So you’re moving forward in your search, but you feel like you’ve tapped your existing network for support and introductions. With the knowledge that 85% of jobs are landed through networking, what else can you do to position yourself for success? 

You got it: more networking (I know, queue agonizing scream...). 

There are many reasons why people don’t like reaching out to someone they don’t know: It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. It may result in silence or rejection. 

But here’s why you should: There is nothing to lose, and a whole lot to gain -- an introduction, an interview, or a job offer -- if you do it right. 

My clients who use this template see 60-70% of people they reach out to responding positively.

Pause and think about that for a second: From your desk, you could send 10 brief emails and make 6-7 new connections, and then wow them with your dynamite informational interview skills. That’s 6-7 new advocates to help you succeed in your search.

So how do you do it? 

The goal is to show this person you don’t know that, in fact, you’re already connected.

You want to show that through some shared experience, passion, or aspect of your identities, you are not strangers, but allies. As a stranger, you are easy to ignore amidst the busy working day and inbox overflow. But as an ally, you are someone worth making time for -- especially when you show her that you will use her precious time wisely and create value for her in return. 

Take a look at the below template and then follow the steps to craft your perfect cold email. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to write once you master the technique. 

The cold email template in action: 

Ron,

I'm a 2012 Rutgers Law alum and am moving back to the Newark area this winter to be closer to family. I'm looking to transition to a public interest legal position after spending the past three years developing my litigation skills at a top New York City law firm, and I’m hoping you may have a brief window to discuss your work and your team’s priorities for 2017. 

I have long admired your work at Legal Services of New Jersey. The past five years I prioritized pro bono as an opportunity to develop and leverage my litigation skills in service of communities in need. Upon reading your article on the legal remedies available to low-income New Jersey residents, I knew it was a dream of mine to contribute to your work. 

Are you open to a 20-minute phone call next week? I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.

Thanks so much,
Diane

And here it is broken down into four simple steps: 

1) Pick the right person: 
Choose someone who a) is, or is close to, a decision-maker hiring for your position, which increases the likelihood of getting your candidacy attention; and b) shares with you a common experience, passion, or aspect of your personal or professional identities, which increases the likelihood of her responding and becoming your advocate. Once you’ve created a list of the organizations you love, scour their websites to identify the best person to contact at each one. 

In this example, Diane reached out to a senior attorney who was a) likely to be involved in the hiring process for the associate level position, and b) attended her law school and shares her personal passion for supporting low-income New Jerseyans. 

2) Clearly state your value and your ask: 
Share in 1-2 sentences (max!) a snapshot of your professional identity, what you want in your next step and how she can help. Make sure to phrase it in a way that demonstrates the potential value you could bring to her organization or industry. 

I'm a 2012 Rutgers Law alum and am moving back to the Newark area this winter to be closer to family. I'm looking to transition to a public interest legal position after spending the past three years developing my litigation skills at a top New York City law firm, and I’m hoping you may have a brief window to discuss your work and your team’s priorities for 2017. 

3) Tell her why you’re reaching out to her specifically: 
Find the most inspiring connection point that will help you demonstrate that connective tissue you already share. Whether it’s your passion for her organization’s mission, an article she wrote about her management style, your alma mater, your interest in minority leadership, or even your love of the Philadelphia Eagles, tell her why you know she’ll be on your side. 

I have long admired your work at Legal Services of New Jersey. The past five years I prioritized pro bono as an opportunity to develop and leverage my litigation skills in service of communities in need. Upon reading your article on the legal remedies available to low-income New Jersey residents, I knew it was a dream of mine to contribute to your work. 

4) Convey explicitly and implicitly that you will not waste her time: 
The email should state explicitly that you’re looking for only 20 minutes of her time, over the phone. I’ve said it before -- offering to buy someone coffee can take up 45-90 minutes of a person’s day, so if you want to make sure she feels good going into the conversation, keep it convenient. If she offers you an in-person meeting, she’ll feel better knowing it was her generosity that made it happen. 

The email should also show implicitly that you will respect her time; keep it short.

Are you open to a 20-minute phone call next week? I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.

Run your own cold email experiment

This is something I help all of my clients do because it generates not new leads, new momentum and confidence -- three things a successful job search requires to get through the inevitable struggles. 

Send one email each day for two weeks, just 20 minutes per day, and I’m willing to bet you’ll get at least 5 positive replies and a host of new connections and opportunities to pursue. Get ready for your own inbox overload! 

Once you give it a try, drop a comment about your results below, or please share your own templates that work to help make this relationship-building tactic easier for others.   


[Need guidance on your personal brand, job search strategy, interview skills, or making it to the next level at work? Schedule your free 20-minute consultation today by emailing liz@ns-careers.net.]

Read the full article: The Cold Email Template With a 60-70% Response Rate