The Anatomy of an Engaging Student Message

October 24, 2023

Use our proven messaging guidelines to reach candidates with relevant messages to build brand awareness so that you’re top of mind throughout the recruiting season.

One of the most critical ways you can build awareness about your company and connect with early talent on Handshake is through direct, scaled messaging. 

As you build your company brand with Gen-Z, there are 6 clear advantages to sending direct messages to a pre-qualified students audience to:

  • introduce students to your company’s mission and values
  • engage them in your talent brand
  • direct them to check out your social channels
  • generate follows for your Handshake Company Profile (note: Once a student starts following your company profile, they’ll receive automatic updates to your announcements—which means you'll be able to organically attract students to your events and roles.)
  • increase event attendance 
  • increase applications from relevant candidates across your intern, placement, and graduate roles.

There are 4 key parts to an engaging student message:

  1. Subject line: Your subject line matters. The default subject line on Handshake mentions your company name, which is effective for catching students’ attention.
  2. Unique insight: Include some info that’s special about your company. Not only does it help you tell your brand story, it also intrigues students to learn more.
  3. Call to action: Make your call to action clear. Bold it, underline it, put it in colour, but most importantly, hyperlink it. Keep the ask simple - and try to stick to only one. You might also want to add a deadline to your call to action to encourage students to act quickly - this applies particularly to invitations to events or applications for a role. 
  4. Personalisation: Personalise the message, including using your real name instead of a generic recruiting email address when you sign off. Students are more comfortable, and more likely, to respond to a person rather than a generic email domain.

Here’s an example message template to invite students to follow your Company Profile on Handshake:

Hi [First Name],

I’m [Sender Name], a [role] at [company]. I saw that you're studying [course name] and thought you would be a great fit at [company]. So, I wanted to send you a quick message to encourage you to follow [company]'s profile on Handshake so you're notified when our graduate roles and internship opportunities are live.

[Company] is [insert info about company] and we offer a variety of programmes for ambitious interns and graduates - from [insert programmes] and more.

Take a look at our Handshake profile here [insert link to Handshake brand page] and follow us so you're alerted to our latest opportunities and events.

Speak soon,
[Sender Name]

Take a look at some of our other messaging templates for more inspiration and get started with your free Handshake profile today.