Cold Emailing: A Great Way to Find Hot Job Leads

Many people looking for jobs use websites like LinkedIn or Handshake to find internships or jobs. However, that is not the only way! Cold emailing is a great alternative to search for career opportunities and stand out to potential employers.It can seem like a daunting task, but with the right messaging, you can successfully showcase your skills and interest to a potential employer. 

Researching  Potential Companies

Before you start sending cold emails, research! Find out which companies are relevant to your field and make a list of them. You can use Handshake and Glassdoor as helpful resources if you are not sure where to start. Learn more about each company by visiting their website, looking into their history, and checking their reviews. This will help you tailor your emails to each company and show them that you are genuinely interested and motivated to work there. 

Catching Potential Employers Attention

Once you are done with research, it’s time to start sending emails. One of the hardest aspects of cold emailing is getting the employer to click open the email. Employers receive many emails a day, so it is important that your email sticks out. Remembering the 3 W’s can help you heighten your odds of success!

Who: It is important that the person you contact is in a management or an HR position. Depending on the size of the company, you can often find emails in the “About Me” sections of their website. Also, social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter (now called X), Facebook, and Handshake are also direct ways to get in contact with potential employers. If you find yourself struggling to find a point of contact, you can also call the front desk or general phone line and politely ask for the management or HR email address. 

When: The timing of the email is also important. No one wants to read an email late on a Friday and it can easily get overlooked. The best time to send emails is on Tuesday and Wednesday around 8am to 11am. 

What: Remember, the potential employer has no idea who you are! That is why it is important to make a good impression before they even click the email. The email address you use should be professional and simple. An email address like “” does not read as professional or trustworthy and will most likely be deleted. However, an email address like, “” is much more likely to be trusted.

Another crucial aspect is the subject line. Try to avoid vague or dubious sounding subject lines, such as “Job Search” or “Looking for Opportunities”. These subject lines are often read as junk emails and tell the employer very little about you. Subject lines should be specific to the company, such as “Digital Storytelling Major Seeking Internship” or “Recent Engineer Graduate Looking for Thermal Design Position”. 

Creating Your Message

Once you get their attention, it’s time to write the email. The email should be relatively short and well tailored to the company. Try to highlight your past  jobs and experiences that are relevant to the position you are seeking and leave out unrelated experiences. 

How to write a cold email:

  • Use the first paragraph to briefly introduce yourself! Tell the potential employer your name, major, graduation date, and relevant past experience.
  • In the second paragraph, state your request or inquiry. This is the part that should be the most tailored section. Explain why you reached out to this company and how it aligns with your goals. 
  • The final paragraph should be the shortest. Thank the potential employer for their time and mention that you have your resume or portfolio attached or linked below.

Cold emails can vary in content and messaging, but should contain this basic information. Make sure to include the research you found while looking into the company!

Follow Through and Expectations

Often potential employers are busy people, so you will most likely need to send a follow up email. The follow up email should be sent 5-10 business days after the initial email was sent. Keep the follow up email short and to the point.

Don’t have your heart set on only one company. The more companies you contact, the more likely you are to get a potential employer to respond! So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from an employer and keep your spirit up, Tiger!