How to write a cold email for a job interview

November 8, 2021

Have you applied for numerous job opportunities with no success? Maybe you’ve even attended several interviews but nothing came out of them. The worst part is that no one even bothers to get back to you on what’s happening. For cases like this, it’s necessary to know how to write a cold email for a job interview.

Like everything else, this only works when done correctly which starts with having an email address.

I’m going to take you through what cold emails are and the benefits of cold emails. Also how to write a cold email that will get you that job or internship. This should help you with your hiring manager. We also have another article about how to write a cold email here.

First things first…

What Are Cold Emails?

A cold email is an email you send to someone who doesn’t know you or has any relationship with you prior to you contacting them. As a job seeker, you need to show the relevant experience even before the hiring process begins.

The purpose of this kind of email is to break the ice, let the recipient know who you are. Then to create a connection with them so you can talk to them about what you want. (job, internship, job interview, etc.)

Think of it like walking across the room to a stranger at a networking event. For example, smiling and saying, Hi, my name is so and so and this is what I do”.

If you do it well, this could be the start of a mutually beneficial collaboration/relationship between the two of you.

Benefits of Sending Cold Emails

Many people shy away from sending cold emails because the thought of writing to someone who doesn’t know you and asking for a favor like a job or an internship seems weird.

However, there are so many benefits of sending cold emails. Hopefully, after learning about them, you’ll be more encouraged to overcome your fear and start sending these emails to land job opportunities. You can also read about benefits of sending cold emails here.

The benefits of sending cold emails include:

There’s a high chance of the hiring manager seeing your email. Many professionals spend a significant amount of time on email.

According to a study done by the McKinsey Global Institute, most people spend 28% of their time checking email inboxes and responding to them. This works best if yo have a follow-up email.

It’s cost-effective. If you decide to write an introductory email to different companies and drop them in person or hire messengers to do that, you will spend a significant amount of money. Emails are however free and so you can send them whenever you want and as many as you wish.

Cold emails are a tenacious way of pursuing what you want. An email is meant for a particular person. Even if they don’t open it that day, it will still be there waiting for them.

This is a way of persistently pursuing that opportunity you want.

It makes it easier for employers to engage. Replying to an email can take seconds as opposed to other forms of communication such as arranging for a physical meeting to talk to a potential employer about giving you a job or Internship.

How To Write A Cold Email For A Job

Know the right person to contact

I cannot stress enough how important it is to identify the right person in charge to send an email to your dream company.

This means you have to do your research. The potential clients are usually the ones who decides on whether or not the company will hire you. You don’t want to go through hundreds of people to get to the decision-maker.

Some of the places you can research to identify the right person include the company website. The information is normally located in the about us section. There you’ll see sub sections titled ‘meet the team’, ‘our team’, and so on.

You can also go to Google and type the department you’re interested in and the name of the company. For example, Human Resource Manager, X company. This will give you the profile(s) of the people in this position which you can also confirm on LinkedIn. You can then go through their profile to determine who is the boss.

Let them know your intentions

There’s nothing as annoying as reading blocks of text when trying to figure out what someone wants from you.

By the time someone is done reading your email, they should know why you wrote it in the first place.

Start with a small request to prospective employers

It normally feels weird to get an email from someone you don’t know asking for this huge favor.

That is why it is important to warm up your potential employer by asking for a small request instead.

Yes, you do want a job and you already made it clear in your email. However, it is not wise to go hard and request for an interview or a promise that will receive the job. You can start small by requesting them to spare 10 minutes to tell you more about the organisation over a cup of coffee or ask if you can pass by the Office.

You can even request them to coach you on how to succeed in that role or career even if you don’t end up working with them.

This reduces pressure on the employee to give you the job on the spot.

Find a Personal connection: Personalize your communication with them

The point of this is to make your potential employer feel like you have a special interest in them and you want to build a connection with them. They should not feel like that is just a random general email that you sent to everyone.

One of the ways you can do this is by addressing them by their name. You’ll know their name from the research you carried out in the beginning.

According to research, using a person’s name in the subject line increases their chances of opening an email by 22%.

You can also point out anything that stands out about them. For example, if you learned from their website that they won the employee of the month award or accomplished something outstanding, congratulate them on that.

Know how to write a cold email for a job interview, but also how to follow up

You need to be careful with this because if you mess it up, you can come across as annoying.

A good rule to apply is to follow up if you haven’t heard from them a week after sending your cold email. Before that is too soon.

Don’t act entitled while making a follow-up by asking why they haven’t gotten back to you. Remember this is a cold email which means they don’t know you and so they don’t owe you anything.

Tips You Can Use When Sending Cold Email Job Inquiries

There are a few tips you can apply when sending a cold email for a job or Internship to increase the chances of getting a positive response.

A strong subject line. The opening sentence(s) of your email should be enticing and make the recipient want to read the rest of your email.

Let them know how you knew about them or how you are connected to them. For example, if you attended the same University or a maybe a friend or acquaintance mentioned them to you, let them know.

Be mindful of your tone. Since you’re not speaking to them face-to-face, it is easy for them to get offended by how you write judging by your tone. If you don’t know this person at all then it is advisable to be formal with them. If you were already introduced to them, let’s say by mutual friend, then you can use a semi-casual tone when writing the email.

Keep it short. No one likes to read a lot of words and especially if this person does not know you. Therefore keep your cold email sweet and short.

Avoid grammatical mistakes. Having grammatical errors in your email sends a message that you are an unserious person. Be sure to proofread the email before you hit send.

Send a lot of emails. You are probably not going to land a job from the first email you send so send as many as possible. This increases your chances of getting hired.

Cold Email Inquiry Template

When you put all the points we talked about into practice, You will have an answer on how to write a cold email for a job or Internship. Below is a cold email template you can use. Feel free to edit the template to suit your particular circumstance.

Hi/Hello/Dear/Good morning Mary,

I read your article on ‘why every business needs market research’ and I was impressed with your views. I know you are a busy person so I’ll try and keep this short. My name is Agnes and I’m a Marketing Research Analyst who is passionate about helping companies use research and data to effectively market their products and services. I’ve done this for 4 years.

After discovering you on LinkedIn through your article, I researched more on your company and was excited at the fact that you sponsor needy students as part of your CSR. Education for disadvantaged children is something that I’m passionate about.

I feel that we share common values such as a passion for marketing, professional ethics, education, and great writing. I would be honored to meet you over a cup of coffee or get on a call with you to discuss the possibility of working with you.

Thank you for your time.


Conclusion – How to write a cold email for a job interview

Searching for an employment opportunity can be a frustrating experience. However, when you learn how to write an original email for a job, you increase your chances of successfully landing one. Remember to do your research so you can know the right person to contact. Then personalize the email, try to make a connection with them, and then follow up. Knowing how to write a cold email for a job will increase your chances of success a lot.

I wish you all the best in your job search journey.