The Jakarta Post
Have you ever sent so many job applications through job portals that you’ve lost track of which position you applied for?
This may be a common experience among jobseekers who are desperately looking for a new position amid the pandemic. As the global recession forces companies to lay off their employees, this could mean more rivals in the job-hunting pool.
Human resources (HR) professional Samuel Ray says that special measures should be taken if you want to stand out among jobseekers in this trying time, one of which is to send cold emails to employers.
A cold email is an unsolicited email sent to a receiver who has no previous contact with the sender. In theory, you send this email to a person in a high position in a corporation, asking for a job. It may inspire dread in an introvert, but Samuel argues that the method has paved the way for his career.
“It is more effective than if you apply through job portals,” he told The Jakarta Post in an interview.
Carving a cold email is an art of its own. Below are tips from Samuel that can help you create one to increase your winning chance in the job-seeking game.
1. Be selective
A cold email is more effective when it is sent to the right person who has the executive authority to hire you right away. You would want to send a cold email to someone at the top of a corporate branch, such as a director or a CEO. According to your expertise, you can also send a cold email to department heads such as the finance manager if you are looking a position in finance or the editor-in-chief if you are a journalist looking for a steady job.
“The key is to choose a person with the decision-making power,” Samuel said. Doing adequate research about the person sitting in the executive chair in your dream company can also help you craft a powerful cold email.
Samuel advised against sending a cold email to the HR department. As the division handles a lot of job applications as their main task, your resume and cover letter might be overlooked.
“Instead, an executive has the authority to push HR to hire you if they like you,” he said.
2. Be concise
In writing a cold email, you want to be concise but enticing. The email should be a brief but effective introduction of yourself to a potential employer.
“You have to summarize what you have done [in your previous professional work] in two or three sentences,” he said.
Samuel suggests that the email consist of three main parts: header, content and closing.
“The header should be an executive summary of yourself, the content explains the purpose of the email and what you want from the person receiving the email, then close it with a thank you,” Samuel said.
The email should also contain a call to respond to an invitation to engage further, such as an invitation to meet over coffee to discuss your qualifications. Or in the world of free-floating deadly viruses, you can invite the person to a friendly video call.
3. Be assertive
Sometimes you’ll be surprised that your email is responded to positively and that a potential employer will say yes to your invitation for a follow-up.
“If they respond with a yes, be proactive by proposing a time to meet, such as 'Saturday at 2 p.m. or Sunday at 3 p.m.?' Don’t be abstract and ask them when they will be available. We do that thinking for them,” Samuel said.
4. Be confident
Sending an email out of the blue to someone you haven’t met can sound pushy, but you would be surprised that people do get hired after a good pitch in a cold email. Don’t lose hope if your email isn't received warmly, or even gets no response at all.
“The job-seeking game is very similar to the sales game,” Samuel said. “The more you try, the more you approach people, the greater probability that you will be hired.”
Always position yourself as someone valuable to the potential employer.
“[The pitch] is all about the value you can bring to your client or your potential employers. And don’t be too worried about how you come across to others, otherwise you won't do what you have to do,” he said.
Samuel suggests just focusing on your pitch and doing your best, with a “nothing to lose” attitude.
“Don’t be too fixated on one company so you won’t be too disappointed if you don't get in. You can still earn your living working elsewhere,” he said. (wng)