Networking can be difficult, but it can be made a lot easier if you know how to communicate well. To that end, here are some tips for writing great networking emails.
Networking is all about building relationships
First, it's important to remember that networking is all about building relationships. Networking is the way to build a deep contact book of personal and business connections that will help you expand your business, find great talent, or get new employment yourself. Networking also involves marketing—marketing yourself or your business. And an easy way to build relationships and market yourself is through written communication—either letter or email.
Types of letters and emails
There are many different types of letters or emails you can send to build your business relationships. These include letters of introduction, networking meeting requests, informational interview requests, and thank-you letters.
It's the reality of the business world that people find out about opportunities for positions through someone they know—friends, acquaintances, or former colleagues. Sending introduction letters is an excellent way to let people know that you're looking for employment. What's important with these is being clear about how grateful you are for any help the friend or colleague can give, without going over the top.
You can also request a networking meeting with someone to build some important connections and gain a valuable learning experience. In this case, be clear about how you obtained the person's information and that you're hoping to gain insight from someone you consider a mentor. Be available to meet them at their convenience.
In addition, informational interview requests are great ways to learn more about a particular business or industry, and another great way to build a network. Finally, thank-you letters are friendly and important steps to boost your reputation and keep good network contacts. Send these soon after you've met with someone in your network.
The subject line and first paragraph
Before you send your networking email, no matter which type it might be, make sure to find a powerful and clear subject line. If you were referred by somebody, then a good subject line is “Referred by [the name of the person who told you about the opportunity]”. As for your first paragraph, start your message by respectfully addressing it to the right person, then introduce yourself. The first paragraph has to get to the point right away—by introducing yourself if you've never met the recipient in person, or reminding them of who you are if you've never met. If you can mention a point of shared interest like a mutual acquaintance, it's more likely to grab their attention.
The second paragraph
After your introduction, you need to quickly get to the reason you're reaching out. This second paragraph should be all about the context: the why behind your request for their time and efforts. It's important to be persuasive but not pushy. The networking letters that are most successful are those that get straight to the point and clearly show why you're writing to the recipient. Regardless of whether you're looking for career advice, asking for a referral, requesting an informational interview, or even expressing your thanks for help you were given, you need to immediately express your purpose for reaching out—or else your recipient will lose interest. So, don't ramble, and make sure to stay on point.
The final paragraph
Your message should wrap up with your regards, your name, email, and phone number, so it's clear how you can be contacted about next steps. According to Daniel Woods, a career adviser at Dissertation writing and Boom Essays, “The final paragraph should have a few closing lines thanking the recipient for their time and consideration for your request and giving them the right contact information to reach you. At most, you want to summarize your reason for emailing in one brief and clear sentence.”
Proofreading and editing
Before you send your email, carefully reread it and make any required edits or changes. The last thing you want are errors that ruin your chances by making you look unprofessional. Make sure your tone and language are appropriate for a business correspondence. To do that, consult resources such as Studydemic and Simple Grad, copywriting guides to help you write an engaging email; Essay Roo and UK Writings, editing tools that will help you review your work to make sure it flows well and is structured properly; and Australian help, a guide that explains grammar rules and shows you where you went wrong.
Ellie Coverdale is a technical and recruitment writer for Academized and Elite Assignment Help. She enjoys helping individuals get connected with great jobs and boost their employment options. She also teaches people important writing skills at Australian Reviewer.