Sending cold emails to prospective employers can provide you with great connections and possible opportunities. When you send cold emails to the intended representatives of companies you are interested in working for, it shows your initiative and willingness to put forth the extra effort to achieve your career goals. In this article, we discuss what cold emails are, tips for writing them and how to write a cold email for a job that gets a successful response.
What are cold emails?
Cold emails are introductory emails that you send to someone you do not know to create a connection for business or networking opportunities. Cold emailing is not just for sales and can be used for a variety of situations, such as:
- When you want to email your dream company
- When you want to use your network to be introduced to someone
- When you want to expand your network
- When you want to set up an informational interview
- When you need to email someone you don't know or have a connection to
- When you want to say thank you after an interview
- When you want to follow up after an unanswered cold email
- When you let a recruiter know you applied for the job
Benefits of sending cold emails
Since technology and convenience are important, one of the best ways to reach people for jobs may be cold emailing. Here are some of the benefits of sending cold emails:
- They reach an inbox that users frequently check. Most professionals look at their email inbox multiple times a day. It is more likely that they are going to read your email instead of listening to a voicemail message.
- They are persistent. You may send follow-up emails along with your original cold email, but don't overdo it.
- They are noninvasive. Cold emails are noninvasive and can help the potential employer feel as though they have the space and option for how and when to respond.
- Replying is quick and easy. Recipients of your cold email can reply quickly and easily.
How to write a cold email for a job
Here are a few steps you can take to write a cold email for a job:
- Identify the right person to contact.
- Tell them exactly why you are contacting them.
- Start with a small request.
- Personalize your message.
- Follow up if necessary.
1. Identify the right person to contact
To identify the right person to contact at a company, you have to do some thorough research. Check the company website and/or their business social networking site. Companies typically list their senior-level employees on their websites and you may be able to locate their email addresses by looking up their business social media profiles.
2. Tell them exactly why you are contacting them
It is important to state who you are and your purpose early on in the email inquiry. The best way to do this is to be specific. Tell them who you are, where you work, how you got their information and why you are interested in the company. This may pique their interest and give them a reason to continue reading your cold email.
3. Start with a small request
Rather than asking for a job upfront in an email, ask about open positions in a follow-up email or at an arranged future meeting, like over coffee. Asking for too much can seem confrontational, so start slow and develop a relationship.
4. Personalize your message
You will likely increase your chances of getting a response if you personalize your message. Do this by using the recipient's name in the email and referencing some of their notable work you admire. This shows that you take a genuine interest in them rather than wanting them to take an interest in what they can do for you.
5. Follow up if necessary
If you receive no response a week after you sent your email, then it is acceptable to send a short follow-up email. It is likely the person you are sending the message to is busy and may have emails backed up that they haven't responded to.
Related: How to Write a Professional Email
Tips for sending cold email job inquiries
Here are some general tips that will help you send cold emails with confidence:
- Send your email at a convenient time. It is best to avoid sending your email very late at night or early in the morning. The recipient is likely to see the time stamp and wonder why you are contacting them at a strange hour. Try to send the email on a weekday around mid-morning if possible.
- Keep it short and simple. The person you are contacting may not have time to read a long email, so try to keep it short and simple to make sure they read the whole thing and understand what you are requesting.
- Proofread your email. Pay attention to your grammar and spelling before you send the email to make sure your email is professional and displays your written-communication skills.
- Note your shared interests. Discuss some of the things that are interesting to you about the work the recipient does and how that connects you both. This helps to create rapport and increases your chances of getting a response.
- Enhance your subject line. Your subject line should be appealing to get their attention. People often ignore emails from unknown sources if the subject line contains little or no information or appeal.
- Include your availability. If you are asking the recipient to meet up with you, it is best to state your availability and let them choose the date and time that works best for them.
Cold email inquiry template
Below is a template that may help you to create your own cold email inquiry:
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I found your information on [HOW YOU FOUND THE INFORMATION]. I am currently seeking a new opportunity to sharpen my skills and gain experience in [SKILL] and [SKILL]. As of right now, I work for [COMPANY NAME] as a [POSITION], however, I am interested in applying for the open position of [POSITION] at your company. I think I could offer this organization [VALUE].
I'd love the opportunity to discuss the opportunity over [PHONE, COFFEE, EMAIL, ETC.]. I am available [YOUR AVAILABILITY].
Please let me know if you are available to discuss this position further. I am willing to work around your schedule.
Thank you for your consideration.
Download Cold Email Template
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Cold email examples
Here are a few situational examples in which a cold email could be sent to help you when you are writing your own cold email:
Example #1: When you need to email someone you don't know
Dear Mr. Robertson,
My name is David Peterson and I am interested in finding out more about the senior marketing executive position listed on your company website. Your assistant provided me with this email so I could get in touch with you.
I noticed that your company won the Best Marketing Agency award for three years in a row and your name was mentioned in an article regarding your commitment to empathetic leadership. I would love to meet with you because of our shared interest in leading teams to success with the utmost emotional intelligence.
I'd love to schedule a time to discuss my suitability for the senior marketing executive position within the next couple of weeks. I am willing to adapt to your availability, of course. I will follow up with you next week if I haven't received a reply from you before then.
Example #2: When you want an informational interview
Dear Candace Barnaby,
My name is Elizabeth York. I'm a 2017 graduate from New Town University. I came across your name on the alumni website and I followed the links to your published research. I especially enjoyed the article regarding the way our body metabolizes medications.
If possible, I'd be very interested in meeting for 20-30 minutes over coffee to discuss your career and whether there may be any upcoming opportunities with your company. I currently work for Hope Teaches Research Hospital, but many individuals in my network work in the pharmaceutical research industry. These colleagues have told me how they have made a difference and I hope to do the same in the research assistant position available at your company.
Would it be possible for us to meet soon? I have a flexible schedule and can meet at a date and time that is convenient for you.
I look forward to your response.
Example #3: When you let a recruiter know you applied
Dear Steven Wei,
I applied for an open position at Blue Mist Company for the position of software engineer on your online career site. I believe the position fits incredibly well with my 15 years of experience in database management and software engineering. If you are interested in learning more about me please check my business social media page [PROFILE LINK].
I recently followed you on the same business social media page and I appreciate the interesting articles you provide for job seekers and how you interact with candidates. We also have a common interest regarding AI.
I'd love to schedule a call and talk with you further about the position and my experience. I have some availability on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday both next week and the following week from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. You can email me at Josh.Numan@email.com or by phone at 555.555.5555. I look forward to speaking with you.
Related: 20 Ways to Start an Email