Tim Kreider lit a fire under the blogosphere in late October with a New York Times column called “Slaves of the Internet, Unite!”
In the piece, Kreider gripes about young writers who contribute to web sites and receive no compensation — even when the work generates massive traffic and thousands of comments.
Kreider recommends aspiring young folk turn down pro-bono opportunities and includes an email template to sharply say “No thank you.”
Thanks very much for your compliments on my [writing/illustration/whatever thing you do]. I’m flattered by your invitation to [do whatever it is they want you to do for nothing]. But [thing you do] is work, it takes time, it’s how I make my living, and in this economy I can’t afford to do it for free. I’m sorry to decline, but thanks again, sincerely, for your kind words about my work.
His template got me thinking: wouldn’t it be helpful to have ready-to-use job search emails (networking, interviews, etc…) at our disposal?
Below are five templates that cover common, and tricky, job-search scenarios. Just add your information and click “send.”
1. Email to Set Up a Networking Meeting
Email subject: Interested in Connecting
My name is ______, and I am [reason you know the person/reason you want to meet (i.e. “a recent grad”]. I hope you’re doing well!
I am writing because I am interested in a job in the ______ field, and I want to learn more about the industry. I checked out your bio and see you have a lot of experience, particularly with [interesting tid-bit from the person’s LinkedIn resume or web bio].
To give you my quick background, I [2-3 highlights from your resume; only reference the parts that would matter to this person].
It would be great to chat with you by phone or grab coffee. I want to hear more about the work you do and ask questions.
Please let me know your availability over the next couple of weeks.
Thanks, and I look forward to talking with you.
– Your name
Notes: Notice how this email is all about absorbing the other person’s knowledge. You’re not asking for a job or even a connection to one. Here, you’re looking for advice. People love imparting wisdom so use the “advice” route to get the networking session (yep, all four steps of the meeting). Ya’ never know, maybe a job opportunity will stem from your conversation.
2. Thank You Email After a Networking Meeting
Email subject: Thanks Again, (pPerson’s first name)
I want to thank you again for meeting with me earlier today. I really appreciate your time and the information you passed along. [Use this next line to drop a detail from your interaction to prove you listened; for instance, “I can tell from our conversation you’re excited about your company and what’s on tap for 2014.”]
If the person has offered to pass along your resume, say…
I attached my resume here. Please feel free to cc me on any emails, and I am happy to follow up.
If the person has no leads for you at the moment…
I am attaching my resume here. Please let me know if anyone comes to mind I should contact. I am happy to send an email and introduce myself.
Thanks again, and have a great day.
– Your name
Notes: The first line says “…for meeting with me earlier today.” That’s because you should absolutely write a thank you email the same day you met (never hurts to use a hand-written note). Also, you should offer to be cc’ed on any future networking emails OR send an email on your own. Give the networker less to do on your behalf, and he/she will appreciate it.
3. Email to Follow-up on a Job Application
Email subject: Following up on my Application: (Name of Position) job opening
I hope you’re doing well.
I am writing to make sure you received my application for the position of _________. I sent it to you on [date].
If possible, please let me know you have my application. If you have any additional questions, I am happy to answer them.
Thanks again for the opportunity.
– Your name
Notes: Short and sweet. Make sure to include the job you applied for and when you sent over the application. Don’t make the HR person go searching for your file.
4. Thank-you Email After a Job Interview
Email subject: Thanks Again for Your Time Today
Thanks again for meeting with me this morning/afternoon. I really appreciate your time and enjoyed learning more about the company. [Like email #2, the next line should be a detail from your conversation. “The market is slow right now, but you’re right to think it will come back around in 2014.”]
If you have any further questions, I’m happy to answer them.
Thanks so much, and…
Two options here:
1. Make a quick reference again to the conversation. Something like, “Thanks so much, and enjoy the golf course this weekend.”
2. Keep it straightforward if you don’t feel comfortable being “chummy” and say “Thanks so much, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
– Your name
Notes: It’s important to gauge the situation, but always try to be personable and remind the boss you paid attention — even to minor details.
5. Email to Turn Down a Job Offer
Email subject: Thank You for The Offer: (Name of Position)
I am writing to tell you I have decided not to accept the position of _________. I truly appreciate that you offered me the job, but at this time I have chosen to look elsewhere.
Thank you again, and all the best with the search.
– Your name
Notes: No need to delay the news. Just come right out and say “No, thanks.” Direct is always the best approach.
These five templates will get you a great start for correspondence regarding these five situations. Of course, feel free to add your own personal touches to them!
What other email templates would you like to see? Let us know!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!
About the Author: Danny Rubin is a PR professional at Rubin Communications Group in Virginia Beach, VA. A former TV reporter, Danny also writes News To Live By (NTLB), a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons in the day’s top stories. His NTLB columns are featured on several blogs and news sites, including Huffington Post, Lifehacker, PolicyMic and Brazen Life. Danny also contributes to Parade Magazine. Follow the blog on Twitter!