’t actively searching for a role. 

When you’ve identified the candidates you’ll reach out to, it’s time to craft your email template.

Subject: Interested in [Job Title] opening?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

I’ve just heard from [Company] that they’re looking to hire a [Job Title] to help with their expansion. As you’ve already worked with [Past Employer] in a similar market, I thought you’d be a perfect fit.

The salary is competitive, and it’s fully remote.

I’d be happy to walk you through the details on a call. Do you have 20-minutes free this or next week?



Why this template works:

  • It shows you’ve looked into their past experience and personalized your outreach

  • Given them enough details

  • Not wasted multiple lines describing the role

  • A direct call-to-action to schedule a call

3. Internal Email to Employees

Opening new jobs at your company gives your current employees scope to move and grow.

For example, if you open up a new marketing role, you may have existing team members who would want to apply. It’s a perfect opportunity for them to grow with the company.

Naturally, this template will vary depending on your communication style. 

Here’s a template you can send to your team:

Subject: New job opening at [Company]

Hi {{prospect.first_name}}

We’re planning on hiring a new [Job Title] to join our sales team. We are advertising this externally, but, I’d like to encourage you to apply if you believe you’re a fit for it. 

If you’d like to learn more about the job and responsibilities, you can read the full description here [Link to job page]. 

I’d be happy to answer any questions you have over email or in a meeting.



Why this template works:

  • Explains the situation clearly

  • Links directly to the job page

  • Has clear next steps for applicants if they have questions

Applicant Referral Email Templates

48% of businesses say that their best channel for hiring is employee referrals.

If your company has an internal referral program for new hires, it’s a big opportunity.

But just because someone was referred to you, it doesn’t mean they’ll reply to your email if it’s un-personalized or uninteresting to them.

You still need to craft an email that’s personal, relevant, and encourages them to take action.

1. Email to Referred Candidates

Your referral template needs to be high-quality because it’s not just your reputation on the line, it’s the person who referred you to the candidate as well. If they hear from the candidate that you emailed them a generic, uninteresting email, it’s a bad look for them.

Subject: Referred to you by [Referrer Name]

Hi {{prospect.first_name}}, 

We’re hiring for a [Job Title] at [Company] and [Referrer Name] told me to reach out to you as you work in a similar role at [Their Current Company].

The role we’re hiring for is focused on [Main Purpose], has a hybrid-remote work system, and we offer competitive compensation.

Are you interested in having a conversation about this?



Why the template works:

  • You’ve mentioned the referrer to build credibility

  • You’ve shown there’s research into them by highlighting their current role

  • There’s detail about the role

  • An easy-to-reply-to CTA

2. If You Have Previously Communicated

When you’ve had prior contact with a candidate at an event, meet-up, or even communicated briefly on social media, that’s a good conversation starter.

It won’t feel like you’re reaching out cold, and you’re more likely to get replies.

Subject: Follow-up after [Situation Where You Met]

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Great to connect with you at [Event] last month.

As you’re involved in [Project/Interest/Niche], I wanted to run an opportunity by you. [Company] reached out to me as they’re hiring for a [Job Title] in [Location].

Is that something you could be interested in?



Why the template works:

  • You remind them where you met

  • Showed you listened to them by highlighting a project or area they work in

  • Add the necessary details

  • Simple call-to-action that’s fast to reply to

Emailing Active Candidates Email Templates

Just because someone entered your hiring pipeline, it doesn’t mean your job is over.

As a recruiter or hiring manager, you need to communicate with candidates. Good communication is a simple way to improve your employer brand and show you care about applicants. 

Here are some templates you can use to engage with candidates as they’re in your pipeline.

1. Job Application Follow-Up Template

After someone has applied for your job, send them an email with more details, what to expect, and next steps.

You can schedule this automatically with QuickMail.

A simple email will go a long way in improving your candidate experience.

Here’s the template:

Subject: Thank you for applying to join [Company]

Hi {{prospect_first_name}},

Thank you for your application to join [Company]! We are currently in the process of reviewing applications and look forward to reading yours in detail.

We’ll update you on the status of your application within 7 - 10 days.

If you have any questions about the application, joining [Company], or the role, you can reply back to this email.

Thank you,


2. Invitation for Interview Template

You’ve finished reviewing applications, and you’re ready to invite candidates to an official interview.

If you’re dealing with a high-volume, this can be a time-consuming process done manually. Instead, you can send a campaign using QuickMail to every candidate who passed the first stage.

Here’s what the email looks like:

Subject: Invitation to interview with [Company] on {{date}}

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Thank you for applying to join [Company]. We liked your application and would love to schedule an interview with you.

