Networking

6 Steps to a Cold Email That Will Get You Noticed

December 5, 2017

6 Steps to a Cold Email That Will Get You Noticed

Before landing my job in 2014 as a software developer, and more recently starting JobikiI spent a lot of time editing and sending cold emails. I was a student at the time, and after fine-tuning the process, it was very successful at getting responses. I previously blindly applied to open positions I saw online, but I rarely heard back.

I used the following steps and had a much higher (“hire”, amiright?) response rate than I ever did with online applications. This template can be used for a cold email to companies you are interested in working for, or as a followup to an online application. If you’re just looking to do a followup, you can skip to step 3.

1. Change your perspective

Right off the bat, we are going to deviate from what everyone else is doing. Stop looking for job postings. They are what the rest of the job market is going after…this process will go after those same jobs, PLUS all the jobs that are unlisted, haven’t been listed, or haven’t been created until you emailed.

Start by finding the places that you actually want to work. To help with this, check out Jobiki, where you can find companies with the best culture fit for you.

2. Get the contact information

This may be the hardest, or most time consuming, step. (I promise, they get easier next) So you’ve identified some awesome companies or opportunities, great!

When I send out these emails, I try to hit a few people at one company. Ideally, the recruiting manager if there is one. Otherwise, the general HR/Recruiting email, and 2 or 3 people in the department/field I would like to get hired into. Ideally managers, but the average employee also works. To find the email, I use LinkedIn and company blog posts, as well as searching the internet for the “@domain.com” phrase to see what emails come up. If you find peoples names  you can use sites like Hunter.io to get the most popular email format for the company. You then fill in and go!

3. The Subject

This is the simplest and shortest section. The basics here is that you need the recipient to know why they are getting this email, before even reading it. You have a couple options to choose from:

  • Experienced Candidate Seeking [Insert Field Name Here] Opportunities
  • New Graduate Seeking [Insert Field Name Here/Employment/Internship] Opportunities

Otherwise, if you’re applying to a specific position online, use something like below:

  • Experienced Candidate Seeking [Insert Position Title] Position
  • New Graduate Seeking [Insert Position Title] Position

The reason we have these options is they clearly explain what we want and what our experience is. Setting expectations is key. Lets move on…

4. Building the Body

So I have already done that for you… you just fill it in. Below you will find the body with blanks, thats where you fill it in. 🙂 Below the template is two versions as examples for reference.

Mr./Ms. [FirstName LastName]

My name is [Your Full Name] and I am interested in [employment/internship] opportunities at [Company name]. I wanted to personally reach out and deliver you my resume. I [insert most recent career position/placement ] and looking [insert what your looking for ] industry. [Do a bit of research to find what the company does and what specifically interests you about working for the company. Insert 2 or 3 things here].

[This is where you prove you actually have some experience that makes you useful to the company. If you have had internships, thats experience. If you currently have an job, list your experience. Target 2 or 3 sentences, MAX!]

I would love the opportunity to schedule a time to discuss this with you at your earliest convenience. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Regards,

[FirstName LastName]

[Recent career position/placement]

This first example will be looking for my first job out of college with a little class experience.:

Mr. Brian Wills,

My name is Thad Castle and I am interested in employment opportunities at Hooli. I wanted to personally reach out and deliver you my resume. I am a Senior Computer Science Major at Blue Mountain State University and looking to help make an impact in the software industry. The way Hooli combines people and technology to create a unique virtual reality experience is extremely interesting to me.

At BMSU, I worked with a team of 3 students to build a proof-of-concept app that takes a picture of your food and determines what type of food it is. It uses a basic neural network and training set to make the prediction. I think my experience with this could be very beneficial to the Hooli team.

I would love the opportunity to schedule a time to discuss this with you at your earliest convenience. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Regards,

Thad Castle

Blue Mountain State University, Class of 2016

B.S. Computer Science

This 2nd example is for someone with a bit more experience looking to “move up the latter”:

Ms. Jackie Thompson,

My name is Richard Hendricks and I am interested in employment opportunities at Initech. I wanted to personally reach out and deliver you my resume. I am currently a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at Pied Piper, and am looking for opportunities to grow in the field. Initech is very interesting to me due to the way that you formalized the process from first consultation to delivery, which reduces the development time by 70%.

At Pied Piper, I started as an Associate QA Engineer and proved my abilities and now am project lead of 4 QA Engineers. Previously, I held an internship in Test Automation at Grantio Inc. I believe my skills gained here can help better your development time by converting some manual QA Test to be Automated.

I would love the opportunity to schedule a time to discuss opportunities with you at your earliest convenience. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Regards,

Richard Hendricks

Senior QA Engineer at Pied Piper, 2010 – 2017

If you are not super positive that the person you are sending the email to would be the person hiring, you can swap that last scheduling an interview paragraph for the following:

If there is someone better appropriate to explore this opportunity with at [Company Name], please forward this email or reply back to me.

This covers the bases when we blast the email to 3 or 4 people at the same company, but unsure who the actual hiring manager would be.

5. Proof It

Now that your have updated the body to fit you personally, we can proof it. Make sure to verify below:

  • Addressed to the right person for the email
  • Company names are correct
  • Confirm you attached your resume!
  • Run spell/grammar check (I suggest waiting 15 minutes before performing this step to catch finicky wording)

Once you have proofed it, Send it!- Best of luck!

6. The Follow Up

Now we wait. If after sending your first contact, you haven’t heard back in a week, feel free to send a simple followup email. Personally, I try to make sure that the original email is continued in the chain as for context to what you are following up about. My rule of thumb is: “Never send more than 1 followup email”.

Consider that lead dead if after sending your followup email you don’t hear back. You may still have a few inquires out with other people at the company, so hope is not lost. The most underrated response is rejection. It sucks, but you heard back and at least have a final answer! You can now focus more of your energy and resource at other opportunities.


There is nothing more frustrating to many people than looking for a job. Thats why we at Jobiki are here, to make finding meaningful work suck less. Feel free to reach out to us with any and all feedback. Did this work for you? Has it not worked yet? Let us know! We love hearing from you, and are here to help… every day.