Sending cold email for jobs is extremely effective and a great way to think outside the box and get attention, but you have to do it correctly (which almost no one does).
In this article we’ll talk about how to land your dream job using cold emails as your “foot in the door”.
Let’s dive in…
What are Cold Emails?
Cold emails are introductory emails meant to open a conversation with someone you don’t know or that you’ve never talked to.
It’s an effective way to reach out and network with potential clients, partners, and more.
In the case of cold email for jobs, it means reaching out to business owners, staff, or HR managers in the pursuit of landing a new job.
Cold email is not just for sales and prospecting, it can also be used for:
- Contacting business owners, and hiring managers about applying for a job
- Contacting businesses who are hiring to pitch agency or freelance help
- Reaching out to potential partners about an opportunity
- Inviting prospects to webinars or other free educational content
- And much more
Benefits of Sending Cold Email for a Job
There are several benefits of sending cold emails to get a job, rather than applying in a more traditional way.
- You show that you’re serious about what you want
- You show that you think for yourself
- You reach them in their email inbox (where they most likely check very often)
- You create urgency to set up an interview
- You can show your copywriting skills and “go-getter” attitude from day one
Most job applicants will apply, sit back, and wait.
You’re choosing to be persistent and make yourself known to the heads of the business.
This pattern interrupt can boost your chances of getting the job, or at least getting noticed and growing your professional network.
How to Write a Cold Email to Get a Job
It’s important for you to master the fundamentals of cold email copywriting.
Let’s dive in and show you exactly how to write a cold email for jobs.
- Identify the correct person to contact
- Show them the value you have to offer
- Start with a smaller call to action
- Personalize your message
- Keep it short
- Follow up with them
1. Identify the Correct Person to Contact
First, determine who the right contact is. It could be a human resources representative or perhaps the CEO.
Keep in mind that CEOs generally have more important things to do. So keep that in mind.
If you’re confident about who you’re reaching out to, you can do a more targeted, direct cold email to get a job.
But, if you’re not 100% sure, it’s best to use the waterfall technique.
The waterfall technique means reaching out the high level people (like the president, CEO, head of, director, VP, etc.) and asking who the right person is to talk to regarding your email.
This is very effective and something that has worked for me in the past.
So either get super targeted or aim high and waterfall down to the right person.
Use a LinkedIn email scraper to find contact details like email and LinkedIn URL.
2. Show Them the Value
The fact is, people mostly care about themselves and their self interests.
Listing out your resume in a cold email for jobs is not going to entice anyone to reply.
You need to focus on them.
This is how you get noticed and start a conversation.
Instead of “I have done XYZ”, lead with “I’ve done this in the past, and now I know I can do the same or better for your company”.
It’s OK to talk about your quantifiable accomplishments, the stuff that you’ve achieved, but always tie it back to them and the benefits you can provide them.
Never use the word “I” too much. As they say, “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team'”.
3. Start with a Smaller Call to Action (CTA)
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
There’s only one way they’ll be able to hire you: they need to interview you and you both need to feel it will be a mutual fit.
Your call to action will always be more effective at getting a reply when it’s focused on a small way to get started and see if it’s a fit, then lead up to getting hired full time.
Call to Action Ideas for Job Cold Emails
- “Are you available Friday at 2pm to see if I’m what you’re looking for?”
- “Any interest in exploring this further?”
- “Can I send my CV/resume over?”
- “What time works for you this week to chat about this?”
Keep it light, keep it simple.
Above all, make it easy to say “yes” to.
One “yes” opens the door for more of them down the line and is the best way to start a new relationship.
4. Personalize Your Message
This cannot be stressed enough: you need to personalize your cold email.
Some of these people get dozens of cold emails every day.
They’re overwhelmed with messages in their inboxes.
You need to stand out and show you actually care about the job you’re cold emailing out.
The best way to do this is to do your research.
- Check their LinkedIn profile and read their posts, find their interests, see what college they went to
- Check the Team page on their website and see what their exact position is
- See if they’ve written any blogs or articles or been on a podcast
You want to find common ground as quickly as you can. This will get your email opened (and not trashed or marked as SPAM) in the first place.
- Compliments (as long as their fairly professional) can work great
- Mentioning their college or a local sports team (if it’s something you know about and your research shows they care about it too) can work
- Mentioning a recent achievement or accolade can work
- Mentioning a shared hobby or passion you both have works incredibly well
Get creative, keep it formal (you’re not friends YET), and always take the time to personalize your cold emails for jobs beyond just “hi [first_name]”.
5. Follow Up with Them
Many people are just too busy to answer or even open the first email you send.
You need to follow up and show you’re a go-getter that won’t take silence as an answer!
Grow a pair and really go for it, don’t feel bad about following up with people via cold email.
I recommend following up at least 3 times over about 2 weeks or so (more works too, but don’t get marked as SPAM or bug them).
On the last email, make sure to let them know “this is the last email I’m going to send you…”, essentially break up with them before even meeting them.
