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How to Write a Strong Cold Email for Job Applications

How to Write a Strong Cold Email for Job Applications

About the author: This guest post was provided by Pathrise, an online mentorship program that works with students and professionals on every component of their job search. They have helped 600+ people land great jobs in tech through workshops and 1-on-1 mentorship.

Applying for jobs can get frustrating. You spend time optimizing your resume for each position, ensuring that your keywords match the job descriptions, and writing cover letters, if those are required. But then, when you click “submit” on the online portal, your application is gone forever.

If that is where your process ends, you are likely not hearing anything back from those companies. Even if your resume is perfect for the role, just sending an application into the online portal is not enough to get noticed.

At Pathrise, we have seen this first hand with our fellows. So, we teach reverse recruiting and cold emailing tactics that have tripled application response rates. Like Flockjay, we are passionate about helping job seekers gain the tools they need to pivot into a new role.

Where to Start with Your Cold Email for Job Applications

The key is to be ready to send a compelling and concise cold email right after you send in your application. That means that you need to do some research before you apply. The first thing you should do is go on LinkedIn. Look for a recruiter or hiring manager for the team that has some connection to you. Possible connections are: same hometown, university, or hobbies. This commonality will warm up your email and increase the likelihood that you get a response.

Once you have found someone for your outreach, the next step is to figure out how to contact them. While you can reach out over LinkedIn, we recommend sending a cold email instead. In order to do this, you need to find their email address. This can be done with a free service like Clearbit, which allows you to search for people and/or companies right from your inbox.

You can also guess their email addresses using these likely combinations:


Then, you can test your guesses with email address verification services like Hunter and Email Checker. These services scrape the Internet to make sure that the email address is valid. Read more about how to find a hiring manager’s email address in our guide.

Now It’s Time to Start Crafting Your Cold Email

You can use a template and then adapt it for each person and company so that they don’t feel cut and pasted. To start, you should write a short subject line that highlights your connection to the person. Some examples are:

  • Fellow Wildcat passionate about SDR job at Twitch
  • Dog and sales expert reaching out
  • Opening on your team for another Bostonian?
As you write your email, keep this structure in mind to hit all of the right points:

1. Quick introduction: Who are you? Why are you reaching out?

1A: I recently applied for the [position] I saw on [platform] and noticed you are a [role] at [company]. While I am not sure if you are the right person to contact, I definitely have the experience that the team is seeking.

2. The meat (or tofu): How can you help them achieve their goals? Why should they read your resume?

2A: I just graduated from the sales bootcamp at Flockjay and I learned so much about the world of sales. The course covered inbound sales, outbound sales, all of the tools necessary for success, and more. Plus, I had the opportunities to work on [x, y, and z projects]. I am excited for the chance to work at [company] and help you accomplish your mission of [mission statement]. I know my experience and expertise can make me a valuable asset to the team.

3. CTA: End with a strong call-to-action that makes it easy for them to respond

3A: I know you are probably busy, but I would appreciate it if you could take a little time to chat with me so I can learn more about [specific role/team]. Would you be free for a 15-minute call either [timeframe 1] or [timeframe 2]?

4. The conclusion: Say thank you! Also, be sure to include your full name and contact info (you can also add that information to your email signature so it is always there).

Feel free to attach your resume as well. This is helpful for the recruiter or hiring manager because they can easily review your background. Plus, if they want to forward your email to someone else on the team, it is better if your resume is already attached.

If you don’t hear back in one week, you can follow up with a short, polite email. The goal is to reiterate that you are very interested in the role. You should also give another set of times for them to chat with you. If you don’t hear back from that one, it’s ok. Your response rate will not be 100%. Just make sure you are friendly and kind at all times, you will get responses.

Land an interview? See Flockjay's 6 Tech Sales Job Interviewing Tips from an Expert Recruiter

Pathrise & Flockjay Strive to Help People Land Their Dream Jobs

For more examples of what to say in your cold email for job applications, check out our guide. Pathrise is an online mentorship program that works with students and professionals to land their dream job. Mentors work 1-on-1 with fellows on each component of their job search, including resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio optimization, cold emailing, behavioral & technical interviewing, and negotiation. If you are interested in joining Pathrise, apply here.

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