The 3 Cold Email Templates That’ll Help Land You a Job

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
I graduated from college during the economic downturn and spent months sending application after application to no avail. Finally, I took another approach: cold emailing prospective employers. This, too, proved to be frustrating...until one day, I received a reply to an email I'd sent an hour earlier. It said, "Your timing is good." As it turned out, the marketing assistant had just handed in her resignation that morning. Before her manager had even posted the job listing, I went into the city to interview and received an offer that week. That manager who told me my timing was fortuitous would be my boss.
Cold emailing for a job can be intimidating, but it can also dramatically increase your odds of landing a role, especially one you really want. For one, rather than simply responding to the same listing everyone else is responding to, you're reaching out directly — in other words, you're separating yourself from the many other potentially qualified candidates. This is especially true if there's no actual advertised opening; you might even learn about a position before other would-be candidates do and won't be competing against them. 
As with any cover letter, it's important to thoroughly research the company. Here, you need to go the extra mile and explain why they need your services — what problem you can solve or issue you can address. You need to show them why they need you. Who knows? They might even create a role for you if you're persuasive enough!
Before we look at templates for three different job-seeking scenarios, let's discuss important considerations in all the cases outlined below.

Tips for cold emailing

• Think about your purpose: Do you want a job? To learn more about the company? To have an informational interview?
• Find the information for the correct contact (usually the hiring manager or a key figure in your would-be department).
• Include a call to action (CTA), such as scheduling a meeting or phone call.
• Keep it brief and straightforward.
• Don't make the recipient do too much work — let them know, for example, that you'll call them, rather than the other way around.

Template #1: When you've applied to a job opening

In the best-case scenario, there's an actual job opening at an employer you want to work for. Still, even if you've already submitted an application, it can be helpful to reach out personally to help you stand out from the crowd. This type of follow-up is different from checking in to see if the hiring manager or recruiter received your materials; it's another way of demonstrating your enthusiasm — and the fact that you did your homework. Look on LinkedIn for key contacts (such as the head of the department in which you'd be working) or see if there's anything in the news about relevant figures at the company. For example, if they recently wrote a great op-ed for a major publication, you can use it as a jumping-off point.
Dear [NAME],
I recently applied for [ROLE] at [COMPANY], before coming across your [ARTICLE, LINKEDIN PROFILE, etc.]. [DESCRIBE A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT IMPRESSED YOU ABOUT THEIR WORK OR EXPERIENCE.} I'm very eager to work with [COMPANY] because of [X, Y AND Z] and would love to discuss the position and company further at your convenience.
A little about me: [2-4 QUALIFICATIONS; DON'T GIVE A FULL RUNDOWN OF YOUR RESUME — FOCUS ON THE HIGHLIGHTS].
Please let know of some times that are convenient for me to give you a call and discuss the position further. I'm generally available [THREE TIMESLOTS].
I look forward to speaking with you.
Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]

Template #2: When there aren't any openings at your dream employer

If there aren't any current openings at your dream employer, don't get discouraged. Sometimes, an opening simply hasn't been posted yet. Or, someone could quit or get promoted into a new position tomorrow, and your email will be at the top of the hiring manager's inbox. Even if there really aren't any openings, you could secure an informational interview, which will help you learn more about the company and whether it really is a good fit. This will also put you on their radar, so if there are any openings in the future, they might contact you. 
Dear [NAME],
It's always been my dream to do [JOB], and given that [COMPANY] is a leader in the industry, I can't think of anywhere better to fulfill that goal. I'm a [WHAT YOU'RE DOING NOW — JOB, SCHOOL, ETC.] who's [THREE KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS]. I'd love to learn more about [COMPANY] and discuss your needs for a [THE JOB YOUR SEEKING]. Would it be possible to schedule a phone call for this week? I'm available [THREE SPECIFIC TIMESLOTS].
I look forward to speaking with you.
Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]

Template #3: When you're tapping into your network

If you have a connection at a company where you'd like to work, this is a great way of learning more about the employer, finding out about the culture, discovering openings and even getting your foot in the door. As you probably know, networking is one of the main ways people land jobs, so it can be enormously helpful to spend some time on LinkedIn to see who knows somebody who works somewhere you'd love to end up.
Before you reach out, try to have your mutual connection introduce you virtually or at least ask the other person if it's okay for you to contact them. They should also let you know how they'd like to be contacted — email, phone or what have you. Once you have the green light, use this cold email template to introduce yourself
Dear [NAME],
[MUTUAL CONNECTION] suggested I reach out to you. I'm an aspiring [JOB TITLE] who currently [WHAT you're DOING NOW, e.g. work or school] and have always admired [COMPANY] for {X, Y and Z reasons]. I'd love to hear about your experience working there and discuss how you got into the field. Is there a time when we could get a cup of coffee and chat? If so, I'm available {PROVIDE AT LEAST THREE DATE AND TIME RANGES, such as Monday and Tuesday afternoons].
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Best,
[YOUR FULL NAME]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]

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