Who enjoys sending cold emails? Right, obviously nobody does. But like a lot of stages in the job search process, they’re a necessary evil. Emailing out your resume doesn’t have to be a chore — especially with these handy tips and templates.
These days, most job applications go directly through online portals like LinkedIn or Indeed. But these aren’t the be-all and end-all of job applications — there are times when it makes more sense to email your resume directly.
Sending an inquiry letter
Most job openings are never publicly advertised, which means it pays to be proactive. Emailing an inquiry letter to a recruiter is a great way of finding out about any open positions before they’re advertised and giving yourself a significant advantage.
Following up with contacts
Not all networking is cold emails. If you’ve connected with a recruiter or hiring manager at an event or on LinkedIn, it makes sense to follow that up by sending through your resume. Even if they don’t have any open positions that are a good fit, it establishes a relationship and keeps you on their radar for future openings.
Establishing a relationship
If you don’t currently have a relationship with the hiring manager, why not initiate one? Even if you’ve applied to a position online, it can be a good idea to follow that up by emailing the hiring manager directly.
When there’s no online portal
Online job applications are fairly standard these days, but not every company is on board. Some companies — especially smaller businesses — may not have advertised a position on one of the major job sites or have their own online application system. In that case, emailing your email directly to the hiring manager is the best way to apply.
Make it personal
Always start with an introduction — this is a professional email, not a sales pitch. Do your research on the company or recruiter first so you can customize it. Your email is essentially a mini cover letter, so treat it like one.
Send it to the right person
It’s worth taking the time to find a direct email address for the recruiter or hiring manager you’re trying to contact. Don’t just email a generic contact address for the company — chances are it will never be seen by the intended recipient.
Polish it up
Ready to begin? Scroll down for some word-for-word email templates you can use to email your resume in any situation.
I had a great time meeting you at [event] on [date]. [A brief sentence recalling something from your conversation.]
I’m currently looking for positions [describe the role you’re seeking]. I know [Company] is doing great work in the field. Do you know of any open positions that might be a good fit?
I’ve attached my resume for reference and I’m also on LinkedIn [link]. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for people I should be reaching out to. Thanks for all your help, and I look forward to seeing you at [future event].
Connecting with someone in your network.
This takes a less formal approach than a standard cold email, since this is someone you’ve met before. By starting and ending with a friendly touch, you’re emphasizing that personal connection without losing sight of the main reason for your email.
My name is [Your Name] and I’ve been following the work [Company] has been doing in [your industry] for some time. Congratulations on [recent development]!
I’ve had great success as [role title] at [Your Company] in the past [x] years. [Briefly describe 1-2 of your top accomplishments.] I’m currently looking for an opportunity to branch out and grow [skill or career path you’re hoping to develop] and [Company] is on my radar.
I’d love to chat about any open positions you think might be a good fit. I’ve attached my resume and you can find me on LinkedIn at [link]. Feel free to email or call me on [phone number].
If you’re reaching out to a recruiter or hiring manager you don’t have an existing relationship with, this template allows you to explain a bit about yourself and why you’re interested in that specific company.
My interest was piqued when I came across the opening for [job title and reference number] on your website. I love the work [Company] does in [industry], especially [details of a recent development you’ve followed or something that appeals to you about the company]. [1-2 sentences linking that to your experience and skill set and outlining a specific benefit you could bring to the company.]
I have [x] years of experience as a [job title] at [Your Company]. [1-2 sentences describing your top skills and achievements.] I’m currently looking for an opportunity to [briefly describe what you’re looking for] and think [Company] could be a great fit.
I’ve attached my resume for your consideration. Please let me know if you’d like any further information. I look forward to hearing from you!
[Phone number, email, and LinkedIn link]
An email accompanying a formal job application (as opposed to a more general networking email) is essentially a cover letter, and should be written like one. This template gives you space to describe your experience and interest in the company in a little more details. Since it’s in an official context, it also uses a more formal greeting and sign off and includes your contact details at the end.
I recently applied for the [role title] position at [Company]. I know you’re busy, but I would love to briefly touch base on your decision timeline. I’m excited about the opportunity to join your team and [briefly describe something concrete you can bring to the role].
I've attached my application materials for your convenience and would love to chat about how my experience in [briefly describe your most relevant skills or experience] can help [Company] [achieve a goal they’re working toward].
Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional details as you move to the next stage of the hiring process.
Reminding the hiring manager of your most relevant skills or experience can help spark their memory of your application. This kind of follow-up makes sense to send if you’re further along in the application process or are a particularly strong candidate, but you don’t need to send an email like this after every online application you complete.