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How to Cold Email for a Job

Land an interview the first time

How to Cold Email for a Job

Part of job searching is reaching out, often cold, to that company you’ve been eyeing. Sometimes that cold email is for an advertised position, others you’re reaching out truly cold, to a company you’ve never contacted for a job that may or may not exist.

Here’s how to do it and land an interview.

Whom to cold email for a job

Don’t just email the address that is easiest to find. Put in a little research.

You want to go straight to the decision maker (that is, the hiring manager) if you can. Do some poking around to find the person who could likely end up being your boss. LinkedIn is great for this. For example, if you are applying for a position as a public relations specialist, search for the public relations manager or director. They’re likely the person who can choose to bring in for an interview.

If you can’t find the hiring manager or their contact information, try a recruiter for the company.

If you can’t find their specific email address, you may be able to find the email address of someone else at the company to deduce the email format they use. First.last@acme.corp, for example.

Read more:How to Write a Letter of Interest That Gets You Noticed

How to write a cold email subject line

Your subject line should include two things: 1) the position you’re applying for or department/area you’re interested in and 2) your name. And we recommend putting the role first. Public relations specialist means more to your potential employer than your name at this point.

Public Relations Manager - Lucy Westenra

Senior Hospitality Director - Mina Murray

Email body

Keep the body of your email simple and to the point. It should include:

  • A greeting/salutation

  • Your name

  • A mutual connection, if possible

  • The position you’re applying for or department/area you’re interested in

  • Your elevator pitch (who you are, your relevant experience, why you’re interested in the job or company)

  • A statement that makes it clear you want an interview

  • Your contact information

  • A thank you

  • Attached resume and cover letter / letter of interest (PDF is usually best)

Read more:How to Get Positive Responses to Cold Outreach Messages on LinkedIn

Read more:How to Start a Professional Email

The tone of your email

You can match the tone of your email to the tone of the business or industry. A casual tone for a casual workplace, formal for formal. If you’re unsure, err on the side of formal.

But no matter how formal or casual the workplace is, keep it professional.

Cold email examples

Cold email - advertised job

Subject line: Public Relations Manager - Lucy Westenra

Hi Ms. Van Helsing,

My name is Lucy Westenra and I’m writing in response to your need for a public relations manager. I have five years of experience representing brands like ACME and XYZ. I’m looking for a position that will let me expand my skills and take on larger clients—I’m eager to learn.

I’ve attached my resume and cover letter, as well as some recent work samples, for your review.

I’d love the chance to discuss open positions at Super Cool Company. I can be reached by email or phone.


Lucy Westenra


Cold email example - no advertised position

Subject line: Senior Hospitality Director - Mina Murray

Hi Ms. Seward,

My name is Mina Murray and I’m a hospitality professional with twelve years experience in large format hotels and event spaces. Your former colleague Lisa gave me your contact info. She and I are fellow UCLA alum.

I’ve relocated to the Richmond area to be closer to family and am looking for a job in a boutique hotel where I can work more closely with guests and clients. The Quirk is at the top of my list—I love the space and excellent customer service standards.

I’ve attached my resume, letter of interest, and photos of recent events. I’d love the chance to talk to you about any opportunities you have now or in the future.


Mina Murray


Cold email - mutual connection

Subject line: Senior Hospitality Director - Mina Murray

Dear Ms. Morris,

I had a great conversation last week with your colleague Aileen Holmwood about ACME’s new property. She suggested that I get in touch with you to talk about the expanding team.

I’ve been in hospitality for 10 years and am looking for a new opportunity. I’d love to grab coffee with you next week to discuss.

Are you available Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon?


Mina Murray


Read more:How to Ask for an Informational Interview & Get One

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