The Cold Outreach Litmus Test
I am introducing the following litmus test to define what a good recruitment email looks like:
- Message is personalized (beyond first name).
- Sender mentions a common interest or connection.
- Sender clearly read my blog, or my github.
- Sender sounds like a human, not a corporate PR robot.
- Pitch is targeted towards plausible next steps in growth of my personal career (skills, experience level, location).
- Sender found a personal intro to me. (+1 point)
- Sender provides plausible next steps for me to research opportunity. (+1 point)
- Sender mentions exact salary. (-1 point)
- Sender uses the word ‘unicorn’ or draws comparison to Uber, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (-1 point)
- Pitch is for a remote-only position or for a skill I have not used since college. (-1 point)
I strongly encourage anyone who receives a recruiter email that does not get a 4/5 on this litmus test to reply with a strong rapport-breaking message: