When it comes to job searching, reaching out to former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances is just as important as polishing your resume. These contacts can update you on advances in your industry, and connect you with other people who are actively working in your field of interest, too. The goal? To obtain informational interviews in which you connect, learn, and leave a lasting impression.
The first step is crucial: crafting a solid introductory email.
It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s more simple than you think. You want to keep it short and focus on five touch points: Share your pertinent information; reference the connection; show knowledge of the recipient; briefly state your intention; and sign off.
(Here, you can insert a warm greeting such as “I hope you are well.”)
1. Share one fact about you, where you have been or what you have been up to, whether it was tending to personal life developments and/or embarking on an alternative career path.
Example: “After a hiatus I am making plans to move back into (INSERT RELEVANT FIELD) and I immediately thought to reach out to you.”
2. Reference the way you are connected to this person: This might be through past direct exchange with this person or indirect connection through a colleague or friend.
Example: “Working together at (REFERENCE COMPANY/CONNECTION) always left me inspired and motivated. Working on (INSERT PROJECT, CLIENT ETC) was (INSERT RELEVANCE).”
3. Show knowledge of the recipient, and prove that you’ve done your research, whether on LinkedIn or another web-based outlet.
Example: “Looks like you have been doing amazing work with your move up to (INSERT RELEVANT POSITION).”
4. Briefly state your intention.
Example: “As I make moves to return to (INSERT RELEVANT FIELD or POSITION) I thought you would be the perfect person to chat with about (LIST THREE AREAS OF INTEREST/INQUIRY).”
Some sample areas could be changes in the industry, trends currently happening in the industry, or advice on how to re-enter the industry.
5. Sign off directly, with flexibility when asking for a meeting.
Example: “I would love to get together with you in person to chat further. Let me know if you have some availability in the coming weeks. Even 20 minutes would be wonderful!”
Wishing you the best,
(INSERT YOUR NAME)
For more guidance, see our roster of career coaches.