I’m sure every employer in the region has seen an e-mail like this:
I learned about you from a reliable source. I want to offer myself as candidate for a job at your company. I will be able to begin at any time/any place. I have taken a computer course and can format reports, letters, memos, and tables and can type 50 words per minute, using M.S Word, M.S Excel, and Adobe; I can prepare spreadsheets, databases and newsletters. I have 10 years of experience. Please give me a chance at the above post. My CV and certificates are attached.
This is actually based on a recent email that we received.
Unfortunately, "the above post" was never mentioned, so we don't
know which element of Wamda he was applying to.
This applicant sent the email to 168 contacts, and we'd be surprised if he heard back from a single one. This sort of mass generic email is not going to get you a job. Based on this and other generic e-mails I’ve seen, here are a few very simple tips on how to successfully pitch for a potential job:
1) Personalize your message. Like the above e-mail, sometimes job applicants send a generic letter to several e-mail addresses at once. There's no better way to guarantee that it's discarded. Not only does making addresses public reveal your contacts to one another, but it makes employers know that you don't value their company enough to send a personalized letter. Be sure to send individual e-mails that reveal that you know the company inside and out and can explain why you're a good fit.
2) Explain which job you're applying for, and why. If you write “Request for Job (Any Suitable Post)," you might think you're being flexible, but to employers, it looks like you don't have a specific skill set or direction. Instead, let the company know that you've read their postings and are responding to a specific job. If you're sending a cold email, be sure it mentions the work that the company does and explains why you would work well with them. Especially if you're a freelance writer, it's always worth pitching your work to a media outlet, but it's critical to specify your skills, qualifications, and samples of your work. Let your work speak louder than your desire for a job.
3) Share your achievements. If you’re embarrassed by your résumé, or uncertain about sharing your goals with others, you’re missing a huge opportunity to make your pitch stronger. Have a friend review your CV to catch minor mistakes or give feedback on the format, but don't forgo sending it altogether. Let others know what you’re looking for – the more open you are with those you actually know, the more they might be able to find a connection or reference for you.
4) Be specific about your goals. To prove you're a good fit, discuss your aspirations specifically. Don't write something like this (another phrase seen all too often, in various forms): “Goal: To pursue aspirations and commitment by excelling in career oriented opportunities.” Bland phrases make you look more generic, not more motivated. Simply explaining what you're passionate about, in your own language, will go a lot further.
5) Go through connections, or try to establish one. Most startups we talk to try to hire new employees through people they know, simply because it's easier to listen to the opinions of those they trust. But, as companies scale, this method breaks down at some point; they will often have to hire someone from a pool of applicants. So if you don't have an inside connection and you're pitching cold, be sure to sound not just qualified, but genuine. The more direct and honest you are about liking the company, the more your potential future bosses will feel a connection with you. Throw marketing language out the window and write from the heart; for a smart startup that cares, that's half the battle.
Do you have any other advice for job seekers? Share them in the comments section below.