Today I received an email:
“Dear Ms. B-V (the person did spell out the last name…):
I have been searching for a job, sending out resumes and smoke signals all over the country only to find my search in vain. I read your suggestions and advice on how to land an interview, techniques to get employers to return your call and Top 10 Secrets to Turn Networking Pain to Career Gain. Which brought me to the conclusion that I would make a good candidate for your company….”
You would? I don’t think so. Here’s why:
1. I am NOT Ms. B-V. So the writer addressed the email to the wrong person – even though the writer said they read my article.
2. They attached this note (complete with several grammatical errors) and their resume, on top of the full e-zine (where the article appeared). Instead, they could have mentioned the article and name of the e-zine in the note. That way, their note and resume would have downloaded much faster – and have been more relevant.
(Speaking of grammatical errors, you may have noticed I used “they” rather than he or she in order to protect the gender of the writer. This advice is advice anyone can use. :))
3. Why would reading my article draw them to the conclusion that they’d be a great candidate for my company? Nowhere in the article did I say I was hiring (I’m not – so don’t get any ideas).
4. If this person truly read my article, they would have been referred to me through someone I know (my article was about networking) AND they would have used my correct name.
It’s A-OK to try a cold-call approach. But there is a right way to do it.
1. Research the company!
2. Make sure your experience would be a right fit: During your research, did you discover a problem you could solve for the company? If so, convey your value when you send your email.
3. When writing your email, spell check it before you send it. And have a friend read it to ensure there are no additional grammatical errors.
4. Address your cover letter to the the right decision maker – using the correct name (and spell it correctly too).
5. One better – talk to your friends, family, alumni – your network – to see if you already have a connection to the right decision maker. If you do, ask your friend’s permission to get connected. Then it’s a warm call – not a cold one.