How To
9 min read

How to Send a Cold Email That Gets You the Job

Soniya Jain
November 20, 2022

You're sitting at your desk, staring at a blank piece of paper, and you want to send a cold email for a job. But your palms are sweating, your heart is racing, and you can't bring yourself to hit send.

What if you send a cold email to someone, and they don't respond? What if they don't like your tone? What if they think you're being too aggressive?

Well, the reasons for not sending a cold email are endless, but if you don't take the plunge, you will never know what could have happened.

But guess what? 

Sending a cold email isn't as scary as it seems. With a little bit of planning and courage, you can send a cold email that will get you a response and land your dream job.

This guide will walk you through why you should write a cold email, how to structure it, and what you should include.

What's the value of cold emailing for your dream job?

As a job seeker, you can't just sit back and wait for a potential employer to come to you – you have to go out and get the job you want.

Cold emailing is the way to do this.

Cold email is more effective than job applications

By sending a professional cold email, you will be able to contact potential employers directly and find out if their open job positions are a good match for your skills.

If you are afraid of sending that cold email, here are some pretty good reasons why you should give it a shot:

Cold emails give a higher chance of talking to a decision-maker

The success story of a cold email

Cold emailing is a great way to get your foot in the door.

In fact, it's one of the best ways to get a job interview because you can bypass the human resource (HR) department and send your resume directly to the decision-maker.

On average, 118 people apply for a single job posting. That means that if you're not a rock star candidate, your resume will probably get lost in the shuffle. When you send a cold email, you increase your chances of getting a phone call back from a decision-maker.

Cold emails can help you stand out from the crowd

With so many people applying for every job, it's hard to make your application stand out from the rest. But if you take the time to write a well-crafted cold email, you will definitely grab attention.

An effective cold email shows that you're resourceful and willing to go above and beyond to land the job, which is the kind of candidate hiring managers are looking for.

Control the narrative with cold emailing

In a typical job application process, you are at the mercy of whoever is reading your resume and cover letter. But with cold emailing, you control how you present yourself to potential employers. Instead of getting lost in a pile of other applications, you can make sure that your qualifications and skills are front and center.

Add value immediately in your cold email

How people get hired from a cold email

When you reach out to someone with a cold email, you have the opportunity to show them what value you can bring to their organization from the very beginning. This is your chance to make a great first impression and stand out from the rest of the job seekers who are just submitting their resumes blindly.

Build trust and rapport

Building trust and rapport is much easier when you establish a personal connection with someone. This connection is especially important when trying to land a job because employers are more likely to hire someone they know and trust.

Cold emailing can be a great way to get your foot in the door with potential employers. By taking the time to craft a well-written email, you can increase your chances of getting noticed and landing the job you want.

The step-by-step process for writing a cold email

A cold email is like a first date—it can be nerve-wracking, but it's worth it if you do it right.

So here are some tips for writing a cold email that will blow the hiring manager away—and get you that job.

1. Target the right person

Getting the dream job with a cold email

It's essential to find out the hiring manager for the position and send your cold email directly to them. Even if you have the most brilliant idea in the world, if you don't target the right person, you're making your job difficult.

If you are looking for an internship with a company, don't send your email to the CEO. Instead, contact the internship director.

In this way, you'll have a better chance of getting noticed by the hiring manager.

2. Craft a convincing subject line

Your email subject line is your first (and sometimes only) chance to make a good impression. A cold email with a poor subject line is likely to be ignored, while a well-crafted subject line can entice even the busiest person to open and read your message. Consider the following points when creating a subject line:

  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Use keywords that will grab attention
  • Use personalization (e.g., mention something specific about the recipient)
  • Avoid using spammy words or phrases

If you are looking for some inspiration, check out our list of the best subject lines for cold email.

3. Be honest about the purpose of your cold email

In a cold email, you want to grab the reader's attention by making your first sentence a hook, and you should clearly indicate that you're applying for a position at the company. Ensure this information is out there right away—don't bury it in your second or third paragraphs.

If you're not upfront about the purpose of your message, recipients will feel tricked into reading it and will be less likely to respond.

Additionally, being upfront about your interests in the company and your willingness to reach out cold shows your interest in working for them. This makes them more likely to listen to what you have to say.

4. Start with a small request

Starting your email by asking for a job is a bold move—and it may not be the best way to get hired. Instead, try beginning with a small request that shows you've done your research and are interested in helping the company out. 

This technique can be anything from offering an idea to sharing an article that might help the company or even asking them if they know anyone they can connect you with. You're demonstrating that you have something valuable to offer by doing this.

Plus, you're more likely to get a response back.

5. Personalize your message

It would be best if you always took the time to personalize your message when reaching out to someone. This means more than just using their name—although that's important. It means doing your research and finding something specific about them or their company that you can connect with.

For example, if you know they're passionate about a specific cause, mention how impressed you are with their work in that area. If you share a common interest, tell them about it and explain why it matters to you.

Cold email templates for job applications

Scenario 1: When applying for a job and sending a cold email to the human resources or hiring manager

Cold email template 1

Hello [name],

I'm writing to apply for your company's [position] job opening that I noticed you were hiring for on your website.