Always make your call to action (CTA) soft and easy to say “yes” or “no” to.
And always put an unsubscribe link, or mention an easy way for them to unsubscribe) in the email.
Tips for Sending Cold Email for Jobs
- Prioritize personalization
- Don’t fit in, stand out
- Keep it short and sweet
- It’s about them, not you
- Read your email out loud first
- Include your availability
- Include a link to your CV/resume in the signature
- Speak to the exact job requirements
- Test, test, test
Tip #1: Prioritize Personalization
Don’t skip personalizing your cold email for a job, like I mentioned earlier.
The worst thing you can do is come off as “generic” or boring.
You can even throw some fun personalization in there to impress them or even get a laugh!
Imagine getting a cold email with a funny gif with your name in the image! Now that grabs attention and makes you want to reply.
Always add some level of personalization to your cold emails, it pays off.
Cold Email for Jobs Template
Here are a couple of cold email templates for job hunting.
Subject: Full Time Web Designer Position at [company]
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I found your information on [HOW YOU FOUND THE INFORMATION]. I know you’re busy, so I’ll cut to the chase: I am perfect for [POSITION]. In my last position at [LAST POSITION], I achieved [RESULT] for the company, and I’m confident I can help [COMPANY] achieve that or better.
Any interest in discussing this opportunity over [PHONE, COFFEE, EMAIL, ETC.]. I am available [YOUR AVAILABILITY].
Also, if I should be emailing someone else about this (whoops!), please point me to the right person over at [COMPANY]
[LINK TO CV]
That’s pretty formal, but still throws in some humor and personality.
Obviously re-write and tailor your cold emails to reflect your personality and cadence.
Here’s another cold email template for jobs:
Subject: [PASSION or HOBBY] and work
Hi [FIRST NAME],
I noticed you’re a [PASSION or HOBBY] fan, so am I! I love [DETAILS].
I’m sure we could talk about that all day, but the reason for this email is that I saw that [COMPANY] had [POSITION] open.
In my last position at [POSITION], I achieved [ACHIEVEMENT] and I’m 100% confident I can add a ton of value to [COMPANY].
Long story short – when can we have a 15 minute chat about this to see if it’s a fit?
Or can you point me in the right direction of who I should talk to about this?
[LINK TO CV]
Short, and to the point, with some serious personalization.
Put yourself in their shoes – would you open that email?
Hell yes you would!
That’s the type of cold email for jobs that will land you a position at a company.
Also notice the “… can you point me in the right direction…” part. If they’re not the right person, you’re wasting your time!
Make sure your email has as much impact as possible. Long messages don’t get read.
Cold Email for Jobs Subject Line
When it comes to cold email for jobs subject lines, you want something short (no more than 3-5 words ideally), that grabs their attention.
There’s a few subject lines that work across the board:
- Quick question (this works extremely well in all situations I’ve tried it in)
- Question for [NAME]
But getting creative with subject lines can increase open rates and get your email read by more of your target audience.
Mentioning their passion or hobby in the subject, for example, can drastically increase the open rates. It’s not easy to automate, but it’s high quality and establishes a connection immediately.
How to Cold Email Someone for a Job
There’s really two methods you can use to cold email someone for a job.
- Manual approach
- Automated approach
Let’s explore these 2 methods of cold emailing:
1. Manual Approach
Manual = more time, less money.
With a manual approach, you can really do your research and customize each email with a basic template.
Generally, this is going to lead to higher open rates and higher reply rates across the board.
The downside is it takes more time.
But, in the case of cold emailing for jobs, it can make a lot of sense to take this approach, especially if you’re unemployed with time on your hands.
2. Automated Approach
Automated = less time, more money.
With the automated cold email for jobs method, you’ll need to invest some money, but you’ll save a lot of time.
But, you will notice that it gets lower open and reply rates than the manual approach.
This is because there’s less personalization (in general), and it’s automated at scale (people can tell).
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, it just depends on your goals.
Using LinkedIn for Jobs
LinkedIn is a great platform for cold outreach.
Lots of people and companies use it for recruiting as well.
It’s worth it to send some LinkedIn messages or InMails and see if it works for you.
Almost all of the principles are the same as cold email for jobs. You can also combine it with LinkedIn to create an omni channel outbound strategy.
Does Cold Emailing Work for Jobs?
Yes, with the right strategy cold email works for jobs.
You need to make sure to contact the right people, personalize your message, focus on the benefits to their company and keep it short.
How Do I Send Cold Email to HR?
- Know who you’re targeting and get their info
- Keep it short and sweet
- Share your accomplishments
- Keep it focused on the value you can provide
- Make it easy to say “yes”
- Personalize your email and find common ground
- Follow up 3-4 times
- End with a “breakup” email
Final Thoughts on Cold Emailing for Jobs
If you’re looking to land your dream job, it helps to put out some extra effort.
Cold email for jobs works and it’s pretty simple, but you need to be thoughtful about it.
I’ve given you a ton of tips and templates to help and I wish you the best of luck with your job hunt!