Finally: 5 Email Templates That Make Following Up With Anyone Way Less Awkward

Author: Aja Frost

I think most of us would agree the initial part of networking—meeting people—isn’t the hardest part. (And if that sentence just floored you, check out this and this on making the process much easier.) However, maintaining those connections is much more difficult. After all, if you don’t have an immediate reason to stay in contact with a person—you just think he or she would be “good to keep in touch with,” it’s hard to justify sending an email.

Well, until now. After dealing with this issue one too many times, I created five check-in email templates —one for each type of connection. With these in your back pocket, you’ll have no trouble holding on to relationships that could one day prove very valuable.Read more

The Etiquette of Making Introductions

Author: The Daily Muse Editor

Once you’ve started to build up a respectable network in the working world, you’ll certainly find yourself with opportunities to connect the people you know. Maybe a friend of yours is looking to hire a marketing manager , and you know a great candidate, or maybe one of your new connections is interested in meeting one of your mentors or advisors.

This is great. It’s an opportunity to help out the people you know, strengthen your relationships with them, and also stay on their radar in a positive way. But there’s an art to making connections among your network—and truth is, it’s not always that easy to navigate when one of your connections is eager to meet another.

Next time someone asks you for an intro, here’s your primer on handling it with grace.

Don’t Make Cold Intros

Rule number one: Don’t make an introduction to someone without asking her first. “Cold” intros are the virtual equivalent of planning a one-on-one catch-up with someone, and showing up with another friend—they’re off-putting, and they can leave the recipient feeling off-balance, annoyed, and unsure of what to do next.

There’s an easy way around this. Before making an intro, give the people involved a heads up. If a friend of mine wants to meet an editorial contact I have, for example, I’ll send that contact a note first, to the effect of “Hey, I wanted to introduce you to my friend Julia. She’s [insert 1-2 sentences on her background]. I’ll send an email intro shortly!” This way, the recipient of the intro has some context and knows to expect the email from you.

Now, depending on your relationship, there may also be times when it’s more appropriate to ask permission than to send an FYI. “My friend Julia [insert background] would love to meet you—is it OK with you if I make the introduction?” is entirely appropriate.

Present an Angle

When you’re introducing people, presumably it’s because you think there’s a reason they should meet. Sometimes this reason is one-sided, for example, if someone in your circle has asked you to connect her with someone at her dream company. Other times, it’s mutually beneficial—two people have expressed interest in meeting each other, or you see synergies between the companies they’re working for and think they’d get along.

Regardless, you have a reason for making the introduction. So, when you go to actually make that intro, you’ll do both people a huge favor by stating what that reason is.

This is helpful even if both people know why you’re making the intro, because it gives them something to go off of when they respond to one another. On the other hand, I’ve found that when I receive an email that says, “Meet my friend—she’s awesome, you two should talk,” it’s hard to formulate a non-awkward response to the person I’m supposed to meet. (“Hey, nice to meet you—I hear you’re awesome!” just doesn’t cut it.)

Be Aware of Power Dynamics

All relationships are not created equal. And as you expand your circle beyond your immediate peers, you have to be aware of the dynamics amongst the people you know and the people you’re connecting. Asking a senior marketing exec to sit down with the somewhat-aimless-but-nice woman you just met at a conference is—well, not cool.

Of course, there are a lot of grey areas in relationships, but the bottom line is to be aware of what you’re asking of people and make sure it’s appropriate. More importantly, if you know you’re asking a big favor of someone, acknowledge it: “Would you do me a favor and talk with my colleague Mark about moving into the business development world?” Other times, you can be more subtle—but use phrases like “I would appreciate it if… ” or “It would be so helpful if… ” that clue the recipient in to the fact that you know you’re asking something of her.

Remember it’s OK to Say No

Finally, if someone asks you to make an intro you aren’t comfortable with,give yourself permission to say no . You don’t have to do every favor that’s asked of you. If a junior peer comes asking you to intro her to every senior exec you know—be polite, but don’t feel bad turning her down.

At the end of the day, your network is your network because you’ve built those relationships. You want to maintain them and show respect for the people you know and their time. Connecting people is a great way to further your network and relationships, but if you think that making an intro is wasting one person or the other’s time, or get the sense that one party wouldn’t be so receptive to it—sometimes the appropriate thing to do is to pass.

