Monday 30 June 2014

How to Write a Networking Email that Gets Results

Updated 8 December 2014

Everyone knows that connections are gold, but few people act on this. People continue to look for jobs and send their CV just like they've always done. They need to start networking and one easy way to do this is to contact peopel via email.  I've written about cold calling to get teaching jobs and how to network your way to a great job, but never had any sample emails about networking, so I thought it was high time to do so.

Below are 4 sample emails. The first email I received from someone (and yes, he gave me his permission to use the email as is) who is a avid networker. The last three are sample emails that I got from Cool Careers For Dummies. There are a ton of networking books out there with good tips as well.

Sample email asking if they know of any jobs
Dear Sharon,

First, I want you to know that I appreciate you being one of my LinkedIn connections. I am grateful to have university educators to assist me in gaining knowledge of a profession I plan to be a member of in the near future.

I am writing to ask you if you would keep your “ears and eyes” open for any positions that are available at your school. If you can send me the name and e-mail of the person in charge of hiring, I would be thankful. (Your name would be kept confidential, of course)

I am aware of DavesESLCafe, but I know that universities will ask their teachers if they know of a qualified individual.

 My education and experience is under my LinkedIn profile.Please feel free to contact me at or 010-6288-7959 if you have any questions or comments. Finally, I hope you remember that I am here to assist you in your professional endeavors.

Daniel Wolkenfeld  

Sample email to a friend of a friend
Dear Mary,

Tom Hawkins suggested I contact you. I have long been fascinated with fragrances and imagine that working in a perfumery would be wonderful.

I'd guess that I could do more than one thing for you, so I thought I'd share a few things I've done. Perhaps the following will enable you to see how I might help you:

I helped turn around the shipping department at McFallon's Wholesale Nursery. I developed a new system, hired great people, and created an environment in which everyone wanted to work hard.
I developed the website for a little home business: see
I received a grant from Exxon to create a catalog of South Carolina's wildflowers. It was an amazing experience.

Am I deluding myself into thinking that I might be of help to you even though I lack direct experience in a perfumery?

If you think I might be worth interviewing, or if you simply have a little advice for me, I'd love to hear from you. My number is 555-123-4567, and the best times to reach me are between 8-9 am and 5-6 pm.

Monica Pataki

Sample email for getting in touch with someone after many years
Dear John,

I'd imagine I'm the last person on the planet you'd expect to hear from. You and I were in the same statistics class with Professor Maracuilo at Penn Stat 20 years ago.

I've been a project manager with a video game company and got great evaluations, but they just sent all the work to India.

I've been reading a book on how to find a job and it urges job seekers to call everyone they know, no matter how distant the tie. So, I'm wondering, by any chance, if you might know someone who might need a good project software project manager or could lear me to one. And by any chance, might you know someone at one of these employers? (Insert your list of 25 target employers.)

Thank you for considering my request. I love my work and am eager to get back to it.

Henry Mikulski

Sample email for getting in touch after cold calling
Dear Mr. Johnson,

Thanks for taking my call yesterday.

I am pleased that you think my experiences at college make me marketable. I do think that my job marketing the campus radio station on the web taught me a lot that would be valuable to an employer.

And, of course, I appreciate your offering to keep your ears open for a position that may be appropriate for me.

I've already followed up on your suggestion that I contact Jane Doe. I just called and left a voice mail. 

Work aside, it was fun hearing about your new sailboat.

Best regards,
Harry Moskowitz

Some Tips
Here are some things I've learned over the years about networking.

Don't ever, ever ask people to get you a job. Just don't. I personally don't feel comfortable recommending someone and I wouldn't want someone to recommend me. It can easily backfire. You can read more here. That's one reason why I really like Daniel's email, because he said he'd keep my name confidential. I have no problem passing info on, and I have, many times. But I don't recommend people, ever.

Say thank you. I cannot believe how few people ever say thank you. I've been on Dave's ESL Cafe for over a decade, blogging since 2008, and also in a handful of Facebook job groups. I like organising info and I like helping people. I often get a couple emails and PMs a week asking for help. I always answer and that's usually the end of it. Hardly anyone says thanks, which is a big mistake. It really doesn't take that long to hit reply and say something like thanks for taking time out of your busy day to answer my question. I don't do this because I want people to thank me, however, it's common courtsey, like the poster that says Everything I need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Even if they can't help you, you should still say thank you.

Don't take it personally. If someone doesn't get back to you, or can't help you, that's ok. Move on.

Follow up. If they don't get back to you, try sending a follow up email. Just one though, you don't want to stalk them. Over to you


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