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The art of writing cold emails

Cold emailing is hard. It’s also often the only way of communicating with potential mentors and employers that have no prior relationship with you. Cold emails are generally written with an intent to apply for a job or ask for a recommendation. But they shouldn’t be confused with spam. While spam mails generally use fake email IDs and are typically mass-mailed, cold emails originate from real people, to a far smaller number of people. While spam sounds more like a generalized ad, cold emails have more of a personalized tone and have no ‘unsubscribe’ option. The fact that there is no prior contact with the employers the mail is sent to makes cold emails – and the practice of writing them – an art.

Here are things that you should definitely consider in order to make it sound less ‘cold’ !

#1 – Personalization

Keep in mind that employers and mentors receive cold emails from thousands of people everyday. You need to make it different in order to stand out:

  • Research on personalizing the email, but just research won’t work. You need to do it in the right way.
  • If you’re writing to a mentor, research about their work and mention it in the mail. This indicates your interest.
  • Mention the relevance of your work. If you are writing to a hiring manager, make sure you mention the kind of skills they look for people, the type and number of vacancies available and their products and clients, and how you’re a good fit.

#2 – The perfect subject line

The subject line is going to a major factor in deciding whether the employer or the mentor will open your email. If the subject line doesn’t seem important to him/her, he/she may not even care to open it up. Use a strong subject line that will compel the hiring manager to open your email and read the content. Keep it short and make it in such a way that arouses curiosity. Don’t go for boring ‘Job application’ or ‘Recommendation Request’ subject lines.

#3 – Find a connection

The first thing we want to know whenever we meet is stranger is his/her identity. While you may have researched right, the person receiving your email is completely blank on who you are. Write the email in such a way that they get a reason to give your email the needed attention. Look for connections like same professional societies, same interests or your achievements.

#4 – Short and sweet

As mentioned earlier, these people receive a lot of cold emails everyday. It is always wise to keep the email short and to the point. Long emails will always be neglected by mentors and employers. One way to keep your emails short is by writing the way you would have talked if you made a cold call.

#5 – Expression of appreciation

Express gratitude in your email. Even a simple ‘Thank you for your time! I am grateful’ can get you a response! Do not use a tone that will end up giving a feeling that they owe you something. Appreciate them for their time in reading your email. This expression of gratitude goes a long away.

Use these simple tips for forming the draft of your cold email so that you can get the response you need from these emails. Avoid any generalised templates. You could use them as a guideline, but limit them to just that! Good luck with your emails!


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