- Adrian Granzella Larssen is a content strategist, editorial director, and founder of Sweet Spot Content. She was also the very first employee at online career website The Muse.
- She says that when it comes to job hunting, one email could be all the difference to landing your dream job.
- Below are her examples for all the emails you’ll need to send during every stage of a job search, from the “help me get a job” message when you first start your hunt to the right way to negotiate an offer.
- The best emails are upbeat, polite, personalized, and succinct. Your goal is to display your strengths and not pester your audience.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
If you’re like me, sending an important email isn’t a quick process.
No, it typically involves writing, re-writing, grabbing a second cup of coffee, editing, and even asking your coworker to forget whatever deadline they’re on and give your very important message a once-over.
And when it comes to your job search? Forget your coworker — if you have to send a cover letter or an interview thank you note, you’re firing off drafts of that bad boy to your sister, your best friend, your uncle who worked as a recruiter 15 years ago, and anyone else who might be willing to help.
After all, this one email could be what lands you that dream job — or stands in the way of it.
Fret no more. After writing (and reading) many of these job search emails over the years, I’ve compiled the best ones all in one place.
Copy, paste (and personalize, of course), and you can spend less time typing emails and more time on deciding which networking event to hit up tonight.
1. The “help me get a job” email
Purpose: To tell your network you’re on the hunt for a new job and ask for their help
When to send: When you’re starting your search
Send to: Anyone you know who could be useful in your search, like former bosses and colleagues and well-connected friends and family members
Pro tip: It’s OK to send this as a mass email; just BCC everyone. But if you know people who could really help — for example, friends who work at a company you’re applying to — leave them off the group email and send a personalized note.
If you’re receiving this email, you’ve been a big part of my professional life. (Thank you!) I’m reaching out with an update on my career, and a small favor to ask.
As many of you know, I’ve been working as a [job title] at [company] for [number] years. It’s been a [good/great/interesting/incredible] job, and I’ve had the opportunity to [list 2-3 key achievements].
Now, I’ve been exploring new opportunities that will allow me to [describe what you’re looking for in your next job — and keep it positive!].
My ask: If you know anyone hiring someone with my background, please let me know! I’m targeting job titles like [2-3 job titles you’re interested in] and am especially interested in working at companies like [3-5 companies you’re interested in]. My resume is attached to this email, and my LinkedIn profile can be found here https://www.businessinsider.com/job-email-templates-you-can-copy-during-job-search-2019-7.
Thank you in advance for your help. And if there’s anything I can do to help YOU, please let me know. I’d love to return the favor!
2. The “help me get a job at your company” email
Purpose: Networking is still the best way to get human eyes on your resume, so if you have a contact who works at a company you’re interested in, it can pay to reach out
When to send: Before you apply online
Send to: Any connections you have at companies you’re interested in. But rather than reaching out to everyone, start with those who are most likely to help, like recruiters or people who work in your field.
Pro tip: Asking your contacts to submit your resume for you can come off as pushy. With this email, you’re asking for their advice rather than a favor. In my experience, if they can refer you or offer additional help, they’ll let you know.
I hope all is well! [Add a personal question or update, if you know this person well.]
I’m reaching out because I know you’ve been at [their company] for a while, and I’d love to hear more about your experience.
I’m planning to apply for the [position title] role, which seems like a perfect match for me: [Describe in 1-2 sentences why you’re a fit for this job]. (I’ve also attached my resume, in case it’s helpful.)
But before I send my application, I thought I’d see if you have any advice. Specifically, do you know who the hiring manager is, so I can address my cover letter to them? And any insider tips on what they’re looking for in this role, beyond what’s listed in the job description? [Note: Feel free to personalize this section with 1-2 other questions.]
Any insight you have would be so appreciated. And if there’s anything I can do to help YOU, please let me know. I’d love to return the favor.
All the best,
3. The cover letter
Purpose: Silly though it may seem when you’re submitting a resume with all of your job history on it, many hiring managers still care about cover letters. Plus, it’s a great way to show your personality and interest in the job.
When to send: When you’re submitting your application
Send to: Ideally, the hiring manager or person who’d be your future boss. Try to do some research on who that person is (the letter above may come in handy).
Pro tips: Consider the template below just that — a template. You can and should tailor your cover letter to the job you’re applying for. (Recruiter Jenny Foss offers some great tips on The Muse.)
Dear [first name],
I’m excited to apply for the [position title] role at [company]. Here’s why: [Describe in 1-2 sentences why you’re excited about the position and company, being as specific as possible.]
