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Email Templates

Write Emails Like a Pro

Reaching out to a new contact? Trying to connect with a professor? Not sure what to say in your email? Take a look at the pro-tips and email templates below for communication inspiration.

Pro-Tip #1: Use a specific subject line

If you're cold-emailing someone, it's likely that person is busy and receives numerous emails per day, including other cold emails. That's why a short, snappy, and informative subject line is more important than ever. If you've met the person briefly at a conference or career fair, include that information in the subject line ("Email intro, Jillian Kumagai from the conference dinner"). Other identifiers may also work in various circumstances, such as if you're a student at the person's alma mater ("Columbia senior interested in graphic design internship"). If you have no relation to the recipient, a reliable option is "Letter of interest in the label internship." or you can use your location as a great subject line like “Greetings from Loyola New Orleans.”

Pro-Tip #2: Keep it short and direct — don't explain yourself too much

Be passionate, but don't give your life story. The reason you're emailing should be apparent in the first paragraph, whether you're interviewing for a position or just starting a formal relationship. As a rule, a cold email shouldn't be more than a few paragraphs, and those paragraphs should be short.  Short emails are more likely to be read than long ones. And emails that request clear, specific action get a much higher response rate. Long-winded, rambling cold emails are not as successful.

Pro-Tip #3: If possible, show the work you've done

You're more likely to get a response from a cold email if the recipient knows you're serious about pursuing your career of choice, and the best way to express that is to show your work. Send along your resume, a streamlined portfolio, or a link to your website if you have these, as well as links to social media and blogs — if they're professional. These are great things to include in your email signature.

Pro-Tip #4: Include a “Call-to-Action”

Make sure you include a call-to-action. Make sure it is clear what do you want the person you’re emailing to do? Are you looking to schedule a brief phone call, meet over coffee, more information about opportunities? Don’t make the employer guess why you are reaching out, be clear about why you are emailing them. Also, be reasonable in what you are asking of them.

Pro-Tip #5: Proofread

There's more pressure on a cold email than an ordinary email because it will be scrutinized (just like a cover letter). Make sure it's flawless. Carefully proofread for typos or sloppy writing, because you can't unsend that email.

EMAIL SUBJECT LINE: Rita Humphrey suggested we connect - Sustainability

Hi Mary,

Rita Humphrey recommended I reach out to you. My name is Havock WolfPack and I have amassed a great deal of research on sustainable practices for the workplace and built up relationships in the Seattle area for volunteer opportunities.

I read about your company's focus on volunteering in the community & sustainability initiatives, and think there could be an opportunity for a great collaboration.

Do you have time for a 15-minute phone call? If so, would any of these times work?

  • Wednesday 9am - 11am 9 (CST)
  • Thursday - All day
  • Monday 3pm- 5pm (CST)

If those don't work, I'm happy to work around your schedule.

I'll call you, or if you'd prefer, my phone number is 555-555-5555

Thanks in advance,

Havock WolfPack

The breakdown of why this email template is effective:

  1. It's effective to include a familiar name in the subject. If they have any articles/videos/content, put that in the subject line for extremely high open rates ("Read the article in Forbes, loved it!").
  2. If you have a referral and affiliation, put it as your first line. It's key to make sure they keep reading and feel somewhat connected to you.
  3. The goal is to give enough information to get on the phone. Say the purpose of the call, but make it brief.
  4. Make it a short call. This person is busy and wants to make minimal commitments to strangers.
  5. Give them time options, and you can offer an "all day" option. Though "anytime" is too broad. You want them to quickly go to their calendar and make an easy decision.
  6. Humble yourself and show you respect their time by offering to bend to their schedule.
  7. Busy people will sometimes read your email when they have a free moment and call you right then. I've done this when people contact me, I say, "If you can talk right now, I'll take the call." Give them that option. 

