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  • The Job Seeker's Guide to Writing Effective Cold Emails [Free Template Included]

If you've ever found yourself competing for opportunities in the job market, you would agree that landing a job can be so damn HARD! Let’s not even get started on the number of hours we spend on processes that lead to a dead end. Remember how much effort it took you to prepare those resumes and cover letters that weren't even acknowledged? Or how you never heard back from the recruitment team? 

[Related: How to Write A Resume Without A College Degree ]

We’ve all been there and it can be so demotivating. So, how do you beat this seemingly tough-nut-to-crack system and ultimately get selected from a sea of applicants? 

Try Writing an Effective Cold Email 

You may find sending an email to a total stranger quite intrusive, but a well-written cold email will get you noticed and present an opportunity to establish a relationship with the right staff.

Tried and Tested Tips for Writing a Response-Worthy Cold Email

Freely navigate your way through the sea of emails received by the hiring manager and get a quick response using the following tips:

1. Study the Company

To convince a company  that you’re the best fit for a job, you need to first study and understand their goals, vision, mission, culture, and challenges. You can use information from this research to show how valuable you will be to the company.

Important details such as a company's public persona, writing style, and voice can also be discerned through research. This will come in handy when drafting your email since you can tailor it to their style.

2. Find the Right Contact

You need to be proactive in finding the hiring manager or the person directly related to the company recruitment. 

You can scroll through the company’s social media pages on platforms like LinkedIn to find out who posted the job opening, or look out for senior-level personnel from the department. Once you find the right person, look for their business profiles on social media, or do a quick search to find their correct email address. 

Taking this step will increase your chances of getting the job and fast track the whole process by connecting you with the person that can be the difference between getting a job or staying unemployed.

3. Tailor your Subject Line

Come up with creative ways to grab the attention of the hiring manager  so that your email is opened and read. One glance at the subject line of your email should intrigue the recipient enough that he wants to know more about you.

To come up with an effective subject line, take note of the following:

  • Use logical keywords
  • Personalize it
  • Be genuine
  • Keep it short, specific, and relevant
  • Offer value
  • Avoid using all CAPS as it may come off as unprofessional

4. Offer your Strengths and Expertise

Getting straight to the purpose of your email is the key to making an impact and receiving a positive response. Nobody wants to read a long rant of your life story. You need to pique their interest by starting with an elevator pitch:

  • Briefly introduce yourself.
  • Tell them how you found the position. 
  • Briefly explain why you would be the best fit for the role. 
  • List your achievements and strengths as they relate to the job. 

If you’re writing an email for a position that was not advertised, you could offer a solution to a challenge they are presently battling with. 

Avoid begging for the job. Focus on writing an email that highlights what you can give to the company through your expertise and experience.

Your research about the company will assist you in illustrating your abilities and explaining to them how you can be an asset to the company.

5. Keep it Short and Concise

The person reading your email is busy and, therefore, has limited time. The idea is to get their attention immediately by showing how you can bring value to them,  and ultimately receive a response. Your email should be short, crisp, and to the point. 

Avoid writing  run-on sentences and long paragraphs. Three short paragraphs may be enough to get your message across. Keep your message within the reading space so that the recipient doesn’t have to scroll down too much.

6. Provide a Call to Action

Every cold email must have a call to action. Don’t leave it to the hiring manager's whims to make a decision; what they eventually choose to do may not work in your favor.  Go ahead and request an interview, a phone call, an email response. You might also choose to ease up on the recipient by asking them out for a cup of coffee, which increases your chances of receiving a response. 

The aim is to build and carry-forward a relationship with the recipient, which might lead to you getting a job. Always start with a small request, personalize your message, and build a relationship.

7. Follow-up the Right Way

It’s likely that after following each step and carefully crafting your email message, you still won't receive a response. There is a possibility that the hiring manager missed your email, has a backlog of unread emails, or is busy with other duties.  When this happens, don’t just give up.

Write a follow-up email after a week of sending your cold email. Make sure to write your follow-up email in the same thread, acknowledging that they might have missed your email or didn’t have time to respond to it. Be polite and ask if there’s anything else that you can provide them with. 

Sample Templates to Help You Get Started

First Email

Subject line: {{firstname}}, consider your {{role/position}} filled!!

Greetings {{firstname}},

{{Personalized line: wish them well, compliment them/their company, something that indicates personal interest, etc}}

My name is {{your name}}. I’m emailing regarding the {{open position}} that you listed on {{website/social media}}. 

Rather than sending you my cv or cover letter, I wanted to share the {{strategy/deliverable/etc}}. I already took the time to develop for {{company name}}.

It’s based on what I know works, through my experience in {{past work experience/one-line case study of your previous work}}.

Let me know if that suits your needs, and we can get on a call over coffee to discuss things further. If not, thank you for your kind consideration.

Excited to hear from you,


Follow up Email

Good day {{firstname}},

‍I hate being a pest, but it seems I'm destined to imitate one! :)

I just wanted to see if my offer to get on a call over a cup of coffee to discuss {{position/role}} made it through your bulging inbox?

If you have 30 mins, it'd be lovely just to hear what's new for you with life and work and how we could work together to benefit {{company name}}.

Let me know your availability. 

All the best,


You might have noticed that the first line in the Follow Up email uses a little humor. Little things, like humor in moderation, can do a lot to remind the person on the receiving end that you’re human.

There you have it, jobseekers (especially those without a college degree!) Put these tips and templates to work and let us how well it works for you.


Interested in learning more about the job market and opportunities for non-degree holders? We've got you covered! Check out more of our blogs that answer your most urgent questions.

How to Answer the 11 Most Common Interview Questions?

5 IT Jobs to Look Into in 2021: No Degree Required (REAL Life Stories Included) 

5 Tips for Finding a Job That Suits Your Passion


Photo by markos86 via Canva