If you find yourself feeling under-challenged at your current position or if you have your eye on a workplace that seems ideal for you, you have two options: either sit around and wait for an opportunity to come to you, or make a proactive move and create that opportunity.
Cold emailing is a communication strategy in which you voluntarily reach out to someone via email, with the assumption that you have something worthwhile to offer that recipient.
Some of you may associate this idea with annoying and rude telemarketers, but this is an entirely different concept. If you cold email a potential employer in a proper manner and play your cards right not only will you not be considered rude and invasive, it may even score you some points for being bold and forehanded. But what’s the right way to cold email a potential employer? Here are a few key pointers.
Step 1: Get the Right Email Address
It’s important that your email gets to the right person if you want it to have any impact. If you send it to a general email address like “contact” or “support”, your email will most likely be ignored.
You need to find a personal email address for a person who can actually appreciate your email and is capable of making a decision. In other words, it can’t be someone too high or too low down the hierarchy. Ideally, you should contact the head of the department you want to work in. If they like what you have to offer, they’ll either reply directly or get someone from HR to contact you.
How can you actually do this?
- Snoop around with people you know.
- Use LinkedIn and browse through the company’s profile to get familiar with the personnel.
- Contact the company via social channels like Facebook and ask directly. It might not work, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Step 2: Come Up with a Killer Subject Line
The subject line you choose for your email can determine whether your email will be deleted without being read or opened straight away. How you phrase the subject line depends very much on three elements:
- The type of company you’re after: Is it a “stiff” corporate or a start-up with a creative environment?
- The job your’e interested in: Entry level or senior? Graphic Designer or Business Manager? There are different writing conventions for different positions.
- The person you’re about to contact: Obviously, you can’t assume the same tone with a CEO and a web developer.
A general rule of thumb is to be clever, intriguing and sharp. Don’t overdo it with a mysterious or abstract riddle. Keep it simple but still out of the ordinary.
Step 3: Start Composing a Knock-Out Email
Okay, you’re ready to start thinking about the actual content of the email. Here’s how to go about it:
- Be brief: The whole purpose of cold emailing is to grab the employer’s attention quickly and effectively, so you need to stay focused and to the point.
- Show that you fit: Your email should demonstrate that you can offer the company everything they need in terms of experience, requirements and skills.
- Stay amicable: It’s possible that the company is not looking to hire just now, but that can change in a month or two. Make it clear in your email that you’ll be happy to stay in touch for the long run.
- Add an Online CV: When adding a link to an online CV, your future employer will be able to see a dynamic display of your skills, experience and creativity with just one click. Start creating your online CV with one of these templates. Edit all your information and upload samples of your work if relevant. You’ll have yourself a killer CV in no time!
Step 4: Keep Going!
Taking your career path in your own hands is a great decision that you will not regret. Even if cold emailing doesn’t work with one company, it doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Be persistent and stay optimistic, and you will see that it pays off.