Hi [NAME],

I just wanted to send you a quick note to say that it was so nice meeting you at [EVENT OR PLACE]. I enjoyed talking to you about [CALL OUT A SPECIFIC PART OF YOUR CONVERSATION. IF APPLICABLE, INCLUDE A LINK TO AN ARTICLE ON THE SUBJECT YOU DISCUSSED]

I wanted to share my website with you as well in case you know of anyone who might need help with [THE SERVICES YOU OFFER AND/OR THE WORK YOU’RE SEEKING]. Please let me know if there’s anything I can help you with as well! And let’s catch up again soon.

All the best,

Following up is a practice that is essential for anyone who is job seeking. If you haven't heard from a company you submitted a job application to 

Email Subject Line: [Title of Position]—Your Name

Dear Hiring Manager [or name of direct contact],

I submitted an application and resume earlier this month for the [title of position] advertised in the [where you found the job]. To date, I have not heard from your office. I would like to confirm receipt of my application and reiterate my interest in the job.

I am very interested in working at ZYX Corp, and I believe my skills and experience would be an ideal match for this position. In particular, my [remind them of a compelling skills/accomplishment you demonstrate in your resume] make me a strong fit for this position and company.

Please let me know if you need any further materials from me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your consideration.

All the best,

Hi [NAME],
I hope this email finds you well! As you may know, I recently decided to [A FEW WORDS ABOUT YOUR NEW DIRECTION] to work with [TYPE OF COMPANIES/PEOPLE YOU’RE LOOKING TO WORK WITH].

As I dive into my job search across the country [or SPECIFIC LOCATION], I’d love it if you could keep your eyes open for people I should connect with and/or positions that might be a fit for me. Below is a bit about my background and what I’m looking for, and you can view and share my personal site with anyone you’d like [INSERT LINK TO PERSONAL SITE].

With over [NUMBER] years of experience in [YOUR FIELD OR SPECIFIC SKILLS], I’m looking to translate those skills into [DESCRIBE YOUR NEW DIRECTION]. Here’s a bit about my work experience [LINK TO EXPERIENCE SECTION OF YOUR SITE] and testimonials [LINK TO TESTIMONIALS SECTION OF YOUR SITE].

A full, part-time, or consulting position for [TYPE OF INDUSTRY, COMPANY, TEAM, AND/OR ENVIRONMENT]. I work best in an environment where I can utilize [LIST YOUR TOP 1-2 SKILLS], and I definitely want to find a position that [LOCATION AND/OR ANY OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS].

Please feel free to forward this email to any contacts or companies that are hiring and would benefit from [SOMETHING UNIQUE YOU BRING TO THE TABLE]. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email and for keeping me on your radar!

All the best,

Dear {NAME],

My name is Jane Davis and I am a Junior at Loyola University New Orleans. I am pursuing a concentration in Art History and I have worked with New Orleans Museum of Art as a volunteer. I wanted to reach out to you to discuss the possibility of completing an internship with your organization this summer working with your youth artistic programming. I would love to talk to briefly about the opportunities that might be available at your organization. I am more than happy to accommodate your schedule. I have attached my resume which highlights my skills and qualifications for working with your summer programs. Please let me know when you are available.

Thank you for your time in advance.

All the best,

Hi [NAME],

I hope all is well! [INSERT A PERSONAL COMMENT: e.g., “I saw photos of the conference you held last month on Facebook—it looked like a fantastic event.”]

I’m reaching out because I’m currently seeking a new position. As you know, I have been at [CURRENT/MOST RECENT EMPLOYER] for almost [NUMBER] years, but I’m ready for a new challenge in the [PREFERRED INDUSTRY] world.

I know that you used to work for [COMPANY], which is on my short list of dream companies. Do you still have any contacts there and, if so, is there someone that might be willing to do an informational interview with me? Any introductions you can make would be greatly appreciated.
In addition, if you hear of any job opportunities that might be a good fit, please send them my way. I’ve recently updated my personal site [LINK TO PERSONAL SITE] with my work experience and some references. Please feel free to pass it along.

Thanks in advance for your help! Please keep me posted on how things are going and if there’s anything I can do to return the favor.

All the best,