Five Ready-to-Use Templates for Tricky Job Search Emails

Tim Kreider lit a fire under the blogosphere in late October with an opinion column in The New York Times called “Slaves of the Internet, Unite!

In the piece, Kreider gripes about hard-working young writers who contribute to various web sites and receive no compensation — even when the work generates massive traffic and thousands of comments. See: Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy.

Kreider recommends aspiring young folk turn down pro-bono opportunities (an argument I fully reject; contributing to blogs is the best way to receive instant feedback and improve your writing).

Kreider includes an email template to sharply say “Leave me alone.”

Thanks very much for your compliments on my [writing/illustration/whatever thing you do]. I’m flattered by your invitation to [do whatever it is they want you to do for nothing]. But [thing you do] is work, it takes time, it’s how I make my living, and in this economy I can’t afford to do it for free. I’m sorry to decline, but thanks again, sincerely, for your kind words about my work.

Kreider’s template got me thinking: what if we had a range of ready-to-use work emails (networking, interviews, etc…) at our disposal?

Below are five templates that cover tricky job-search scenarios (like these two). Just add your information and click “send.”

1. Email to set up a networking meeting

Email subject: Interested in Connecting

Hi _____,

My name is ______, and I am [reason you know the person/reason you want to meet (i.e. “a recent grad”]. I hope you’re doing well!

I am writing because I am interested in a job in the ______ field, and I want to learn more about the industry. I checked out your bio and see you have a lot of experience, particularly with [interesting tid-bit from the person’s LinkedIn resume or web bio].

To give you my quick background, I [2-3 highlights from your resume; only reference the parts that would matter to this person].

It would be great to chat with you by phone or grab coffee. I want to hear more about the work you do and ask questions.

Please let me know your availability over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks, and I look forward to talking with you.

– Your name

Contact info

Notes: Notice how this email is all about absorbing the other person’s knowledge. You’re not asking for a job or even a connection to one. Here, you’re looking for advice. People love imparting wisdom so use the “advice” route to get the networking session (yep, all four steps of the meeting). Ya never know, maybe a job opportunity will stem from your conversation.

2. Thank-you email after a networking meeting

Email subject: Thanks Again

Hi _______,

I want to thank you again for meeting with me earlier today. I really appreciate your time and the information you passed along. [Use this next line to drop a detail from your interaction and prove you listened; for instance, “I can tell from our conversation you’re excited about your company and what’s on tap for 2014.”]

If the person has offered to pass along your resume, say…

I am attaching my resume here. Please feel free to cc me on any emails, and I am happy to follow up.

If the person has no leads for you at the moment…

I am attaching my resume here. Please let me know if anyone comes to mind I should contact. I am happy to send an email and introduce myself.

Thanks again, and have a great day.

– Your name

Contact info

Notes: The first line says “…for meeting with me earlier today.” That’s because you should absolutely write a thank -you email the same day you met (never hurts to use one of these). Also, you should offer to be cc’ed on any future networking emails OR send an email on your own. Give the networker less to do on your behalf, and he/she will appreciate it.

3. Email to follow up on a job application

Email subject: Following Up on Application

Hi _______,

I hope you’re doing well.

I am writing to make sure you received my application for the position of _________. I sent it to you on [date].

If possible, please let me know you have my application. If you have any additional questions, I am happy to answer them.

Thanks again for the opportunity.

– Your name

Contact info

Notes: Short and sweet. Make sure to include the job you applied for and when you sent over the application. Don’t make the HR person go searching for your file.

4. Thank-you email after a job interview

Email subject: Thanks Again

Hi ______,

Thanks again for meeting with me this morning/afternoon. I really appreciate your time and enjoyed learning more about the company. [Like email #2, the next line could be a detail from your conversation. “The market is slow right now, but you’re right to think it will come back around in 2014.”]

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask.

Thanks so much, and…

Two options here:

  1. Make a quick reference again to the conversation. Something like, “Thanks so much, and enjoy the golf course this weekend.”
  2. Keep it straightforward if you don’t feel comfortable being “chummy” and say “Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you soon.”

– Your name

Contact info

Notes: It’s important to gauge the situation, but always try to be personable and remind the boss you paid attention — even to minor details.

5. Email to turn down a job offer

Email subject: Position of [fill in the job]

Hi ______,

I am writing to tell you I have decided not to accept the position of _________. I truly appreciate that you offered me the job, but at this time I have chosen to look elsewhere.

Thank you again, and all the best with the search.

– Your name

Contact info

Notes: No need to delay the news. Just come right out and say “No, thanks.” Direct is always the best approach.

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

About Danny Rubin

Danny Rubin is a media strategist and the managing editor of News To Live By™, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons "hidden" in the day's top stories. A former TV reporter, he's always looking for ways to apply the news to our own lives. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.



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