Cold Email · · 7 min read

How To Successfully Cold Email For A Job

Learning how to cold email for a job is a necessary part of career progression. If you need to reach out to recruiters, this guide is for you.

how to cold email for a job

If you’re looking for a new position in your career, learning how to cold email for a job could be your route to success. It’ll put your name into the hiring manager’s inbox and potentially set you on the path to the job of your dreams.

In this article, we’ll show you just how easy it is to cold email for a job by sharing information on:

  • What Is A Cold Email?
  • How To Cold Email For A Job: A Guide

What Is A Cold Email?

Cold emails are a form of outreach to someone that doesn’t know the sender. They likely don’t even know that you exist. You’ve probably heard of cold calling, where salespeople ring phone numbers or knock on doors trying to sell something to the person on the end of the phone or in the home. Cold emails are the digital age’s version of that.

They don’t, however, have to be exclusively for the purpose of sales. Lots of people use them to reach out to prospective job candidates (recruiters) and even more, people use them to reach out to potential employers.

As a candidate, or someone hoping that introducing themselves might eventually lead to a position, cold emails are an opportunity to get your name into a potential employer’s head. It’s a method of introducing yourself and presenting yourself as a possible future employee.

Cold emails work excellently as a job prospecting method because you often have the opportunity to send one directly into the right person’s inbox. Phone calls can be screened. Post ignored. Emails are typically worked through and noticed. They also are, if ignored, nothing more than a minor inconvenience. The recipient can, at the click of a button, choose to ignore them and move on. They’re also great due to their lack of spontaneity. When you ring someone you have to make split-second decisions in real-time. With an email, you can draft it, perfect it, and then send it.

You should see cold emails as a way of bettering your chances. They’re not going to be a magical way of instantly getting a job, but they’ll certainly help you along the way.

How To Cold Email For A Job: A Guide

If you’re new to cold emailing it can be difficult to know where to start. Before you even think about cold emailing, you need to find the right company for you. Or at least a company that seems like it’ll be the right company for you. In theory, if you get that right from the start then the rest of the process should be relatively simple. You’ll feel comfortable reaching out to them, and that’ll come across in your email.

Remember, cold emailing is your chance to slow down a bit. The recipient isn’t expecting your email to pop up in their inbox. So, take your time, relax, and get crafting the perfect cold email for a job you’ll love.

job interview

Email The Hiring Person

The first step is to make sure that you’re going to be emailing the person making the decision. They are, after all, the one that is going to be making the decision in the end. Reaching out to them directly is far more likely to elicit a positive response than if you need your email to be passed on to them.

That means you should avoid, wherever possible, sending your cold email to a generic inbox. Inboxes such as hello@, info@, and team@, aren’t going to get you very far. Those inboxes are usually monitored for spam, and even though your email isn’t spam, it might be considered as such by someone not directly linked to a person or position.

Verify Their Email Address

Once you believe that you’ve got the correct email address for the person you’re going to cold email, see if you can verify their email address. You’ve got a few options to achieve verification. The first is to have someone else in the company give the email address to you. That’s a very simple and effective verification method, but not always appropriate.

If you don’t want to contact someone in the company, is to compare the email address you have against other individuals in the company and see if they follow the same structure. Most email addresses, especially in larger companies, will follow a formulaic structure that is predictable once you’ve seen a few email addresses.

The third and most foolproof option is to use a verification service that comes rolled into an email tool. Many email tools will give you the opportunity to verify emails before you start sending, meaning a considerably lower bounce rate.

Begin With The Subject Line

A great deal hinges on this single line. The subject line is your opportunity to grab the recipient’s attention and make them intrigued enough that they click on, and open your email. Wherever possible, try and include an element of personalization in your subject line. Remember that these people, and in fact most people, receive dozens of spam or even cold emails a day. You need to make yours stand out and personalization is a great way to do that. If you’re able to address them by name, that’s a great start. If you can elude to something else that establishes a personal connection, even better.

Some of the best subject line advice is to keep things clear and concise. A wordy subject line doesn’t only put the reader off before they’ve even opened your email, but it’ll likely get cut off by the character limit.

You should also remember that you’re going to try to request information on a job, not selling something, so don’t go down the clickbait route.

Think About Your Opening

This will be based on the type of company, its culture, and its general vibe. If they’re a business that works in a very formal way you’ll need to open your email in a way that they’re accustomed to. Dear Mr./Ms./Mx. and their surname. That’s fairly typical in the job world. However, more and more companies, typically run by a younger demographic, feel that these greetings give the wrong impression and want to keep things more informal.

Remember that personalization is key. Addressing people indirectly, “To Whom It May Concern,” and the rest are only to be used if you have no idea who you’re emailing. If that’s the case you’ve already failed at step 1.


Nail The First Line

They say first impressions last. When it comes to email, that’s your subject line, your opening, and your first line. This should clearly, and concisely indicate who you are, what you’re hoping to achieve by email, and why you’re emailing them. Avoid waffling. Get to the point.

Share Your Qualifications And Skills

In the main body of the email, you want to share your qualification, your relevant interests, and why you’re interested in potentially working with this company. You need to make yourself look valuable. You could even share something that gives them value right from the start. It might be a piece of content that you think would interest them. Something that makes you and your email memorable.

Finish With A Call To Action

A call to action might seem misplaced in an email about a potential job, but you need to encourage the recipient to take action. If you don’t they might close your email, move on about their day, and forget about you. The call to action, in this instance, is likely to be a request for a follow-up phone call, in-person meeting, or reply.

Include Your Contact Details

If you’re hoping that the recipient might call you, make sure that you clearly include your contact number. Don’t assume that they’ll have your email address simply because you sent it from that account. Yes, they will have it, but it’s nice to still make it incredibly easy and have it after your name.

Share It With A Friend

Before you send the email, get a friend to proofread the email. It's always amazing how a seemingly obvious error in spelling, grammar, or sense is staring you in the face, but you miss it time and time again. Tell the friend the purpose of the email, who the recipient is, and the type of company. Then let them judge how well they think it will be received.


Now the email is ready to go and has been checked. You can send it. If you’re using a cold email tool you can save yourself the anxious waiting and wonder by checking your analytics and seeing if it has been opened. You won’t, however, save yourself from hoping that you’ll receive a reply.


If, after a while, usually a week, you haven’t received a reply, don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email. Some people are just busy and haven’t had the chance to reply, and sometimes people just simply forget. If they aren’t interested, the worst that can happen is they choose not to reply again. There’s definitely an art to writing the perfect follow-up, and it will take practice, but hopefully, before too long, you won’t need to follow up as you’ll have received a job offer.

Key Takeaways

Learning how to send a cold email for a job is a task that will potentially change your life. Get it right, and you could be connected with the next major step in your career. It’s certainly worth spending time getting right and learning inside out.

  • Always get a friend to proofread your work.
  • A cold email tool can make the process considerably easier.
  • Bear in mind the type and feel of the company when composing your email.

If you’re looking for a great email tool that will certainly make the process simpler, look no further than Instantly, where you can get started today.

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