Photo of people meeting courtesy of Shutterstock .

To read the original article, click here.

How to Get A Referral to Your Dream Job

Author: Chris Ng

A Jobvite study found that employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate with 67% of employers and recruiters saying that the recruiting process was shorter. But how do you get a referral from someone in a company where you have no 1st-degree connections?

There are two ways you can go about in doing this. One is by cold messaging/emailing people who work at the company, and the other is by finding someone in your network who knows someone else in that company. Essentially, finding a 2nd-degree connection where your mutual colleague is willing to introduce you to the other person.

But before we get into how to ask for a recommendation or a referral, you need to do your due diligence regarding the company and the role you are looking for in your next play.

5 Gripes Referees Have With Referral Seekers:

  1. Cold referral seekers
  2. Not serious about switching roles
  3. Not inquiring about a particular position
  4. Being demanding
  5. Asking what the trick is

1) Cold referral seekers

No one likes getting messages from someone we do not know asking for a favour. It is generally a bad idea to come out of the blue and ask a person for a referral when they have never worked with you professionally. A bad referral would prove detrimental to an employee’s reputation in the company, which is why there is quite a hesitation towards referring someone whose skills you cannot vouch for (also, is it really a referral if you do not even know that person?).

Instead, try to find mutual connections to bridge an introduction towards the referee. Otherwise, show that you are interested with specific examples rather than buzz words and rote messages.

2) Not serious about switching roles

Asking someone to take time out of their day to help you get a job at their company is a big ask. Even for a colleague, you have worked with in the past, this is a cumbersome process at most companies. If you end up making it to the funnel make sure to update your referee on your status and if you found out any deal breakers that would deter you from joining their company. Keep in mind, especially for millennials, where you work can be your identity so be sure to do so tactfully.

Changing jobs is an important life event, being transparent with your contact would serve you both better as it clears the air if either party wants to move forward with the process.

3) Not inquiring about a particular position

Most companies have all the available positions online. While a number of companies do not have their job listings fully baked into LinkedIn or have positions that are not advertised yet, it is still a good idea to identify positions that are you are interested in by browsing through their online listings. At the very least it shows that you did your homework and are serious about looking for a new role.

A great way to start a conversation with a referee is to link them job postings from their company you have seen beforehand to have a common understanding of what role you are looking for.

4) Being demanding

Sometimes there are no roles available at the moment, and while it is perfectly ok to ask someone to keep you in mind if they hear anything, it is generally bad practice to harass someone to keep checking and asking if there is something available. Remember, the employee you are trying to get a referral out of is essentially the start of your interview process.

It is always a good idea to send a thank you note to your referral after the whole process even if you did not get the job.

5) Asking what the trick is

I could not count the number of times I have been asked this question personally: “What is the trick to landing a job at [company]?”. No there is no trick, no keyword, and no secret phrase that would instantly get you hired anywhere. While it is generally harmless to ask about the interview process such as how many rounds, what type of questions, and timelines - it is frowned upon to suggest that the reason why someone got hired is that they knew a trick.

A better question to ask referees about the company is the company’s mission and vision, culture deck, technologies used, and projects they are working on (that have already been launched).

Role Play #1: Cold Referral Email Template

(Good for 3rd-degree connections!)

To: [Employee]

From: [Referral]

Subject: [Employee] <> [Referral]: Looking for a role at [Employee’s Company]

Hi [Employee]!

Sorry to bother you with this random email, [explain why they are a good fit to cold email].

[Why Referral is interested in working at Employee’s company]

[Why Referral is a good fit to work at Employee’s company]

Would a call at [proposed time] work for you? You can reach me at [Referral’s Number].



[LinkedIn Profile URL]


[Phone Number]


Role Play #2: Cold Referral Asking Message

(The right way to ease in a request to that colleague you haven’t talked to in years!)

[You]: Hey [Referee]! How have you been? How has [Referee’s Company] been treating you?

[Referee]: Hey [You]! I’ve been good how about you? Work has been great - love it here!