A bit about me: [A 2-3 sentence description of your background, highlighting the parts that are most relevant to the job.]
I’d love the chance to help [company] by [describe 2-3 ways in which your background could add value to the job, again being as specific as possible.]
Feel free to reach out at [email] or [phone number]. I look forward to hearing from you!
All the best,
4. The application follow-up
Purpose: To make sure your application didn’t get lost in the black hole of the internet — plus, following up (nicely) shows persistence
When to send: One to two weeks after you’ve applied and haven’t heard anything back
Send to: Whoever you sent your application to (or, if you applied to an online system, see if you can find an email address for the hiring manager)
Pro tips: Follow up emails can get annoying — fast. If a company requests no follow-ups, obey that rule. And above all, make sure you’re being polite and respectful.
I hope your week is going well! I’m reaching out because I recently submitted an application to the [position title] role and wanted to make sure you received it.
A quick refresher: I have [number] years of experience in [2-3 things you do best], most recently working for [company] as a [job title]. I’d love to bring that experience to [company], where I know you need help [what you’d be hired to do]. My resume and cover letter are attached here for your reference.
I’d love the opportunity to share more about my background and learn more about the role. Thanks in advance for your consideration!
5. The interview thank-you
Purpose: Primarily, because it’s the expected and polite thing to do, but it can also show that you’re truly excited about the job
When to send: The evening of or the morning after your interview
Send to: Anyone you’ve interviewed with, as well as the recruiter if you’re working with one
Pro tips: Some hiring managers appreciate handwritten thank-you cards, too — and if you get the vibe that yours would, send one. But to avoid being seen as “that one candidate who didn’t send a thank-you,” shoot over an email, too.
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I really enjoyed meeting you and getting a feel for the position and office.
Our conversation today got me even more excited about the possibility of working for [company]. Specifically, I’d love to help [2-3 specific things you would do if hired].
I look forward to hearing about the next steps in the hiring process. In the meantime, feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
All the best,
6. The rejection response
Purpose: Getting a “no” from a job you wanted is a bummer, but remember it doesn’t necessarily mean this door is closed forever. Sending a nice note letting the recruiter know you’d like to stay in touch might lead to something down the line.
When to send: The day after you receive the bad news
Send to: Whoever let you know you didn’t get the job
Pro tips: This template includes a line asking the hiring manager for feedback. You don’t have to include it, but it could give you useful insight for the future.
Thanks for your email. While I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the role, I appreciate you letting me know, as well as giving me the opportunity to interview with you and the team.
If you have any feedback for me that might be helpful as I continue my search, please let me know. And if you’re open to it, I’d love to be considered for future roles with the company. I know my experience in [your field] would be an asset as you continue to grow.
Thanks again for the opportunity. I look forward to staying in touch.
All the best,
7. The “thanks for the offer” response
Purpose: To show your excitement! But, even if you know you’re going to take the offer, don’t say yes right away. You’ll want some time to review all the details of the offer — as well as negotiate.
When to send: Pretty quickly after you get the offer. You don’t want to leave them hanging!
Send to: Whoever sent you the offer — usually the recruiter or HR
Pro tips: This template includes an optional paragraph on salary negotiation. Depending on your role and relationship with the recruiter, you may want to have this conversation over the phone, but if it feels appropriate, you can add it here.
I’m thrilled to see this email in my inbox! Thank you so much for the offer — I’m very excited about the possibility of joining the team.
If it’s OK with you, I’d like to review the offer over the next day or so to make sure I’ve looked over all the details. But just a couple of questions in the meantime:
[Insert any questions you have that weren’t spelled out in the offer letter, such as: What would my official start date be? Do you have information on company benefits that I can review? Who would my supervisor or direct reports be?]
Also, thank you for spelling out the compensation package. Based on my experience level and the immediate value I know I would bring to the organization, I was hoping that my [base salary, bonus, total package] would be closer to [number or %]. Is there any flexibility with this number?
Thanks in advance for this information — and again, for the offer. I’ll be in touch in [offer your timeline].
All the best,
Adrian Granzella Larssen is the founder of Sweet Spot Content, which helps world-class marketers, thought leaders, and publishers create authentic, engaging content. Previously, she was the first employee and editor-in-chief of TheMuse.com, a content-first career destination. She’s also the author of Your Year Off, a digital guide to traveling the world inspired by her experience traveling to 30 countries in 12 months. (Say hi and follow her travels on Instagram.)