Skip to content
Log in
Tools & tips

4 steps to a winning message that engages college talent

What exactly should your summer recruiting strategy focus on? Use this message template to build brand awareness so you're top of mind this fall.

After a busy year of early talent recruiting, summer often feels like the right time to take your foot off the gas. Schools are out of session and students are busy with their summer internships.

But waiting until back to school season to reach out to students means missing out on some definite advantages of recruiting off-peak. Capture students’ attention outside of the busy back-to-school season to stand out from the competition. So when the time comes to directly engage students in your event or fair this fall, they’ll know what you stand for—which matters to Gen Z job seekers.

This summer, use this message template to build awareness about your company ahead of back-to-school season.

How to engage students with a brand messaging campaign

Send a brand campaign to introduce students to your company’s mission and values, engage them in your talent brand, check out your social channels, and invite them to follow your Handshake Company Profile. Once they follow you, they receive automatic updates to your announcements—which means you'll be able to organically attract students to your events and roles.

Follow these 4 steps when you write your message:
  1. Your subject line matters. The default subject line on Handshake mentions your company name, which is effective for catching students’ attention.
  2. 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. Make your Call To Action clear. Bold it, underline it, put it in color, but most importantly, hyperlink it. And keep the asks simple, like “Follow us on Handshake.”
  4. Personalize the message, including using your real name instead of a generic recruiting email address when you sign off.

Your message template to invite students to follow your Company Profile on Handshake

Use segments on Handshake to build your audience, then use this message template to reach out to students.

[Your Name] from [Company] has sent you a message on Handshake

Hi {{first_name}},

I hope you’re having a great summer! My name is [Your Name] and I’m part of [Company]’s recruiting team. I found your profile on Handshake and was impressed with your background in {{major_name}} at {{institution_name}} and I wanted to reach out.

What is [Company]? [One-line company description]

Interested in learning more?

Give our page a follow on Handshake [link to company page]! It’s the best way to keep in touch and see when we’re hosting a virtual event or fair, visiting your campus, or hiring.

You can also check out our blog/social media [identify and link your choice of online content] and learn why [Company] is consistently [voted/ranked] [award].

Thanks, {{first_name}}. Hope to see you this fall!

[Your Name]


Brush up your brand to get ahead of back to school season

If you need to update your Company Profile before sending your brand campaign, leverage your summer interns! It’s a learning opportunity for them, as well as a chance for you to create a profile that truly engages students.

  • Share your existing Company Profile with your interns and ask for their feedback.
  • Ask interns to write reviews and testimonials for your Profile.
  • Refresh Company Profile with up-to-date, engaging content.
  • Message students asking them to follow your Company Profile on Handshake.

Get your back to school checklist for more ways to get ahead of fall.

Brushing up your brand is an essential part of preparing for back to school season. So summer is the perfect time to audit your brand across channels. When students return to campus and start looking at employers and opportunities, your brand can be top of mind.

To unlock additional messaging capability, learn about upgrading your account.

Recruit smarter with Handshake

Stay up-to-date on the latest early talent trends.