Crafting an email to someone you’d like to network with is tough. What should you say? How long should it be? Should you attach a resume?
As you craft your message, ask yourself what you’re hoping to accomplish by contacting them. Are you hoping to learn more about a particular career path or company? Or are you hoping to expand your network by reaching out to fellow alumni? Once you’ve determined the 2-3 key points of your message, you can then begin to build content around them.
And, don’t underestimate the power of an effective subject line. If you were referred by someone the person you’re reaching out to knows, be sure to use that as your subject line ex. “Referred by Shawn Graham.” Or, you can include the name of your undergraduate institution. Whatever you decide, you want to include a common point of reference that will pique their interest enough to open your email.
A lot of job seekers ask if they should attach a resume when writing an introductory email. I usually recommend holding off until you’ve been able to establish a rapport or until they ask for one. If you decide to attach your resume, consider saying something along the lines of “a copy of my resume is attached for your reference.”
Now on to a sample email:
I located your contact information in the University of Pittsburgh alumni network and I was hoping we might be able to connect over the telephone for 15 minutes at your convenience. It would be great to learn more about your background including how you got started in marketing at Johnson and Johnson and to connect with a University of Pittsburgh alum.
Just to give you a quick overview of my background, I am a rising senior at Pitt with a concentration in marketing. This summer, I will be interning in brand marketing at Johnson and Johnson.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
University of Pittsburgh ‘10