7 Tips for Writing A Cold Email for a Job (+ Examples)

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Zipjob Team

6 min read

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For many people, that elusive dream job always seems to be just out of reach. Workers with jobs may still have a more desirable job in mind, but no way to attain that goal. New job seekers may know what type of job they want, but fail to understand how to get it.

The fact is that few people are fortunate enough to land their dream jobs by accident. Getting that job requires them to identify their career goals, earn the employer's attention, and make a solid impression that leads to an interview. One tool that can help you accomplish those goals is the job search cold email.

Since so many of today’s job searches are handled online, it’s vital to know how to write an effective job search cold email. The right email introduction can open doors even before open positions are made public!

That can give you a leg up on potential competition by getting your name in front of decision-makers before they’ve even started looking for their next employee. To be effective, though, your job search cold email needs to be handled the right way.

These 7 tips can help you learn how to write a cold email for a job.

Stick to a tried-and-true template

You want to communicate the same basic message to each person you email. Here’s a sample job search cold email that you can refer to for guidance:

Hello, [Decision-Maker’s Name]:

I came across your open position for (job title) on (source website) recently and knew I had to learn more about it. I was impressed to discover that (list some interesting fact about the company’s work or the decision-makers accomplishments).

During my time at (Company Name), I gained a great deal of experience in [some skill associated with the open job] and helped the company (cite specific achievements that added value to that employer’s bottom line).

With more than (time in the industry) experience in this field, I understand how vital it is to have the right personnel in a position like (job title). I would love to discuss your plans for the position, if you have time.

Please let me know when it would be convenient to chat.


[Your Name]

Expert Tip

Most emailed resumes are still going through an applicant tracking system (or ATS) of some sort. Here are some tips on passing the ATS resume test.

Follow up on your job search email

Once you send off your cold email, be sure to follow up later. Don’t just assume that a delayed response is negative. Instead, send out a follow up query no earlier than one week after your initial email. Just let them know that you’re still interested and ask whether there’s anything else they need from you to help with their decision making process.

Email subject line: "Following up on my resume submission - Max"

Dear Hiring Manager [include name if you have it],

I want to reiterate my enthusiasm for the [NAME OF POSITION] role. I’m confident that my [unique attributes or skills] will bring huge value to [company]. I’m looking forward to taking the next steps. If there’s anything I can do to help the process, let me know.



Capture attention with a compelling cold email subject line

It’s also crucial to think about your subject line. Without an effective subject line for your cold email, chances are that it will be ignored or sent directly to the trash. There are several options for subject lines, of course – and your choice will vary based on your situation. For example:

  • If you were referred by someone, don’t be afraid to drop their name in the subject line, along with the job title: Referred by Adam Smith for Sales Director job.

  • Focus on the position. This one is great when you know that the position is open and hiring managers are likely receiving multiple inquiries: Sales Director, [Your Name] Job Application.

  • Qualifications can be important if you’re unsure about whether the company has a position that matches your previous job titles: Experienced Sales Manager, [Your Name].

  • Use keywords that are sure to attract attention, like “Job Application,” “Job Inquiry,” or “Job Candidate.”

The bottom line is simple: keep it short, relevant, and direct enough to capture the reader’s interest. Remember, your goal is to entice that hiring manager to open the email.

Expert Tip

33% of people decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line. Here are expert tips to increase your open rate when you're sending your resume.

Expert tips to increase your cold email response rate

1. Be proactive

First, recognize that you need to be proactive in your job search. The whole idea behind using a job search cold email is to contact companies regardless of whether they’re openly looking for candidates. That means ignoring any natural inclination against such intrusions.

When it comes to job searches, shyness gets you nowhere.

2. Send your job search cold email to the right person

When writing a job search cold email, it’s important to send it to the right person. To do that, you’ll need to do a little research to see who needs to receive your introduction. There are two main ways to locate this information. You can either use online resources like LinkedIn to try to identify the right decision-maker or call the company’s offices and ask someone.

3. Use a great subject line

Don’t ignore the importance of a powerful subject line. You need a subject line that captures attention, which means it needs to be short, creative, and inviting.

If your subject line is dull and uninspiring, it may result in your email being shuttled off to the trash bin. To maximize the odds of it being read, try to make it practical and useful.

4. Connect with your audience

You also need to be able to connect with your job search cold email audience. That means including some short mention of something sure to spark his or her interest. It may be something you learned while researching the company, or even acknowledgment of the reader’s accomplishments.

The point is, you should find some way to make that instant connection in your email.

5. Keep it concise

Think of your cold email as an elevator pitch. Yes, it will be a little longer than that, but the point is to keep it as short as possible. Begin with a brief explanation about how you learned of the job, and why you’d make an ideal candidate for the position.

The goal is to quickly highlight your value as an employee.

6. Focus on your strengths

To demonstrate that value, emphasize your strengths. Provide a short synopsis of your talents, experience, and value-added proposition.

Remember, you’re trying to sell yourself with this email, so try to put yourself in the decision maker’s shoes. What is he or she looking for in an employee? Focus on how you meet those needs, and you’ll reinforce that value-added proposition.

Job search cold email 2


The art of introducing yourself and explaining why you're contacting someone might take a few tries to get right, but with these tips, you'll be well on your way!

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Written by

ZipJob Team

The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.

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