Cold Email Job Searching: 4 Crucial Steps Before You Hit Send

Amidst a pile of emails… one stood out

Adam Ross Nelson
4 min readNov 5, 2023

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Image Credit: Canva text to image.

Emily, newly in her first role as a data scientist, often finds herself swamped with projects and analysis. She worked hard to get where she is. It paid off. Recognition came her way, and with it, a stream of messages from enthusiastic aspirants looking to step into the world of data science.

Hi Emily,” many of them would start, “ I’ve been following your work and was hoping I could pick your brain for a bit?”

Emily, with her kind and exceedingly generous spirit, is eager to help others.

  • The idea of guiding the next generation of data scientists excited her.
  • However, the reality was that her days were packed.
  • She was juggling projects, meetings, and continuous learning.
  • Despite her best intentions, she couldn’t allocate the time to assist everyone who reached out.

One day, amidst the pile of such emails, one stood out. It was from a young man named Leo. Leo’s message was distinct. He began by specifically appreciating a project Emily had worked on. He spoke about how he had tailored his resume towards the field. He mentioned recent threads he’d participated in and even a mini-project he’d done, inspired by one of Emily’s. And crucially, he pointed out a job posting, expressing his keen interest in that specific role and seeking her insight.

Here was someone who had done his homework, someone who was genuinely keen and had taken proactive steps before reaching out. Emily immediately felt an urge to help him, not just because he had prepared, but because his preparation showcased his determination and respect for her time.

Finding a sliver of time in her packed schedule, Emily responded to Leo. They scheduled a brief call, during which Emily offered her insights, tips, and even connected Leo with a few of her contacts.

As the days turned into weeks, Leo’s efforts bore fruit. With Emily’s guidance and his own determination, he managed to secure a role in a data science firm.

While cold emails can sometimes seem like a shot in the dark, they can be a powerful strategy in the…

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Adam Ross Nelson

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