A cold email is a formal letter sent when searching for new job opportunities. These emails help build connections and paint a picture of you as an interested candidate. Cold emails are one mark of people ready to put effort into achieving their goals.
Today we’re diving into the nature of cold emails and how to write them.
What are cold emails?
Cold emails act as an introduction to someone you don’t know but who might be able to help you with your job search. Cold emails are great for building a professional network and showing your interest in a particular opportunity.
The purpose of cold emails:
- Reach a certain company
- Reach a person you don’t know
- Personal network expansion
- Interview scheduling
- A post-interview thank you letter
- A polite reminder of something
Why send cold emails if I can simply drop a line in a messenger app?
Cold emails are the most neutral and polite way to reach a person you need. Moreover, it’s similar to a cold call and increases your chances of getting noticed. By choosing email over instant messaging, you look more professional. Here is a brief list of some other advantages of sending a cold email:
- Non-invasiveness. Cold emails are quick and easy to reply to, and the employer has the space and freedom of when and how to respond.
- Reaching the right person. A cold email is more likely to get the person you need than a cold call. Calls may be redirected or canceled.
- A faster response. Emails flagged for further contact are the ones employers frequently check. Again, it’s a better alternative than leaving another voicemail.
- An opportunity to proofread before sending. Having someone proofread your email boosts your confidence and helps ensure everything is laid out correctly.
When seeking a job, you should consider sending cold emails. It can be an advantage, a way to stand out among other candidates, or a way to reach out to a company.
How to write a cold email for a job
In addition to cold-contacting someone through regular email services or filling out a form on a company web page, you can also send cold emails via job boards like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed.
The step-by-step guide to composing a cold email
1. Identify the person you want to contact.
No matter how perfect your email might be, it won’t help if you address it to the wrong person. It can take some thorough research to figure out whom to address in the company. Often, companies have their senior-level employees listed on their web pages, so visiting the “About Us” section is a must if you are searching for a name or email. In case there is no email listed, you can search for it on LinkedIn using the person’s first and last name.
If you are still unsure whom to contact while searching for an internship or applying for a specific position, feel free to email the company’s hiring manager, talent acquisition consultant, human resources manager, etc.
Finding a company's website might sometimes be challenging, so you can also check their LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter profile to find a correct web page address.
2. Mind the subject line.
The research says professionals receive many more emails than they actually read. The average US employee has 200 unopened emails in their inbox, and they get a few dozen more every day.
With that much email traffic, you need to stand out. Write a catchy, personalized title to grab the recipient’s attention. It shouldn’t be long since the person may view it on a mobile app; the ideal length is between six and 10 words. Mention the position you are interested in and the name of the position.
3. Format the salutation.
It might sound ridiculous, but the greeting line sets the tone for the whole email. Forget the age-old “To Whom It May Concern” and “Dear Sir or Madam” as they make emails sound too vague.
If you can’t find a name, something like “Dear Company X Hiring Team,” “Hello, Company X Recruiter,” or “Attn: Company X Hiring Manager” might work better than traditional approaches.
The perfect way to do that is to start with “Dear,” followed by Mr./Ms./Mx. and the recipient’s last name. It’s the perfect way to look personalized enough—and not like a mass mailing.
4. Craft a great introduction.
Start the body of your email by briefly explaining why you are writing to them. Why did you choose this person? Were you recommended? Did you come across their social media profile or a job post somewhere? But now is not the time to be long winded—make it as short as possible.
You may also write to them about who you are, the job position you are interested in, and why you want to work for their company.
5. Write the body.
Focus on your skills, your previous work experience, and why you are interested in that field. Don’t summarize or rewrite your resume; instead, highlight your value to the company and your uniqueness. You can also mention your educational accomplishments and achievements that will serve as proof you are qualified for the job.
6. Make a small request!
It’s good to ask about any open positions or a follow-up email instead of a job. You can also ask to schedule an interview or phone call.
7. Don’t neglect the ending.
Add a brief thank you—it’s a good move to finish the letter. As you sign off, avoid the old-school “Sincerely.” Instead, use “Best” or “Regards.”
Don’t forget to state your contact information, including email, phone number, and any other ways the person can reach you. But before that, ensure your email address looks professional and includes at least your last name.
Examples of cold emails
Here are a few sample cold emails you can tailor to your needs. You can modify or even skip some sentences, depending on the purpose of your email.
My name is . I’m a
I’ve noticed . As a long-time admirer of your company’s work in , I’m writing to .
I have experience in . I specialize in . I believe my qualifications and experience make me a strong candidate for at your company.
I have attached my resume with more information for your convenience.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you for an interview at a convenient time. Please contact me by email at or phone .
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
My name is . I’m a . I came across your contact information .
I’ve become captivated by the idea of working for your company. I'm writing to ask about .
I understand that has a proficient pool of workers in the field. I have years of experience and have received positive feedback from my manager. Some of my awards and certifications include . I would be delighted to put my experience as a to .
I’ve attached my resume to this email with more information on my experience for your consideration.
I'm available to meet to discuss open positions at at your convenience and to share more information about my qualifications in the field. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and I appreciate you taking the time to review my information and consider me as an applicant at your company.
Overall, writing cold emails can be hard work, but it might win over the heart of a company’s management and help you get the job of your dreams. A well-composed email just might be the key to the door. And once you dial in your ability to write cold emails, you are much likelier to get a positive response.