While cold emailing may seem slightly less scary than cold calling potential employers, since you’ve got more time to compose your thoughts and think about what you want to say, it comes with its own set of challenges. As Jillian Kumagai writes in a post for Mashable.com, “the key to the cold email is to own it like you’ve been doing it your whole life.” How do you do that? Kumagi shares “7 Tips for Writing Cold Emails to Prospective Employers,” and her list is filled with great advice for standing out from other candidates and making a strong first impression. Read on to see what she suggests.
1. Know Who Your Emailing — Just as you would research a company before going on a job interview, you should learn a bit about the person you’re emailing before you press “send.” Did you go to the same college? Maybe you came to the industry from a similar background? If nothing else, you should know the person’s title and job responsibilities.
2. Be Specific In the Subject Line — If you think you get a lot of emails every day, just think about people who are in positions to hire for jobs. As Kumagai writes, you should use a “short, snappy and informative subject line” that makes the person want to read your message. You might make a quick reference to the networking dinner where you met or draw attention to the fact that you’re a student from his or her alma matter.
3. Show Some Enthusiasm — Would you hire someone who approaches you with a bland, dispassionate email? Of course not. Show a little enthusiasm for the position by talking about why you’re interested in the job and a fan of the company. You don’t have to lay it on thick, but a little passion goes a long way.
4. Keep It Short — No one needs to hear your life story. Cold emails should be a few paragraphs at the most, so introduce yourself, state your purpose, show some personality, and wrap it up before you wear out your welcome.
5. Highlight Your Experience — If you can point a potential employer to examples of your work, do so. Link out to your personal website, if you have one, as well as any social media pages that are appropriate for the professional realm. These URLs can be included in your email signature.
6. Proofread Carefully — Don’t hit send until you know it’s flawless.
7. Follow Up Properly — If you don’t hear back in a week, drop a follow-up email that doesn’t merely rehash all the info from your approach. Ask whether the person received your first message and again mention that you’d love to chat about the position.