Your mom’s best friend’s son has an awesome job at your dream company. Or maybe your former co-worker just landed a position in a field you didn’t even know people from your industry could transition into. Whatever the case, you know someone who can help you in your job search.
You haven’t seen this person in a while and don’t have a super close relationship. In fact, you might not have any relationship at all. But if you can’t find anyone to connect you two, or that just wouldn’t make sense, you’re going to have to send an email yourself—an email that would be out-of-the-blue at best.
Luckily, there’s a way to do it both politely and genuinely (and without all the awkward!). And you can use this email template to get started.
Hi! It’s [Name] from [how you know the person] looking for career advice
Hi [Contact Name],
How are you? I can’t believe it’s been so long since we [include a shared experience here].
I heard/saw that you’re currently doing [job here]. I’m looking to transition from my job at [Company] to [new Company or field]. Since you’ve made a similar move/are currently working in a similar place, I thought you’d be the perfect person to talk to about this.
If you have 10 minutes, I’d love to send over a few questions. Or, if you’re looking to get a break from the office, I’d definitely be up for grabbing coffee (my treat, of course!).
Thank you in advance for taking the time and I look forward to hearing from you,
Now, of course this is just a template, and you’re going to have to make changes according to who you’re emailing. But regardless of the recipient, here are a few general networking email tips to keep in mind:
- Start your email with a short, specific tidbit about the last time you spoke or saw one another. It makes you sound more like a human and less like a cold caller.
- Keep the email as brief as possible—it increases the chances it will get read in full and get a response back.
- Emphasize that you’re looking for advice—not for a job.
- Hold back from attaching your resume for now. If the person’s interested, he or she will ask.
- Feel free to follow-up with a quick email if you don’t hear back within a week or so—but don’t be pushy. Remember, you’re asking someone you haven’t talked to in a long time to help you out.
- Write a thank you note if you end up talking. And definitely let the person know if his or her advice (or leads) helps you get an interview or land a job. This keeps the relationship open for the future and also makes the person feel good for giving you guidance!
You may not always get a response, especially if you have a very loose connection to this person. But often, people are more than willing to help others out. Be gracious, polite, and to-the-point, and it’ll get you far.
Have another message you’re struggling to write? Here are nine more email templates that’ll make that easier.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author