Ok, so you’ve gotten on board with the fact that networking is part of the game plan when it comes to career changes or job jumps. But now when it comes down to it, you actually have to…go out there and network.
If you’re like many of my clients (or me before, say, 2014), this is not exciting news. I get it- when you first get started, it can be pit-in-the-stomach-dreadful, but it DOES get better with time, I swear!
So, for those emails where you’re reaching out to someone in your network, or someone you know has made an introduction for you – what the heck do you say to get the result you want?!
Here are the 4 Key Components to writing a networking email that will get you the response you want:
Outcome: Know what action you want the recipient to take- be super specific. Then include that in your “Ask” in the body of the email. Are you interested in a specific job and want to talk it over? Do you want to meet for a coffee or phone chat? Say that. (And while you’re at it, specify a few times so they can quickly check their calendar, but also say you have availability to be flexible since they’re doing YOU the favor. Make sure you have varying times (pre-work, lunch, post-work for example), keeping their schedule and what might be best for them in mind.
Length: Use the KISS Method, (Keep it Simple, Stupid!). These really shouldn’t be much longer than a paragraph or two. If it’s someone you don’t know and you aren’t being introduced, a brief 4-5 sentence bio, tailored for your ask/outcome is a good idea. Don’t just copy your bio from LinkedIn- relate it to your specific ask. It will probably be similar but you don’t want to sound static.
Do Your Homework: Know something about the person, what they do, and/or their company to immediately connect with the recipient in the first sentence or two. Maybe they recently published an article. Maybe you saw them speak or heard a good thing about their work. Include that! It shows you’re paying attention and are looking for more than a quick do-me-a-favor fix. Make sure the language you use in the networking email indicates that you want to build a relationship, rather than take-take-take!
Do Their Homework: If you’re emailing about a specific position, make sure you quickly connect how your experience is a fit for the specific role in the networking email. Do the work so they don’t have to! If you just can’t quite seem to stick to the KISS method, the other option is to bold/underline a couple of headings within the email, so people can skim and jump around. So “A little about me:” or “How I can help in this role”….but I always opt for KISS when possible 🙂
This is just a little down and dirty in terms of a fool-proof method to get responses from people you really want to hear from. If you want more of this, sign up directly below to get tips and tools direct to your inbox that can help you jumpstart a new career!