[You]: So I have recently been looking for new opportunities and thought [Referee’s Company] would be a good fit because [List Reasons Why]. I am particularly interested in these roles: [URLs to Jobs]

[Referee]: Sounds great! Our referral process is [Explanation of How-To of the Referral Process].


[You]: Thanks! I just did all the steps :) Will update you as I move along the pipeline!

[Referee]: No problem!

Role Play #3: Introducing A Referral Email

(How a 2nd-degree connection can help you get to that hiring manager!)

To: [Employee], [Referral]

From: [Introducer]

Subject: [Employee] <> [Referral]: Introduction

Hey [Employee],

[Something about the referral and why they would be a good fit]

Hey [Referral],

[Something about the employee and why you would like to work there]

You both do your thing!




To: [Employee]

BCC: [Introducer]

From: [Referral]

Subject: RE: [Employee] <> [Referral]: Introduction

Thanks [Introducer], moving to BCC!

Hi [Employee]!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me!

[Why Referral is interested in working at Employee’s company]

Would a call at [proposed time] work for you? You can reach me at [Referral’s Number].



Referrals are key to any organisation’s growth. Do not underestimate the importance of your connections in the search for your next role. I even got my first full-time position through an employee referral!

Please comment below if you have any other best practices on asking for a referral from someone inside and outside your network!

To read the original article, click here.

How to Ask for an Informational Interview (and Get a “Yes”)


Author: Elliott Bell

The informational interview is the secret tool everyone should have in their back pocket. A hybrid of an amazing networking opportunity, an info-session, and a job interview, it can give anyone looking for a job or pondering a career change insider scoop (not to mention a much-needed morale boost).

The problem is that these opportunities aren’t advertised anywhere, typically require a lot of work on your end to make happen, and, in most cases, mean you have to convince strangers why they should take time out of their day to help you.

But with the right approach, you can land these interviews (and maybe even a job). Here’s my advice for finding and approaching potential contacts and getting them to say yes—every time.

Find the Right People

This may seem obvious, but choosing who you approach can make all the difference in hearing back.

Start by making a list of companies you’d love to work at and of job titles or positions you’d be interested in. While people who fit on either list are good, someone who works for your dream company and has your dream role is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

That said, it’s important to consider what the person does at the company and the size of the company—you want to target people who are in an aspirational role, but who aren't so high up that they won’t have time to meet with you. I may want to talk to the CMO of a major company, but I can probably learn more talking to the marketing director of a smaller company. Also, look for people you have some sort of connection with—if someone went to your college or has a shared connection, he or she will be more likely to want to meet with you.

I prefer using LinkedIn to find people, but then reaching out over email—it’s easier for people to respond to, and you won’t look like LinkedIn spam. (Try our tips for tracking down someone’s email address.)

Perfect the Art of the Ask

Any good cold email has two things: a clear message (why you're reaching out), and an easy-to-understand ask (the action you want the recipient to take). Here’s a simple formula that checks both boxes and that will work most of the time:

1. Start by Asking for Help

This sounds obvious (and, OK, a little weird), but it’s a proven fact that people love to feel like they are helping others. So, if you literally start by saying, “I’d love your help,” or “I hope you’ll be able to help me out...” your chances of getting a positive response go up significantly.

2. Be Clear

Ask for something very specific, and make it as easy as possible for the person to say yes. Saying, “I'd love to know more about what you do and how you got your start” is okay, but doesn't tell someone how much of his or her time you’re after or what you’re really suggesting. Instead, try something like, “I'd love to take you to a quick coffee so I can hear your perspective on this industry and what it's like to work at your company. I’ll actually be in your area next week and would be happy to meet you wherever is convenient for you.”

3. Have a Hook

A great way to increase your chance of landing the interview is to demonstrate why you really want to meet with this person. Do you admire her career path? Do you think the work he’s currently doing at company X stands out as the best? Maybe you have a shared connection and think she would be a great voice of wisdom. Don’t be afraid to share why you are specifically reaching out to this person. The more personalized your ask feels, the greater chance of success you’ll have.

4. Be Very Considerate

Remember that, in asking for an informational interview, you’re literally asking someone to put his or her work on hold to help you. Show your contact you understand this by saying, “I can only imagine how busy you must get, so even 15-20 minutes would be so appreciated.”