The first interview will be held over Zoom and you’ll be joined by our CTO and myself. 

Are you available on {{date}} at [Time]? 

Let me know if you have any questions about the process.



Why this template works:

  • Clarity over the next steps

  • Easy to reply to

3. Interview Follow-Up Email

After an interview, interviewees will be nervously waiting to hear back. To improve your candidate experience, send an interview follow-up email explaining what to expect.

Here’s the template:

Subject: Thank you for your time & what to expect next

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Thank you for your time today. We enjoyed learning about you and your past experiences.

I wanted to follow up to let you know what to expect from us now.

We’re interviewing several other candidates this week, and will then discuss internally.

We’ll follow up with you in 7-10 days with an update on the status of your application.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email me.



Why the template works:

  • You show your candidate that you value their time

  • You lay out clear next steps to set expectations for the candidate journey

  • They know they can reach out with questions

4. Job Rejection Template

Unfortunately, not everyone makes it through the hiring process. Depending on the stage of the hiring process someone was rejected at, this email template can vary. 

For example, someone who didn’t get past the initial screening will have a different email to someone who had multiple interviews.

It’s not a fun email to write, but try to avoid diluting the message. Candidates will appreciate you being honest with them.

Here’s the template:

Subject: An update on your application to [Company]

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Thank you for your interest in joining [Company]. Unfortunately we aren’t progressing your application to the next stage at this time as we had other candidates with more direct experience in [particular skill].

However, we were very impressed with your experience in [area of expertise] and I’d strongly encourage you to apply to vacancies at [Company] in the future.

If you have any follow-up questions, please do not hesitate to reach out and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.



Why this template works:

  • You’re straightforward about your intention

  • You compliment the candidate in a particular area, proving you did consider them

  • The candidate has a clear way to follow-up with you with questions

5. Job Offer Template

The big moment - you’ve spent weeks or months on a long hiring process. All of the tasks, from writing job descriptions, promoting the vacancy, emailing candidates, and holding interviewers all boil down to this.

The job offer email template is a big moment. A new hire is good news for your company as it's a sign of growth, and it's an important moment in your candidate’s professional life. You want to make them feel welcome and excited to get started.

But, you still need to make it clear, professional, and easy-to-understand.

Here’s the template:

Subject: Job offer from [Company] to {{prospect.first_name}}

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

I hope you’re doing well. I’m excited to let you know that we’d love to officially offer you the role of [Job Title] with [Company].

I’ve attached your contract to this email, and it contains all of the details you’ll need to know about:

  • Role and responsibilities

  • Salary

  • Benefits

  • Contract details

You’ll be working with [Manager name] and they’ll email you important information that you’ll need to get started within the next few days.

The expected start date is [Date]. Please let us know if this doesn’t work for you.

Let me or [Manager name] know if you have questions about the contract, or anything else.

We’re all excited for you to join us!



Why the template works:

  • It breaks the good news

  • You include all of the relevant job details

  • You’ve explained next steps

Managing Your Candidate Outreach in QuickMail

To simplify the process of emailing candidates at different stages of the hiring process, you should be using a tool to manage it.

This can start with a simple spreadsheet and manual emailing if you’re a small company, but as you grow, you’ll quickly find the limits of that.

To organize outreach at scale, try QuickMail

You can import your candidate list from a simple spreadsheet, with all the necessary details about each one so you stay organized.

You can even have your candidates automatically imported from a Google Sheet. Whenever your sheet is updated with new candidates, they will be added to QuickMail.

From there, you can quickly send personalized outreach campaigns to your candidates with Campaigns.

Here’s what an outreach email would look like in the QuickMail campaign editor:

As you can see, the personalized details you have on candidates like:

  • Name

  • Current job title

  • Current company name

Can all be automatically filled. That enables you to send emails to multiple candidates at once, without compromising on personalization. Our deliverability features will ensure you always land in the main inbox, and your candidates never miss an email.

If you want to improve your candidate outreach, it’s a simple, effective way to do it and you’ll save hours every week usually spent sending emails manually.

You can also schedule follow-ups, and reminders to connect with candidates on LinkedIn, or call them directly from your QuickMail dashboard. Try it out with a completely free trial here and see how it benefits your candidate engagement process.

Wrapping Up

These email templates are ideal for recruiters looking to send personalized emails to candidates for a variety of reasons. But, it’s important to remember that every candidate you email is a real person, potentially heavily invested in the hiring process.

Make sure you personalize where possible, and always let candidates in your pipeline know what the next steps are and how they can get in touch with you.

The best recruiters use email to build relationships, not simply send as many emails as possible.