How to Cold Email for a Job You Want

By Robert Williams

A few years ago, I cold emailed 3 jobs using the very simple email template below. The results were astonishing. Despite being a total noob, I made $30,000+ in freelance work from these emails. Today I want to share this template with you in hopes that you get similar results from it too.

First let’s look the template in it’s entirely, then lets go through and customize each section of the template individually. Here it is:

The $30k email template to use when applying to a job:

Subject Line: Helping you get [major benefit]

Hi Bob,

Your [blog, article, job post, social profile] is amazing. One of my favorite things about it is [something you actually love about the company or client].

In fact, your [brand, website, app, or other design project] reminds me of a past client, [impressive past client], that needed something similar and tells me you probably want [amazing benefit client received] received from the project as well.

Can I send you some ideas for how we can work on this?

Note that the brackets in the template above indicate sections where you should tailor the email to the job/person you’re sending the email to. That’s where the real magic happens so next let’s dive into exactly how to do that.

You can tweak this template to suit your needs for just about any job.

How to write a great cold email subject line

The first thing you want your recipient to do is open your email. That’s why it’s important to make it about them. Specifically, something you know they desire. For example, if you were emailing someone about a video editing job might say:

Subject Line: Helping you edit your Instagram videos to get shared and grow your audience

Where do you find this desire? My favorite place to pull this info from is directly in the job post or their website. The goal isn’t to persuade or sell, it’s simply to get them to open. So pique their curiosity and let them know it’s not spam. 

Ideally, your subject line should be so specific that it could only be sent to the person you’re emailing. That makes it way more likely to this email gets opened. From there, it’s up to your email’s body to actually deliver on the subject line’s promise. Let’s walk through how to do that next. 

How to write the introduction of a job application cold email

Okay, shits about to get real. Most cold emails start with some variation on the following: Hi, I’m interested in getting this job. I’d love to hear more about [blah blah blah]. But I’ve found this to be totally ineffective. Why? Because clients and employers don’t care about what you want. 

Talking about your own desires makes the recipients of your emails instantly tune you out. Instead your opening line should again be focused on the person you’re emailing, for example:

Hi Client,

Your blog is amazing. One of my favorite things about it is how honest you are  about personal finance. Love your “buy all the lattes you want” motto.

The key here is to try to make an authentication connection quickly. Remember, people can smell fake compliments from a mile away. Instead think about what you actually like about the company. It might take a few minutes but if you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be applying in the first place.

Sincerely discovering what YOU think is great about them will not only feel good it will result in 10× better results.

How to write a great value proposition in your cold email

So far, you’ve gotten the recipient to open your email and read past the first sentence without marking you spam. Awesome. That’s further than 99% of people get. Now it’s time to get to the real meat of your email: the value proposition.

Here’s an example of a great value proposition that continues with our video editing job example:

In fact, your company reminds me a lot of where my client, Marie Forleo, was when she started her video editing program – which probably means you want to grow your Instagram audience from ~50,000 to ~500,000 in the next year too.

That’s it. Simple and focused on results. Notice how we’re not talking about ourselves in the value proposition. Your skills, past work, and experience don’t matter. What matters is results. Your value proposition doesn’t need to include a ton of metrics and numbers it just need to talk about the end result for the client.

How to close your cold email with a great call to action

Okay, so you’ve gotten to the end of your email. Congrats. It’s time to seal the deal.

But don’t make the mistake that most people make and shoot yourself in the foot by trying to close the deal in one email or use the phrase: “Let me know what you think!” 

It’s not the recipient’s job to connect the dots at the end of your email. Spoiler: they never do. Instead, be crystal clear about what the next step is and what you want them to do.

Make it extremely easy to reply with a simple call to action. If you’re not sure how to do this here are 10+ pre-written call to actions for you to choose from here.

After you land  a job with this cold email template, I want to hear from you

If you use the email template above and see good results, please email me and tell me about it. I read every email!

But remember even a great email template will only get you so far. It’s far more important to know how a great cold email is structured. That’s where the magic is:understanding what makes a certain email template great. Click here for a full breakdown of this. 

Beware: This Email Line is Client Repellent...

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: 85% freelancers/agencies will shoot themselves in the foot in their next email because they make ONE common mistake that repels clients away.

Are you sending this client repelling email?

Find out plus get my 10 word-for-word scripts you can use to win start winning clients instead, even if you hate sales. All value. No fluff. See for yourself.

New York Times
Fast Company
10 Email Lines That Will Win You Clients

Click the button below to get instant access.

Get 10 Plug-and-Play Email Lines That Will Win You Clients

Word-for-word scripts you can use today to win clients if you're a total noob. See for yourself: