The modern executive is bombarded with emails. How do you craft an email that’s polite yet garners a favourable response? Below, I’ll be showing you exactly how to do that.
In our last article, we spoke about how to tap your personal network to find a job. After all, 70% of jobs are found through your personal network . When tapping your network, how should you write that email?
Let’s paint a hypothetical scenario, you’re looking for a job and are cold emailing an old friend.
Here’s how most people would approach it.
I need a favour. I’m looking for a job. Attached is my CV, could you forward it to your HR department?
If you received such an email, would you respond?
Not Respecting Time
Firstly, you’re not respecting Samuel’s time. You’re simply demanding that he forward your CV to his HR department. His HR department may soon be asking him questions on the quality of you as a candidate. Which brings us to our second point
No Clear Value Proposition
Lastly, even if Samuel does forward it to the HR department, how likely are you to get a response? Is his company hiring? Does your email clearly state the kinds of roles you’re looking for?
No Opt Out
You’re not giving him an option to refuse. What if Samuel isn’t on good terms with his HR department? What if the 2 of you are vying for the same job?
It’s not nice to send demanding, out of context, emails like that. Here’s how to do it better.
I’m writing to ask for some help. I’m quite frustrated with my current role at Enron Corporation and am looking to move.
Are you aware of any regional sales openings at your company? I do have experience in infrastructure materials sales. It’s exactly the industry your company currently operates in.
I’ve looked through your firm’s career portal and found this role to be particularly promising. The job number is R01524
Could I send my CV to you for direct forwarding to the HR Hiring Manager? It’ll make a world of difference to my application! I’d owe you a huge debt of gratitude!
If you’re not comfortable, no worries. I wouldn’t want to put you in an uncomfortable position as well 🙂
On a more lighthearted note, how are things with you? Facebook tells me you’ve recently been to Malta. We should have dinner next week. I’d love to hear more about that holiday!
Didn’t that email sound so much better? Let’s break down why
It Facilitates Empathy
Firstly, the opening paragraph communicates your frustration and makes it easier for the reader to empathize. This would make them want to help you more.
Clearly Articulates Fit
Secondly, the email clearly communicates your skillset (regional sales in infrastructure materials) and even lists the job number. This is going to make it much easier for Samuel to forward your CV to the HR department given your suitable fit.
Gives Opt Out
Thirdly, you’ve enabled Samuel to opt out of forwarding your email. He’s not under any pressure to perform the favour. Perhaps he himself is keen on the role. This allows him to refuse politely without ruffling any feathers.
Lastly, the email ends on a positive personal note. Showing that you’re still good friends. Even if the CV application doesn’t work out, you’d have a nice dinner to look forward to next week! (Side note: Remember to brush up your CV before sending it out)
Use this empathy + opt-in framework for all your emails. The advice above is applicable to all sorts of business and personal email conversation. Just follow the same framework and you’ll get more optimal results! It’ll make you better liked and improve your chances of achieving your objectives!
If for some reason, you don’t get a response, try our hiring manager email script, it’s worked wonders for our client’s who’ve used it. Tailor it to match your needs.