I'm a [insert your job title] with a background in both [insert your job experience] and [insert your education]. I am passionate about creating and executing creative ideas, but I also have an eye for detail and a keen understanding of ensuring that those ideas are implemented well. 

I think my skills would be a great fit at [company name], and I'd love to hear more about what you're looking for in an employee.

I'd love to learn more about your hiring process and get an opportunity to meet with you. You can reach me at  [email address]. Thanks for your time!

Cold email template 2

Hello [name],

I found your job posting for [position], and I'm excited to apply for it.

I think my skill set is a perfect match for the role, and I'd love to have a chance to talk with you about them.

My most recent work experience includes: [list of previous jobs].

I've always been interested in [field], and I've developed many skills that will help me excel in the position. My experience includes working with [list of skills].

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Cold email template 3

Dear [name],

I really admire your approach to [topic]. I want to reach out because I think I'm a good fit for your company. I've been working as a [job title] for the past five years and in this industry for ten years.

My experience includes [list of experiences]. I'm a strong communicator and love working with people from all backgrounds and skill levels.

In my spare time, I enjoy [hobbies/interests]. If you're interested in seeing more of my work, please check out my [portfolio site]. If possible, I'd love to do a free test project for you to show my skills are suited for your position. Please let me know.

Thanks for your time!

Scenario 2: When you're seeking an interview for a job or informative purposes

Cold email template 1

Hello [name]!

I've been following your work for a while now and think it's really incredible. I imagine you're probably pretty busy, so I appreciate you taking the time to read this email.

I'm a huge fan of [company name], and I'm writing to you because I'm interested in hearing more about working there. It seems like a fantastic place where people do great things, and I'd love to learn more about how you got there.

Could we set up an informal chat sometime soon?

Cold email template 2

Hello [name],

I'm very interested in your position as a [position] at [company name]. I think I would be an excellent fit for this role because of my experience in [specific expertise].

Would you be willing to chat with me about the position anytime that works for you? You can reach me at [contact info] anytime.

Thank you!

Cold email template 3

Hello [name],

I'm writing to you because I'd love to have a quick chat about your job openings and your company's culture.

I'm interested in [position] at [company name]. I've been researching your company for the past few weeks and have been impressed with what you do. Your project on [project name] was truly inspiring because it helped [positive outcome], making [company name] an excellent fit for me because I want to do the same.

I was wondering if we could schedule some time to talk about it?

Thanks so much,

[your name]

Cold email template 4

Dear [name],

I'm writing because I saw your name in the press release for [position] at [company]. It looks like an inspiring opportunity, and I'd love to chat about it—what can I do for you?

I have had experience working in customer service at [company name], where I gained knowledge helping customers find what they needed and serving them promptly.

This was a great opportunity to develop my communication skills and learn how to manage my time effectively. I believe these skills will be helpful when working with other members of your team to make sure we are meeting our goals.

If you would like to learn more about me and my qualifications, please feel free to reach out!

Scenario 3: When you mention to your recruiter that you have applied

Cold email template 1

Dear [recruiter name],

I recently applied for a position at your company and wanted to send a follow-up email. I'm excited about the role and would love to hear more.

I know many companies struggle with finding great candidates, so I wanted to reach out to see if there was anything above and beyond you were looking for, or questions you needed answered.

I appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to the opportunity to speak with you.


Cold email template 2

Hello [recruiter name],

After seeing your job posting for [position title] on [website], I knew I needed to reach out to you. I'd be an excellent fit for the role because I have [relevant experience], and I'm very excited to use those skills in a new environment.

I loved what you wrote about the position, especially the part where you mentioned [anything that you liked in the listing].

If you have any questions about my application, please feel free to reach out. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks so much for your time!

Cold email template 3

Dear [name],

I recently applied for the [position] role at [company name]. I've heard great things about your company, and I think it would be an ideal fit for us both.

My most recent role was as a [role], where I utilized my skills in collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity by working with multiple teams across different departments.

I would love to talk about how my skills could benefit your company. Please let me know what days and times would be convenient for you to speak.

Thank you for your consideration!

When should you follow up after sending a cold email for a job?

When you send a cold email for a job, you're essentially putting yourself out there. You're saying, "Hey, I want this job! I'm the right person for it!" Then you wait... and wait... and wait some more.

What do you do while you're waiting? Do you sit there and hope that someone will notice your email in the abyss of their inboxes?

No! You send a follow-up email—because if you don't, all that hard work would mean nothing.

It is generally recommended to follow up after sending a cold email for a job within 1-2 weeks

This follow-up strategy allows you to reaffirm your interest in the position and check in on your application's status.

By following up, you may also obtain additional information about the role or company that can help you demonstrate why you are qualified for the job.

Final thoughts on how to cold email for a job

A well-crafted cold email can be an extremely effective way to get your foot in the door with a company you are interested in working for. It allows you to stand out from other applicants, control the narrative about yourself, and directly address any concerns that might keep someone from considering you for a role. 

So if you're looking for a new job opportunity, don't be afraid to reach out and introduce yourself.

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