Want a Cold One? Quick tips for Cold Emailing for a Job

Want a Cold One? Quick tips for Cold Emailing for a Job

Cold Emailing for a Job

The telephone WAS a novelty the past 30 years. When I mean telephone, I mean speaking on the phone, and when I say speaking I mean dialing and talking to another person (texting doesn’t count!).

Phone skills for many have gone wayyy down hill!. Myself included. Usually, it is more comfortable and more convenient to email a person.


1) It adds convenience to the receiver so that they aren’t bombarded by a stranger coming in out of the rain.

2) It allows you to fully develop your ideas and state them clearly! You come across as intelligent (which can be important…).

So when it comes to job-hunting, there’s certain strategies to implement when searching for a job including skills in cold emailing for a job.

Do not ask for a Job in your Cold Email!

Again, don’t ask for the job! Sounds crazy, but this isn’t a cover letter (that’s a different universe). All you’re doing is opening a door and to make it comfortable for both sides! Asking for jobs brings no responses or, worse, the dreaded “talk to HR,” which, you’ve probably experienced, is a black hole of doom where you throw out your resume to an online database never to be heard from again…..

You want to approach the email with the mindset of the recipient:(who’s thinking) “Why do I care?”, and sometimes, “What’s in it for me?”

Target someone with a shared interest

Feel free to stretch that interest as much as you wish.

Examples: Alumni of school (this is the best and most useful), LinkedIn group members, fellow club members, current or past shared employer, industry (more of a stretch), hobbies(farthest stretch you should go) etc…

You communicate and relax better when you’re in the company of someone with a shared interest or experience. This is key! Finding the right person to target can take a while, don’t just hit up the first person you Google. Study your prospect’s profile and insert that into your cold-email.

Create a sense of familiarity with them. What’s your goal here?

To get them on the phone with you! Better yet, to meet with you! When you take the awkwardness of a cold-call out of the equation, you are left with a warm, prepared discussion.

Offer to take them out for coffee, or meet at a location nearest to the recipient. What you are doing is actually NETWORKING! The golden ticket to the job you want! You’d be surprised who people know and what people know!
Reid Hoffman tackles this kind of thinking in The Start-Up of You!. One of the first books we will tackle on the 7ESHOW. It’s gonna be great!

Put Familiarity in opening line

Right off the bat tell them how you are connected. Starting with something like “I’m looking for a job in *blank*” bores the reader immediately.

If you relax the reader in the first paragraph, they become more open-minded to the rest of the E-mail which heightens the chance for a response. Think, how do I relate to them so to generate a conversation? It may not even be about looking for a job, it could be about your similarities! That conversation can then get steered to your main focus.

Keep it Short and Simple

One of the old KISS adages is about to pay off! If it takes more than 30 seconds to read the entire e-mail, cut the fat now! You know the feeling yourself…..

Have you ever opened up an email and a HUGE chunk of text greets you and you feel your about to dive into “War and Peace”? I’m sure you either hit Delete, or you quickly skimmed for keywords than hit Delete.

Humans have a short attention span so get to what matters in that short span.

We talked about a similar concept when developing your Linkedin Headline!.

Think of it the same way, grab attention in as short amount of time as possible!

Ask for Advice, not a Job

We absolutely love to give advice. Every decision we make is based on our “expertise” and you feel good when you share it. Everyone’s not always free with their money, but most are fine dishing out their ideas and opinions.

Have a specific question to ask them about and that opens up doors to many more conversations which can lead to a key connection or even a hidden job they know about.

Do your Research

Make sure you show you’ve read their profile, researched their company, whatever work you put in before writing the e-mail, mention some fact that shows that. If someone writes to me and says “I notice you work a full-time accounting job and work on the 7Minute Entrepreneur, how have you been able to succeed in both areas?,” I am much more likely to answer because I can tell they took the time to get to know me a little bit.

I’ve made mistakes going against each of these tips, which is how I’ve figured out a good formula. Take charge of your job search, people give and receive jobs, not machines! Introduce serendipity and you never know what will pop out! Note: This does not mean cold-calling doesn’t work, some people are better writing than speaking over the phone. At times, cold-calling is much faster and you get a faster result, so depending on your unique situation, you may need to dial. You come across as more gutsy, but make sure you’re prepared and the tips above can still help as well when speaking with your target.

Action Plan:

1) Find a position or even a certain type of job you may be interested in.
2) Do a LinkedIn search for the industry, company etc.
3) Your goal is locate someone you would best connect with whether it be an alumni, a mutual friend etc. Or if they have multiple years experience, you can use that plug as they should be an expert in the field.
4) Follow the guidelines above for looking for advice, seeing if they would be willing to talk further about the industry, their experience, advice etc. Many areas to attack that don’t include asking for a job!
5) Let me know how it works!

For even more great templates, check out our friends at Criminally Prolific. They have EVEN MORE to offer in terms of cold emails.

  • Lawerence Bongard

    Sounds like an interesting collection and worth a visit.

    September 2, 2012 at 9:45 am