In the past, when people asked me for advice on how to go about getting their dream job, I would look off into the distance and appear reflective. Really, I was likely recalculating the exact age difference between Padma Lakshmi and her billionaire baby daddy (I'm good with timelines) or deciding what I was going to order for dinner that night (I take a long time ordering off menus, so like to plan in advance). When I would eventually refocus on the dream-job question at hand and answer, I'd say vague and unhelpful things like, "That's a good question!" and, "Why not pick up a book about how to do it?" or, "Networking is important!" This was the extent of my contribution to the future dream-job holders of America.
Now, however, that has all changed.
Thanks to one amazing email I got a few months back, I now can point to the perfect template of how to go about pitching yourself for a job you want (in email form, at least). Let's look at the actual email I received, and then I'll break down why it works so well:
I want to work for you and here is why:
- I have worked for numerous organizations such as Kiva, XXX and XXX (all huge organizations you've heard of) and want to work on the platform that helps promote the causes that I like fighting for.
Here is what we have in common:
- We both have bangs... you can always trust someone with bangs.
If you are interested in any of this or have any ideas on where I can share my enthusiasm for nonprofits and social media, please let me know. Any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!! Just for good measure I have attached my resume and a recent letter of recommendation.
Thanks for your time,
That was good, wasn't it? Let's break down the top reasons why this email worked so well:
- She got to the point immediately. Notice the first line: "I want to work for you and here is why." By not beating around the bush, she has avoided the number-one most annoying aspect of most email pitches people send: the 400-word, extensive background paragraph before you get to the Ask. The next time you're sending an email asking something, put the Ask first. Edit out the background paragraph, or include it at the end if you absolutely must.
In sum, she did good. Real good.
And although I didn't exactly give her a job as a result of this amazing email, the real story of what happened next was far more interesting.
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