6 Cold Emailing Tips to Land Your Dream Job
The thought of emailing an HR manager at a company on your ultimate wish list can be intimidating. After all, they are super busy and likely flooded by emails from people just. like. you.
But applying some effective networking tricks can help you land that coveted interview. After all, everyone gets their start somewhere. Even Glossier states on its “Careers” page that one out of every three team members got their job at the beauty brand simply by writing an email. Now those are some great odds.
Whether you’re vying for a job after graduation or working on locking down a summer internship, these tips will help you stand out — and get you that much closer to your dream gig.
We asked Arianna Schioldager, editorial director of the women’s platform and movement Create & Cultivate, for some tips on what to do, and what NOT to do. As someone who is pitched to daily and works closely with entrepreneurs looking to create the career of their dreams, Schioldager is used to sorting through her inbox and picking out the star contenders within a 2-second scroll.
“Everyone receives a thousand pitches mixed in with invoices and urgent emails from the boss. Plus, you’re typing all day while eating your #SadDeskSalad. A lone email at 10:31 p.m. is like a lighthouse in a storm that is my inbox,” Schioldager tells Teen Vogue.
“Plus, on a human level, I RELATE to that person who is hustling past bedtime.” That’s right: emailing during off hours can be like a virtual fist bump in a sea of emails, hustler to hustler.
Here are some other ways to ensure your email stands out and helps get your foot in the door.
Do some cyber stalking to get the contact you need. Finding the email address of the person you’re trying to reach can require some extra sleuthing on your part. Run a search on LinkedIn and send a short and clear message. Marketing and PR people are usually very active on social media, so find their accounts and peep their bios for an email address.
Stand out and shine, from your subject line to your email. Schioldager advises: “You need to come in like a lion and go out like… a lion. From your subject line to your pitch, make it roar. Be brutally succinct. If the question, ‘what do you mean by that?’ comes into my head, you’ve pitched wrong.”
A trick that often works? Using on-brand words in the subject line and including an emoji or two. It’s a great way to grab someone’s attention. (Do be mindful of the industry you’re pitching to and know your audience; more corporate companies likely won’t appreciate emoji usage.)
Avoid certain days and times. Timing can be everything, so do be mindful of the day and time of your email. Schioldager elaborates: “If someone cold emails me super late at night, they’re more likely to get a response from me than at 4 p.m. crunch time.” You need to put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and show that you understand the afternoon struggle is real. It’s also best practice to avoid cold emailing on Mondays and Fridays; Tuesday is known for being the most productive day of the week, so use that stat to your advantage.
Slay your pitch by keeping it short, sweet and relevant. Include why you love the company and how you believe you can contribute. Go the extra mile by shouting out to any recent cool news about the brand, or referencing something noteworthy you read about the person you’re emailing. And if you know someone in common or you previously met at a networking event, do mention that connection in the subject line!
Don’t simply say you’re a fan. Prove it. Walk the walk. If you claim to be a brand’s number one stan, you need to demonstrate that your passion is legit. Do you follow the company’s social media channels? Following brands on social is also another way to ensure you’re the first to learn about job openings! (Extra tip: Posting standout social content and tagging the company on your personal Instagram when relevant can even help you get on a marketing team’s radar.)
Finesse the follow-up. Everyone’s busy, so if you don’t hear back after one week, be sure to follow up. It’s nothing personal. PSA: As tempting as it is, avoid writing “Just following up on my email from last week…” Instead, recap your original message in the body of the email and let them know you’re available to connect if they have any questions. It shows you’re enthusiastic about the job and brand, and bumps up your email in their inbox. Think of the follow-up as a gentle reminder that you’re a star candidate they’d be thrilled to meet.
Schioldager offers up this important final tip: “The best advice I could possibly give is be passionate. And use the challenge of short attention spans to make something worth reading. If you’re bored pitching it, you can bet I’m bored reading it.”