Emails That Land Jobs: The Best Way to Shine in a Follow-Up Note
110. That’s how many emails most “working professionals” send and receive every day.
The bad news? That’s a whole lot of noise—and it can feel difficult to pop out from the pile, especially when you’re trying to lock down a new job opportunity.
The good news? Most emails are poorly written, awkward, vague, or just plain boring. And when 99% of the incoming stream is blah-blah-beige, it doesn’t take too much effort to shine brighter than a disco ball.
Simple: Be unexpectedly generous.
A quick story: A few years ago, I was courting a local marketing agency for a freelance copywriting position. I’d done a bit of copywriting for my previous employer, but the truth was, I didn’t have much of a portfolio to back up my skills.
After my informal interview, the director of the marketing agency told me:
“We like your spirit, but we just can’t hire you without seeing a few more writing samples.”
We shook hands and parted ways. I felt deflated, like I was a total rookie—a nobody.
But then, I had a life-changing light bulb moment. They wanted samples—I’d show ’em samples.
In fact, I’d do more than that—I’d send over some ready-to-use language for their soon-to-be-re-launched website, as if I was already part of the team.
I wrote a quick email to the very, very busy agency director, thanking her for taking the time to meet with me. And, oh, by the way:
“Here are 10 tagline options to consider as you revamp your brand. No charge. Enjoy!”
The director wrote back to say:
“These taglines are better than anything we’ve come up with on our own. Thank you. Let’s set up a meeting so you can get started on writing the rest of our site content.”
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