- On August 16, 2020
I love this recent LinkedIn post by career guru Austin Belcak. He lays out the easiest thing to do for the best return when sending out a cold networking email. Simply give the person you are emailing an out versus thanking the person in advance or saying you look forward to their response (which is super presumptuous of you).
Instead, include an exit clause like “I know your time is valuable and this is a big ask. If it’s too much right now, that’s totally fine. Either way I hope you are staying safe and healthy!” Austin found including such an “exit clause” tripled the response rate to cold emails. (He used to track responses to the various versions of emails sent so he could iterate to the most effective content – brilliant!)
Similarly, whenever I ask a favor of someone, like if I want to introduce a person to them or to find out more about a company, I always give the person an out, no matter how well I know or don’t know the person. The out could be a casual “No worries if this is not a good time” or “I completely understand if this isn’t your thing” or a more tailored: “I understand if you’re busy with XYZ now.” It’s common courtesy!
Remember: When you are looking for a job, you are calling in a lot of favors, so make it easy for people to help you.