5. Make Sure You Don't Seem Like You’re Looking for a Job (Even if You Are)

If you sound like you’re really just looking for a job, there’s a good chance this person will push you to HR or the company’s career page. So be sure to make it clear that you really want to talk to this person to learn about his or her career history and perspective on the job or industry. After you meet and make a great impression is when you can mention the job hunt.

Follow Up, and Be Pleasantly Persistent

If you don’t hear back right away, don’t worry. People are busy, and sometimes these things slip to the bottom of a person’s to-do list. The key is to not just give up. If you haven’t heard back in a week, reply to your first email and politely ask if your contact has had a chance to read your previous email. Also, use this opportunity to reiterate how much it would mean to you to have 15 minutes to learn from him or her.

I personally believe that it’s your responsibility to continue to follow up (as nicely as possible) every couple of weeks until you’ve heard an answer one way or the other. Some would say that after one or two tries, you may run the risk of upsetting the person—but I say that sometimes, persistence pays off. At the end of the day, it’s really up to you and your personal comfort level.

That said, once you shoot off a few emails, you’ll see that most people are happy to help (hey, people love talking about themselves). The next step? Getting ready for the meeting. Read on for our best advice on acing the informational interview.

Photo of courtesy of Unsplash .

To read the original article, click here.

Attention Job Seekers: Every Recruiter Can't Find Every Candidate a Job


Author: Kristina Evans

As a job seeker, it can be difficult to find your own footing in your personal job search.  Oftentimes, turning to a recruiter can be beneficial in honing in on the right job opportunities, brushing up your interviewing skills and resume feel, and taking some of the hard work off of your plate while searching for your next gig.

However, it is important to be mindful that every recruiter you connect with will not be able to help you find the right job, or give you the advice you are seeking to have solid footing in your respective industry.

And, please do not get confused with my message here.

I am not saying that to be rude.

I am saying that because most recruiters are limited in their own regard.  They have certain industries they recruit for, certain niches, and to be quite honest - aren't necessarily the right person to help you find your dream job.

For example, if I am a Software Engineer searching for a new position, I would not reach out to a recruiter in the Accounting & Finance industry that is specifically finding placements for entry level Accountants and Financial Analysts, and expect solid help.  This just would not make sense.

Chances are that this recruiter will not be able to help you.

That doesn't mean the recruiter won't know someone who can help you, but be sure to gauge your reach out to this person accordingly with a message like the following:

Hi Mrs. Recruiter Not in My Industry,

Thank you for the recent connection.  

After reviewing your profile here on LinkedIn, I understand that you are a trusted and well-established recruiter in the Accounting and Finance space.  Although I am a Software Engineer searching for my next opportunity, I understand that you do not recruit in this space.  However, please let me know if you have a recommendation or two for a recruiter specifically in the technology space that can possibly be of assistance to me in my quest for finding my next career opportunity.

Your assistance is not expected, but I would greatly appreciate any information or resources you can provide to me.


Mr. Candidate 

I can't speak on behalf of every recruiter.

Personally, I would love to help each and every person that comes my way.  I have a big heart, and I empathize with those looking for an immediate job opportunity.

However, it just is not feasible.  

I will always work to help those that are relevant to my industry and my niche, and ensure those that are not relevant are provided with any resources or information that may be of help.

So, as a job seeker, do continue to reach out to recruiters, but try to be mindful of what type of recruiter you are reaching out to - including their industry, their location and geographical span, their expertise, and their niche.

Don't be afraid to reach out, but...

Just tailor your message accordingly so you are increasing the likelihood that the recruiter will respond and will be able to pass on information that will be beneficial to you, such as:

A referral to another recruiter in your industry.

A pointer or two about your resume in general.

Links to information or resources that may help you in your search [i.e. niche specific job boards, job board apps, recruitment firms, etc.].


© Kristina Evans dedicates her free time (if that even exists) to (typically) writing about how musical lyrics, poetry, and literature can provide professional meaning and motivation to the world.  She also writes about recruiting, human resources & marketing/personal branding.

Like [or don't like] what you read?  Please take the time to let me know by liking [or not liking], commenting & sharing this post.

