What does your dream job look like?
Do you see yourself traveling around the world, sitting in board rooms with C-level executives, and calling the shots? Or maybe you'd like to finally follow your passion and work for that exciting startup that's reshaping the world, where no one wears a suit and tie?
So how do you actually get a job like that?
Maybe you'll get really lucky, and a recruiter will call you to interview for your dream job, but your chances are much better if you take your destiny into your own hands to make opportunities happen for yourself.
Filling out job applications isn't enough, either. Today, many popular jobs receive more than 500 job applications, if not thousands.
How will you stand out from all the other resumes you're competing with so that you can land the interview and get your dream job?
The answer is simple: cold email.
I've had my own company for the last 3 years, but I haven't used a resume to get a job in at least 6 years. From working in Hong Kong and the Middle East to landing gigs with popular Silicon Valley startups, I got all my last 3 jobs by sending cold emails.
Why do cold emails work so well for job hunting?
Instead of being filtered out by some gatekeeper in HR, you're putting yourself directly in front of hiring managers and grab their attention. Sending a cold email shows them that you're the kind of person who takes initiative, making you stand out, instead of disappearing into a sea of resumes.
Starting a conversation with the decision maker also helps them get to know you faster. Appealing to them directly can open all kinds of doors for you, and fast-track your application to the front of the line. The right cold email can prime them to give you inside tips to help you ace your interview and land your dream job.
Let me explain how you can use this strategy to land your dream job too:
#1. Get Inside the Hiring Manager's Mind
Learn everything you can about the company you're applying for.
What are their specialties? What do they stand for and what's their culture like? Who are their competitors? What are their current goals and potential challenges?
Look at their website and social media for clues to these questions, and search for them and their competitors in recent news.
Next, figure out who the hiring manager is. If it doesn't say in the job application, you can look on LinkedIn to see who manages the department you're applying to. If it's still unclear, you can also try emailing the CEO or someone in the C-suite. But if it's a really large company, it might be more effective to reach out to someone at a level lower to make sure your email is actually seen.
Once you've decided who you're emailing, you need to think about what they want and need. To really stick out from other applicants, you must go beyond regurgitating the job post description, and research the decision maker, just like a salesperson does for a prospective customer.
For example, if you see that their Twitter profile has a photo of space and tweets about NASA, you might quickly mention something interesting about astronomy or space travel. You could also try stroking their ego by complimenting them on past work they did, or be even more direct and address how you could potentially solve their pain points.
#2. Stand Out By Showing Them Your Superpower
A cold email is your best opportunity to shine and grab the hiring manager's attention.
The best cold emails are short, simple, and focused. Remember, you're not writing a blog post; resist the temptation to cram your life story into this email.
Instead, you should pick one major trait or angle to focus on, and use that to build a powerful pitch that immediately convinces them to respond and start a conversation.
The more social proof and concrete details you have to back up your claims, the more compelling your email will be.
If you're applying for a sales job, you should highlight your ability to close deals, and mention a specific achievement that supports this, like how you closed a multi-million dollar deal with a Fortune 500 company in record time. If you're applying for an engineering job, you could also demonstrate your unique problem-solving abilities by painting a picture of the creative solutions you built at your last jobs.
#3. Start A Conversation They Can't Afford To Ignore
Every good email needs to have an incentive for the reader to respond.
Just as the first sentence of your email should hook the reader in, and the body reinforce your main idea by building up credibility through social proof, your email should finish with a strong Call to Action (CTA).
Be careful to not sound too presumptuous so that you don't come off as obnoxious, but still be confident.
The best CTAs are dead simple. They make it very easy for the prospect to say yes, and also hard to say no.
For example: "When do you have 10 minutes for a quick call to see if this might be a fit or not?"
If you want to be more bold and creative, you can offer an idea or advice in your cold email.
Something like the following sentence would make your email more enticing and also demonstrate that you're someone who can potentially add a lot of value to their company: "Would you like to have a quick call to hear my idea for how you could improve your app's user design?"
The key to using cold email to successfully land your dream job is to be thoughtful and persistent. Don't give up after the first email you send. If you don't get a response, try a different angle, and maybe try a different contact. The more companies you reach out to, the better your odds of landing your dream job.
If you're currently job hunting, you can also check out these tips for writing cold emails.