Job Search

13 helpful email templates you can use while job searching

Photo credit: Lichtmeister, Shutterstock

Photo credit: Lichtmeister, Shutterstock

The one thing we are all likely using in the job hunt is email. Yet between cover letters, resumes, interviews, networking, etc etc it’s easy to underestimate how this tool can help us find great opportunities.

Below are a few sample emails. Before jumping in, keep these tips in mind:

  • Good emails are specific, short, and often mention some common ground so the reader is compelled to help out.
  • The email is often the last step in a larger process of doing research, reflecting on what you want, and planning your overall job search plan. The articles that accompany the examples often give more advice and information on how to reach out and plan more effectively before and after you send the email.
  • Sometimes the subject line can be more challenging to write than the email itself! While a few of the samples below have subject lines included, Business Insider offers tips for subject lines for general emailing and for job applications.
  • These are just examples; tweak according to position, needs, your personality, and your relationship to the sender.

Before you search:

If you need help figuring out your next steps:

Ask your friends for insights on your strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what to say, from pop*forms:

Hi _______,

I am working on improving myself, personally and at work, and you are someone whose opinion I truly value. If you are willing, I would be so appreciative if you would answer some or all of the questions below to help me gain some insight into my strengths and the things I do best.

I really appreciate it, and would be happy to do the same for you if you’d like! :)

  • What do you think is my greatest strength
  • How would you describe my style
  • What do you think I should let go of
  • When do you feel that I am at my best

Read the rest of the email and advice on pop*forms.

If you want to tell your network that you’re looking for new opportunities:

Be clear about what you are looking for and your expertise. Here’s what to say from Jenny Blake:

Hi Friends,

I hope this email finds you well. As some of you may know, I recently decided to {NEW DIRECTION: a few words about switching jobs/fields/industry} to work with {DESCRIPTION: type of companies and/or people you’re hoping to work with}.

As I dive into the job search across the country {OR FILL IN SPECIFIC LOCATION}, I’d love it if you could keep your eyes open for people I could connect with and/or positions that might be a fit for me. Below is a bit about my background and what I’m looking for, and you can view my full resume on LinkedIn {INSERT LINK for the word LinkedIn}. These are a few of my ideal scenarios, but if anything related comes to you please keep me in mind!

See the rest of template and instructions on how to use it on Life After College.

If you want to tell specific people that you’re looking for new opportunities:

If you have specific people in mind whom you think could be especially helpful in your search, send tailored emails. Here’s what to say from the Daily Muse:

Hi Susan,

I hope all is well! I saw the photos of the conference you held last month on Facebook—it looked like a fantastic event.

I’m reaching out because I’m currently seeking a new position. As you know, I have been Smith PR for almost three years, but I’m ready for a new challenge in the tech PR world.

I know that you used to do work for Ogilvy, which is on my short list of dream companies. Do you still have any contacts there, and if so, is there someone that might be willing to do an informational interview with me? Any introductions you could make would be greatly appreciated.

Read the rest of the email and the advice on the Daily Muse. They also have a great example of a thank you email to send to people who have offered you advice or information about opportunities.


During the search:

If you’re about to submit a job application:

Always follow directions and submit your application accordingly. If you are sending all of your materials as an attachment, mention what’s included, position you are applying for, and contact information. Here’s an example from the University of Minnesota:

Dear Mr. Smith:

I am a first year law student at the University of Minnesota Law School applying for a summer clerkship with your firm. I have attached the resume, cover letter and transcript that you requested to this email. If you have questions or need more information, you may reach me through the phone number or email below.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Your name
Your address
Your phone/email

Read the rest of the advice from the University of Minnesota.

If you want to inquire about the status of your application:

Wait about two weeks before sending a follow up email and demonstrate your interest, not asking for a response, says HR expert Alison Greene. Here’s what she recommends you say:

I recently applied for your __ position, and I just wanted to reiterate my strong interest. I think it might be a great match, and I’d love to talk with you about it when you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews.

Read the rest of her advice on US News.

If you want to say “Thank You” after a job interview:

The key here is to reference something that came up specifically in the interview. Here’s an example from Berkeley Law School:

Dear Ms. Smith:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me this past Tuesday. After speaking with you and learning more about the structure of Blank, Blank’s summer program, I am even more enthusiastic about the possibility of working at Blank, Blank next summer. I particularly enjoyed hearing about your work in representing several Latin American companies in trade-related matters.

