Career Advice

4 Types of Job Interview Request Emails

3
min read
Vera Chan

In many circumstances, reaching out to a friend or close acquaintance can be useful. Particularly, when it comes to job hunting. That is why when you leave company, it is best to depart on good terms, do not burn your bridges. You may find that you want to reach out to an ex-colleague in the future. And then there are also times where you might reach out to a stranger.

 

What is the best approach to reaching out to your contacts or someone you do not know to get a job interview? There are a few important things to note. Namely, remain polite and professional throughout the entire process. You never know when your message may be shared or forwarded to someone else down the line.

 

When asking for a coffee or a quick moment to chat, offer to pay in exchange for their time. Everybody is busy and if they take out their time of the day for you, you should thank them in kind. Below are some important points to take into account when drafting a message. Based on the scenario and relationship you may or may not have with the person — keep these points in mind.

 

1. Asking for an Interview from Someone You Know

The approach to this email will be easier than most since you already have some form of a relationship. Treat it as a business communication but you can also be slightly informal.

 

Subject Line

Catching Up

 

Opening

Greet your wacquaintanceith a simple 'hi' and wish that you hope this email finds them well.

 

Body Text

Mention your interest to look for a new job, be it a career change or a new role. You can briefly talk about why your relevant experience in the field (if any) and why you want to make a change. Such as growing your skill sets or expanding your horizons.

 

Touch upon your acquaintance's wealth of knowledge in the field or their network. Ask them that you would like to pick their brains and if they would have the time for a quick phone call of coffee. A sit-down meal is also appropriate if you have a particularly close relationship. Do not forget to pick up the bill.

 

Closing

Ask for available times they might be free so you can follow up accordingly. Then, thank them for their time before you sign-off. You can use best regards or many thanks for a greeting with someone you know.

 

2. Asking for a Referral for an Interview from Someone You Know

Sometimes to find a job that you want, you need to jump through hoops through your network to get there. If your network is not enough — say you are jumping industries — then you will need to expand. This is where asking for help comes in. Ask acquaintances or friends for a referral. How? See how you can structure your message or email below.

 

Subject Line

Referral for Information

 

Opening

Since you also know this person, you can open with an easy 'hi' as well, and wish that you hope this email finds them well.

 

Body Text

Start with why you are messaging or emailing so that they know straight off the bat. You can mention that you are looking for a new role or change in career and would like their help for referrals.

 

If they are already in the field you want to work in or are in, ask them if they can help hook you up for a quick conversation. Be flexible with offering coffee or a phone call since you know how busy everyone's schedule can be.

 

If they are a stepping stone to somebody else in the field, you can mention your interest in specific things. Such as certain companies or job openings you may have come across.

 

The key is to express that you would like a referral to acquire more information. You may even list the names of their connections or companies and let your acquaintance hook you up.

 

Closing

Make it easy for them to pass on your information about you to someone they may be referring you to. You can do this by including the following information in your sign-off:

 

  • Your full name
  • Your current or last job title
  • Your direct telephone number
  • Your LinkedIn profile

Top Tip

Do not attach your resume unless they ask for it. It may come across as too heavy-handed and you are not applying for a job just yet. Keep it light and somewhat informal.

 

3. Emailing Someone You Do Not Know With a Referral

If you have been referred to by a friend or acquaintance, you may or may not have been put in touch with them directly. Either they cc'd you together in an email or they spoke to them separately and told them you would be in touch. Here is how to handle both scenarios.

 

Subject Line

[Name of Referred] Referral for Coffee

 

Opening

If you have been cc'd, address your acquaintance first. Say 'hi' and thanks for the referral and that you will move them to BCC.

 

Move on to address the referral with "Dear" — since you do not know the person. Mention that your friend said that they could be of help to provide more information. This could be about the industry you are interested in or about ascending in your career.

 

Body Text

Mention your goals. You can talk about that they are an expert in so-and-so fields or that they have had an impressive career. This can then lead to asking them for a coffee or for a quick phone call to discuss your questions. Give them the option to meet in person or not, given busy schedules.

 

Closing

Sign-off with "Sincerely" and thank them for their time and consideration. Ask them for any time that they have available would be much appreciated. Include information about yourself below the signature for their easy reference:

 

  • Your full name
  • Your current or last job title
  • Your direct telephone number
  • Your LinkedIn profile

 

4. Cold Call Emailing Someone You Do Not Know

This is a straight-up attempt to contact someone you do not know, so it can be the least effective. But that is not to say that they are people out there who are kind enough to give you the time of day to give you advice. Or to provide you with further information you are seeking — sort of like a mentor would.

 

Important things to note, include being careful of becoming a spammer. You want to keep a minimum outreach to two times per contact. If there is no follow-up after that, move on. When you cold-call email people within the same organisation, be very selective. Reach out to two to three people max and make sure they are not in the same team or department. Cast your net wide.

 

Subject Line

Request for Advice

 

Opening

Start with your name and what you do or did most recently in your career and mention why you are reaching out. You can talk about how you are looking to move your career in a certain direction and would like their advice.

 

Body Text

Talk about your goals, such as learning more about the culture of an organisation or industry. You can ask about opportunities and hazards.

 

Give them options to discuss with you, be it in person over coffee or  over a 15-20 minute phone call. Express appreciation for anytime they can give you and let them get back to you.

 

Closing

Sign-off with "Sincerely" and thank them for their time and consideration. Include information about yourself below the signature for their easy reference:

 

  • Your full name
  • Your current or last job title
  • Your direct telephone number
  • Your LinkedIn profile

 

Following Up

Emails can get lost in inboxes. They can get pushed down or easily forgotten about when priority issues come up. Send a quick follow-up message or email, but be sure to wait two to three business days. Try sending your message at a different time of the day during work hours as well. If your first outreach was in the afternoon, try the morning.

 

Finding Email Addresses

If you know the person already or your acquaintance passed you their contact — great! If not, hunter is a great tool to try and locate email addresses. Or you can also use this to familiarise yourself with the format of email addresses within a company. Such as first name.lastname@xxx.com

 

On LinkedIn, if there is no contact information, you can send a short 200 character message via InMail. From here you can see if you can obtain their email address to send them further information.

 

The Takeaway

Emails can be an effective way to get in touch with referrals or acquaintances. LinkedIn is also a great platform, particularly for reaching out to strangers. You can cold call someone entirely or reach out to a second or third connection. Use the above scenarios and pointers to include in your messaging. Hopefully, these will help you gain more information about what you are seeking. You never know when networking can lead you to a job opportunity and a potential interview.


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