Job searching. At best, it stretches your creativity and pushes you to approach recruiters in different ways. At worst, it makes you want to crawl into bed instead of sending yet another cover letter. As much as the second option is tempting, working is a vital step in our career development, and unfortunately, most of us cannot avoid it. It may take time, but having a strategy definitely helps you get closer to landing your dream job.
In today’s competitive market, it is not enough to simply apply to jobs and cross your fingers. You need to go above and beyond to impress the hiring manager and the team long before you get called for an interview. Networking is key to having a foot in the door and turning people into your advocates. One effective way of building connections is, surprisingly enough, cold emailing. When done right, it can lead to a variety of opportunities such as mentorship, access to an exclusive network and you guessed it, your dream job.
Here are some tips that will lead to better results when cold emailing:
Do your research using the internet and offline connections
It’s important to tailor your message to the recipient, so do your research to find common grounds that will serve as conversation material. Go on Linkedin to see the projects they are working on or the articles they like to read. Use Google search and Facebook to see what their interests and hobbies are. Try as much as you can to find something in common with you that you can expand on in your email. It makes for a warmer introduction. If you can, get a mutual connection to introduce you. People are typically more responsive to their network and thus to you, if you’re connected to them somehow.
Personalize your email
This is key to an effective cold email. People don’t like to read something generic. It’s as if it doesn’t address them in particular.. If you’re going to be so impersonal, you might as well BCC them in an email chain, right? On the contrary, personalizing it will get their attention. People love feeling special, so a good way to avoid that could be as simple as using their first name in the first line or complimenting their work (which shows you’ve done your research).
As a fashion blogger, I receive many pitches from brands and the first thing I notice is their angle. Do they know what I do? Have they done their research on my brand to find ways in which we can collaborate? If it just says, “Hello there” or “To who it may concern,” I almost automatically assume this brand sent this email to many other people and I will likely disregard it. A warm approach increases your chances of getting a positive response and eventually, the chance to take them out for coffee.
Be concise and make it easy for them to say yes
Keep your email short but rich in useful details. People don’t have time to guess what they should know through emailing you back and forth. Busy executives receive at least 50 emails per day, so it’s important to be straightforward while answering their most basic questions (things like who you are, what you do and why you’re interested in their company/role.)
Think of your email as the written version of an elevator pitch. Practice being concise, but straightforward. When you reach out, be sure to:
Be specific about what you can do for them
Sell yourself like you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Don’t just show them what you can do for their company, but also suggest ways you can help them improve a particular outcome. If you’re pitching an editor for example, find an interesting angle for your stories and do your research to find areas they haven’t covered.
Include a call to action
It’s great to show them what you can do but it’s important to move them to action. Whether you end your email with a question, “ Are you available to hop on a phone call on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon?” or offer to bring them coffee at their office, be sure to make your intentions clear and communicate expectations. Make it easy for them to say yes by covering all the bases.
Don’t hesitate to follow up
People’s inbox get flooded. Make sure yours doesn’t get lost. A follow-up email is a simple way of reminding them that you’re waiting to hear from them. The rule of thumb is to follow up twice, so do not hesitate to do so. People actually appreciate when you do because it shows you’re determined.
Cold emailing can be considered the hardest type of communication for the simple reason that the receiver is not guaranteed to answer. However they can work well depending on the approach. Many startups and careers have been built through a simple cold email. So next time, you are sending a cold email, remember that the approach is central.
Christy Joseph, Writer, Shortstints