Read the rest of the email and advice from Berkeley Law School. Also, Career Services at West Virginia University provides examples of what to say if you want to add more information (say, a sample of your work) or address a question that came up in the interview.

If you want to follow up after a job interview:

If you haven’t heard from an employer and the interviewer has given you a timeline, Alison Greene recommends this email:

Hi Jane, you’d mentioned that you were hoping to be ready to move forward on the Communications Manager position by the end of the month, so I wanted to check in with you. I’m very interested in the role, even more so after our last conversation, and would love to know what your timeline looks like moving forward.

Read the rest of her advice and other templates on US News.


Networking:

If you need an introduction:

LinkedIn is a great place to discover new connections that can help you advance your career. Forbes outlines helpful tips on searching for mutual contacts and crafting a compelling request for an introduction.

Hi Rick,

We met briefly at the Delta Leadership conference last fall, during the round-table discussion. To refresh your memory, I am changing careers, from being an accountant to being a fashion merchandiser. You were kind enough to give me advice on companies that might appreciate my background. 

Since we last spoke, I’ve decided it would be helpful to get online clothing company experience. Acme Shoes is one of the companies I admire in the online world and I noticed that you have a first-degree connection to Ellen Jones, a marketing director there.

Read the rest of the email template on Forbes.

If you want to introduce yourself to someone new:

Sometimes you don’t have a mutual contact on LinkedIn and just need send a cold email. Here’s a template from Alyson Weiss of Career Moves, a division of JVS.

Hi Elizabeth,

I hope you are doing well. We are both in the Boston Networking Club, so I was hoping it would be okay if I reached out to you. [Name of HR person] posted a description for a Community Engagement & Recruitment opening at your company today on the YNPN list serv that I am really interested in learning more about.

Read the rest of this email and other examples by signing up here.

If you want to request an informational interview:

Just Jobs has several templates (for various circumstances) that include the characteristics of a good informational interview request: short, specific, and mentions some common ground and background info.

Hi [Name]!

I’m a [your profession] who has worked with [name of warm contact] and I’m currently making time to develop my skills and focus on what’s really important in [profession] when it comes to hiring a [professional] for a project. I’ve had a look through your website and especially enjoyed the [whatever].

I’d love the opportunity to spend 20 mins with you to discuss your decision making process with regards to [professionals] and what your expectations are when working with them.

Read the rest of the email from Harvard Law and other templates.

If you want to thank a new contact or to someone who has helped you:

And you should! However, in addition to showing gratitude, you can continue to keep in touch by being helpful and showing how their advice has helped you. Here’s a sample of one out of three emails you should send, from Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich:

Hi Steve,
Just wanted to thank you again for meeting with me earlier. I’m definitely going to get in touch with Susan like you recommended. I’ll keep you in the loop, and of course, please let me know if there’s anything I can do to repay the favor!
John

Read the rest of the advice and emails here.


Other kinds of emails:

If you want someone to recommend you on LinkedIn:

It never hurts to have people sing your praises in public! Ask someone to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. Here’s what Indie Business Network recommends:

Dear Requestee,

I hope this message finds you well. It was great seeing you at the networking event last week! As we discussed, one of the things I am doing is creating new ways for my prospective customers to quickly see how I can serve them. Since you were so pleased with the consultation we had a while back about your business, I am hoping that you would be so kind as to write a LinkedIn recommendation about my business expertise that I can share with others.

Read the rest of the email and other templates on Indie Business Network.

If you need someone to be a reference:

References are often the least thought about aspect of a job hunt, but you should choose your references carefully. Once you have identified someone to vouch for you, here’s what Snag A Job recommends you say:

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am sending you this email in hopes you will be a reference for me during my job search.

Throughout my time working with you, I was able to grow professionally and feel like this experience has really helped me become an ideal employee. I know you would be able to attest to my reliability and willingness to learn.

Read the rest of the email and advice on Snag a Job.

This list is not exhaustive, but hopefully it will help you break through any writer’s block you have and send great emails.

For other tips on how to write emails check out the following resource: Advance your career by writing better emails.

Any other email templates or formats work for you? Share them below!

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6 Comments

  1. Abdul Sattar Bhatti

    It is indeed an amazing effort for a large cohort of job seekers across the world. I must appreciate the entire team of Idealist for this contribution. well done and keep it up

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