Recruiters send millions of email messages every day. The problem is, they either lose opportunities by using email improperly, or they overlook email’s power to develop new or deepen their relationships with their constiuents.

The first and biggest mistake is to think of an email message and a phone call as being interchangeable. They’re not. Recruiting is still -- and will always be -- a relationship business. If that weren’t the case, we would have all become extinct years ago when the job boards came along.

If you have something really important to say to a person, pick up the phone. For example, don’t try to get a candidate interested in a job you’re working on by emailing the company’s job posting, or try to close a deal by emailing the company’s offer letter to the candidate. These are transactions that are complicated, require interaction and involve nuances that are beyond the ability of email to handle.

The second email mistake is to gum up the body of your message with graphics, especially images or .jpgs that take up a lot of space at the top, which is the most valuable real estate. Try not to clutter up the body of your message with images that [a] nobody cares about, [b] stuff that doesn’t communicate a message of any real value, or [c] probably won’t be seen anyway, unless the recipient takes the extra step of right-clicking to load the pictures.

Also, I’m not crazy about the use of fancy fonts or font colors, since these might have the effect of trivializing your message, or unintentionally giving the impression that you’re less than totally serious or businesslike about your work.

The third email mistake is to not use email as a consistent broadcast medium. That’s where email has the most power: in its scalability. When’s the last time you reached out to 4,000 people in a single day by using the phone? It can’t be done, unless you hire a telemarketing company.

When it comes to email blasts, there are several different variations. For example, you might use a targeted blast to market a particularly hot candidate. Or, you might want to put the word out about a really appealing job you’re working on, and let your candidates know that you’ve got an open interviewing session with the hiring manager, who’s coming into your office next Thursday. Or, your emails can be sent according to a monthly or quarterly schedule, in which case you write a little piece about salary trends in your industry, or the results of the latest poll survey, or your observations about the employment outlook for the next calendar year.

Publishing a newsletter puts you head and shoulders above your competition, and it’s a great way to generate interest in your services or capture new leads. Of course, any newsletter you send via email should also include links to the jobs you’re working on, and brief bios on placeable candidates. Be sure to use “call to action” elements, which are essential to any successful email communication. After all, the whole point of sending an email is to get a response.

I hope you can use this information to help improve your communications -- and make more placements. I'll see you online at

Good luck, and I’ll see you online at

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