These days, most introductions happen over email, which is why this form of communication is becoming almost as important as a cover letter. So here are a few tips you can use when contacting a potential employer.
1. Be responsive
When you introduce yourself to a new contact, it’s important you follow up with them immediately. If you have had a face-to-face email or a phone conversation, send them a thank you email the same day. Don’t worry about coming across as desperate – he or she will be impressed and will know you are serious about the job you are going for.
2. Think about your subject line
The aim of your email subject line is to spark the interest of the recipient enough to open it. It should be enticing whilst expressing who you are and what the email is about. In some cases it’s best to use your name, or the person who introduced you to the contact. Here are a few examples:
- Dave Parker following up on Sarah Smith’s Introduction
- Portsmouth Student Interesting in Learning more about Marketing
- Sky Internship Application – Dennis Jones
3. Explain why you are emailing
Typically, in the first line of your email you explain why you are getting in contact with the recipient. Here are a few examples:
If you haven’t had any previous contact:
“I hope you are well. I am reaching out to you with hopes of getting to know more about the marketing industry in general and online marketing specifically.”
If you have spoken to them once before:
“Thanks again for our previous conversation. I have looked into three or four opportunities that I am interested in. Could we have a ten minute phone conversation to discuss these opportunities?”
If you were referred by someone:
“I hope this email doesn’t catch you at an inconvenient time. I spoke to Sarah Smith, and she explained that you hold the Director of Marketing position at the company. I am extremely interested in exploring a career in marketing, and I believe you would be the perfect person to talk to.”
4. Keep it short
Most people do not have the time to read an essay style email. When writing, try to assume the recipient will be reading the email on their smartphone. Keep it short and sweet and get to the point early.