Lessons From the Job Hunt: How to Write That Money Email

Updated: May 19, 2010 09:58
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After countless hours and attempts, I am ready to share some of the key lessons that I have learned so far about how to properly solicit (through email or otherwise) advice and guidance from a professional in a field you want to enter.

The No Pressure Rule: I have already demonstrated this lesson in my introduction! Don’t just straight up ask for a paid position. Ask for guidance, help, and slide into asking whether they know of any opportunities for someone with your experience and passion. No pressure is the cardinal rule in this game. Good people shy '“ and I suppose bad people run '“ away from you not because they don’t want to help per se, but because they are worried that an initial OK might raise your hopes, create some unintentional, implied contract of coming through with a job. Consider asking for a mock interview, allowing you to get into the room and show off (being physically attractive is a bonus, so if you aren’t, looking crisp should do the trick), but takes that pressure off the meeting.

To Whom It May Concern: Yeah, try not to use that unless it’s Craigslist. Skip HR too. Get a trade book, magazine, whatever, and track where the dollars of the work is coming from and going to. Who are the big players? Who are in the field? Who is doing the deals? Address your load to them. For extra points, throw in a line that shows you suspect their group might have extra work around on account of their successes in a particular field, or because they absorbed a company that went bankrupt, etc.

Tie your worth with theirs. The recruiters always tell you to research the company, the particular person, but how does that connect with what you offer? If you can’t figure this out off the top, you might need to do some unpaid self-training to build up some competencies. Is that a 'œwaahhhh' I hear? Dry your tears, this doesn’t require you to become an expert, but just showing some additional knowledge that they might find useful can go a long way.

Show '˜em you get it. Somewhere in your email recognize that you are cognizant of the shit conditions in the world right now. Something like 'œI recognize the economic environment is less than ideal' or 'œyou might be receiving many such responses, but please take a moment to review my qualifications.' In conjunction with this, add that in recognizing this (exclude the fact its because people tell you it every damn day), you are willing to gain experience in any position. Depending on how much you want the particular job, you may have to accept you won’t start where you may have started had it not been for the recession, but in all likelihood, a good performance means they will want you for something more senior, just don’t take your eyes off the prize, and ask for intermittent performance reviews.

An easy read. It’s not so much that this thing has to be brutally short, its just it has to flow well, and be a fast-paced read. Don’t focus on length as much as whether its an enticing read. Short paragraphs are good.

Resume? Unless you went to Harvard, I’m not sure I would send my resume right away because ideally you write a short list highlighting your strengths so well that they then ask for it, initiating some back and forth. This is just my sense. Second, you will be following the cardinal rule of No Pressure this way, because you aren’t looking for a job from this discussion (wink wink), while a document attached is most certainly suggestive of just that.

Personal Touch: Not only is this the name of an excellent waxing salon in South Florida, its also key in the job search. You can really only infuse this once you have the formalities down '“ the perfect, edited, professional, robust elevator speech. Once you do that, you can start making it a bit slicker and personable, adding here or there, little shouts from the eternal depth of hell, passion, and ambition from whence you came.

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Rebecca E. - The Centimentalist

Rebecca E. - The Centimentalist

What does Rebecca bring to the table? Fanciful eye twinkles and a plastic tablecloth, that's what. Her parents are Russian, but she was born in Massachusetts and thus maintains her innocence, though she admittedly prefers blintzes and beet salad to hamburgers. When she spent a year in Japan as a kid she experienced the first of many dips on her normalcy development chart. She came back to the States like the little wheelbarrow on the NYC Edition of Monopoly. Next, she moved to Atlanta where she hung with Jermaine Dupree in elevators. She got a B.A. outside Chicago, and after a two-year stint as a consultant, warmed up in Miami, picking up a water-resistant J.D. Now she is back in Manhattan, trying to collect evidence and moneybags all over the board, henceforth as the cannon piece.