Cold Mailing: The Do’s & Don’ts

Cold mailing is the art of getting a job that’s unlisted. It’s a great way to find a job you wouldn't otherwise have access to.

Cold mailing is different from applying online or getting referred by an employee or your friend’s friend at the company. Cold emailing lets you bypass all those barriers and break indirectly with your resume.

Every recruiter has received dozens of spammy “I saw your job listing on” emails, so you can assume they'll scroll past yours, too.

But if you get the email address of the person who makes hiring decisions and you write them a personalized email that explains why that company needs what you have to offer—you just might have a breakthrough.

In this article, we will talk about some of the most important do's and don'ts of cold mailing. This is not a guide on how to write a cold email, but rather a way for you to learn what cold mailing actually is and what benefits it can give you.

student landing job interview after consulting cold mailing tips

Do- Research the Company

Even though your cold email might be just one paragraph long, there should be hours of research behind it.

Recognize the needs of the company you’re planning to contact. Go deep into their website, social media channels, e-commerce sites, white papers, and whatever else is available. Furthermore, know who you're messaging. Sending a cold mail to the CTO might not be the best idea (unless you're feeling very ambitious) but neither is messaging someone who left the company five years ago. Instead, try to find the head of the department you're interested in working with and message them via LinkedIn or email if it's available to you. Opting for recruiters is also a good idea.

Don't- Treat Cold Mailing Like a Job Application

Employers get hundreds, if not thousands of applications per month. How do you make sure your cold email stands out? Start by not treating it like a job application! The key to success with cold mailing lies in your ability to advertise the real value you can bring to the company instead of simply presenting yourself as a good person to hire.

Don’t send a resume and a cover letter! Establish instead, a line of communication. Show how a company will benefit from you. For your cold mail to be successful, you need to go beyond their vacancies list – ‘create’ a job for yourself and pitch it to the company.

Cold mailing is all about communicating tangible value. Don’t use it as a space to talk about your skills and experience – you might as well send an application!

Do- Remember to be Direct

Apart from knowing exactly what you want to offer, it is equally essential to know how to communicate it effectively. Be direct.

After doing your research, you know what services the company might want. Thus, the question you’re looking for an answer to is “what do they lack that I can provide?” Is it better content or a more structured social media strategy? Perhaps it’s an improvement of their website’s UX or polishing their payment process? Whatever it might be, clearly communicate it in your email and, of course, present yourself as the person to do it!

Don’t- Treat Potential Employers as ‘Employers’

A huge difference between cold mailing and applying for a job is the way you approach potential employers. The difference can be boiled down to a distinction between working for somebody and working with somebody. As a cold mailer, you start more from a position of an external professional, not an applicant. Therefore, you should treat the company you contact as your prospects or potential clients, not as employers.

Don't- Get Disheartened!

A lot of your cold emails will go unanswered. That’s just the way it goes. That great idea you might have for that one company might have already been pitched to them. Your email might have been buried in a sea of other important things to reply to. Don’t let that discourage you! Sometimes you just need to send your email for the second or even third time for it to be noticed. Sometimes you have to move on and find another company to contact.

Cold mailing is a bit harder and a less obvious way to land a job than simply applying. However, when you finally manage to establish a line of communication with a company, hopefully leading to you getting hired, you'll be able to do exactly what you are the best at. And that’s worth all the effort!

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