How To Send An Introductory Email

How To Send An Introductory Email

So you need to send an email to that guy you met passing by Starbucks once. You know the guy. Power suit, wore a watch but never used it to tell time, walked with a strut so fast you thought he’d stolen the last chocolate chip muffin. He brushed right by you and his business card happened to fall out of his pocket. Now you’ve got a new potential email contact. Well done.

But here you’ve found yourself in a conundrum. How do you email this guy and try to score a job when he has no idea who you are and no clue how you got his email? It’s like when Jerry got that woman’s number off an AIDS Walk list in Seinfeld. You’ve got to tread lightly if you want to become sponge-worthy.

So here’s how you get it done.

1. Opening Joke

Always start with a “Hi (insert name)” in the first line of your email. Hey is too casual, Hello is too formal and omitting a salutation is a sign of weakness. It shows you are indecisive which will not help when making tough workday-related decisions like when to break for lunch and how to sneak away to nap. If the boss man doesn’t chuckle at the opening sentence you worked hours on, how are you going to fare off the cuff at the water cooler? Unless you have Michael Scott-level improv skills, you need to spend time on your craft. Go for a walk, write and re-write, or change your entire personality if you don’t think you’re interesting enough.

2. Find Common Ground

A good introductory email always subtly pin points what you have in common with your prospective employer. You probably don’t have any money, or any relevant work experience, so focus on the little things. Was he wearing a really cool hat? Did he have any excess donut jelly (yeah I switched from a chocolate chip muffin to a jelly donut, sue me) on his upper lip? Was his shirt half-untucked to give off a “cool but firm” vibe? These are all relevant details you could reference in your opening paragraph, without running the risk of looking creepy.

3. Ask For Something

This guy knows why you’re emailing him. You’re not asking him to play Canasta. You want a job. A high paying, high level job. With benefits that include dental because your teeth suck and you’re too lazy to pay the co-pay (I have no idea how co-pays work).

So don’t beat around the bush. Although that’s probably exactly what you were doing when you caught him walking out of the pizza shop (changed it again, keep up). Random people who you are a fan of but don’t know you exist want you to ask them for jobs, clothes, dating advice, and money. If not, why would their Venmo accounts be public?

The reason your employer hasn’t emailed you is because he’s playing hard to get. Just like that Tinder girl who hasn’t responded since January.

4. Review Your Credentials

You think this guy has time to click that link to your resume? Come on, he barely had time to zip up his pants after that massage parlor you caught him walking out of. It would take a password-protected WiFi connection for the boss to open up your attachment and see you flunked out of college-level arithmetic.

This is why you must constantly reference your achievements. Did you write a well-researched article for the school newspaper that unfortunately never got published? (It’s all politics). Did you start a badminton club that was actually just a front for your fraternity that got kicked off campus? (You guys didn’t even buy shuttlecocks). Did you make a charitable donation to a distinguished foundation only so you could write on your resume that you made a charitable donation to a distinguished foundation?

If your answer to the above three questions is ‘yes,’ then you’re well on your way. And don’t forget to constantly repeat your 3.22 GPA that could easily be seen at the top of your resume.

5. Close With Mystery

At the end of any good introductory email, you want to leave your prospective employer with more questions than answers. You don’t want him thinking you’re a perfect fit for the position. That’s what he wants you to think he wants.

You want him wondering where the hell you got his card and why your punctuation looks like a four-year-old found the meth cabinet. You want him wondering how you knew he was hiring and how you knew he liked jelly donuts. You want him to close the email and think to himself, “What the fuck was that guy talking about?”
Now that’s how you make an impression.

Image via Shutterstock

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22-year-old post grad trying to gain employment by writing about unemployment.

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