Also, check out other posts by visiting my profile.

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4 Non-Annoying Ways to Follow Up After an Interview

Author: Forbes Contributor

You landed the interview, and as far as you’re concerned? You nailed that sucker.

Or, you met with a recruiter who seemed super interested and incredibly connected with the exact kinds of companies for whom you want to work.

She said, “Keep in touch!”

Awesome. But a couple of weeks have gone by and nothing’s happened. So what do you do now? Can you follow up with her without reeking of desperation or looking like a pest?

This topic freaks a lot of job seekers out. Many people, even when they know they truly lit the interview on fire, would rather do absolutely nothing than risk looking stupid or making the wrong follow-up move.

But that’s what’s stupid. Because staying top of mind is incredibly important—and not just for the job at hand. Even if you’re not the right candidate for a particular position (or the position is filled before you can really show the company your amazingness), wowing the right decision maker—a recruiter, an HR person, or a hiring manager—can be incredibly valuable down the line.

With that in mind, here are a few ways you can ease the “staying in touch” part of the job search equation:

1. Ask About Next Steps (Before You Leave the Interview)

As a recruiter, it stuns me that so few people end the conversation with this interview question. But if you ask the interviewer what happens next, you know exactly when it’s acceptable to follow up. If the she says she’ll be contacting candidates within a week, and it’s day 9? It’s completely OK to touch base and remind her of the timetable she gave you. Don’t be pushy, but a quick note is perfect:

“Hi Sue—I hope you’re having a great week. You mentioned that your team would be finalizing a hiring decision on the Marketing Manager position this week. I’m eager to hear when you have an update. And certainly, if I may provide any additional information to support your decision-making process, please let me know!”

2. Get That Thank-You Note Out (With Lightning Speed)

Thank-you notes matter: They give you a terrific opportunity to follow up with the decision-maker right away. I encourage job seekers to get thank-you notes out (to each individual they’ve met in the interview process) immediately after the interview. Same day. From your laptop in the parking lot, if you really want to wow them.

Use this moment to affirm to the hiring manager that you’re on top of things and would bring a ton of value into the position for which you’re interviewing. Make it easy for them to decide on you.

3. Ask if You Can Connect via LinkedIn (Then Do)

Hey, this is a potential long-term professional relationship in the making. So it’s perfectly appropriate to connect on LinkedIn after the interview. That said—you don’t want to ambush anyone with your request, or leave the decision-maker wondering what your motives are (and please—no generic connection requests!). Instead, you should create a logical reason for connecting, then ask if she’s OK with it while you’re at the interview.

“You want to start dragon boat racing? I’d love to introduce you to my former colleague. He leads a dragon boat team right here in Portland.”

Or maybe, “I read a New York Times article about how Coca-Cola KO -0.94% is employing brand strategy in this same way. Did you see it? I’ll be happy to forward it to you.”

There’s your in. And once you’re in? You can build a long-term professional relationship with that person, whether you end up landing the job or not.

4. If Things Drag Out, Check in (Periodically)

This is the job search technique people tend to stink at the most—the periodic check-in. But it’s so important, and it should be used throughout your career to keep your network fresh and engaged.

Now, this is not about harassment: “Did I get the job?” “Do you have a job for me?” “Did you make a decision?” Not at all. It’s about offering something of value to your contact. And in doing so, you will also (by default) remind her that you’re still out there.

This could mean forwarding an article that you think she’ll find interesting, or congratulating her if you notice she’s been promoted or earned some sort of recognition. Maybe thanking her for a bit of advice that you employed. Keep it simple and brief, and don’t ask for anything back. If that person hears from you and has an update? She’ll absolutely be in touch. Try:

“Hi Sue, We spoke last month about the product manager position at XYZ Industries. In our conversation, you highlighted some emerging trends in food packaging. I noticed this attached article about the same topic and thought of you. No response necessary. I hope you find the information useful!”

Nothing elaborate, and once a month is probably about right if you don’t get much response. But you can be assured that Sue will remember you, and in a good way if you’re helpful and non-pesky in the follow-up.

The bottom line is: Stay top of mind. It's half the battle.

To read the original article, click here.