Hey there, and welcome to The College Resume Blog!
After putting out our previous blog and receiving feedback from a lot of you, we realized that it would be best if we provided you all with actual cold message templates.
So here we are!
Now, be sure to customize these templates according to your situation, but definitely take advantage of them!
Sample Message Templates
The following templates will cover several different situations; namely, reaching out to employees, hiring managers, industry professionals, and recruiters.
Odds are, the people you reach out to via LinkedIn about an internship/entry-level position will fall into one of the above categories.
However, something important to keep in mind as you go through this article is that the majority of people you reach out to will not immediately refer you.
After you get to know one another, though, it’s a totally different ball game.
That’s the beauty of networking.
Let’s get to it…
Reaching out to an employee of a company you’re interested in for an internship/entry-level job referral:
A major benefit of reaching out to an employee of a company you’re interested in is that they can still recommend you to the hiring manager, even if they’re not at all involved in recruiting.
These employees can be working in the department you’re interested in, although they don’t necessarily have to be.
The example below is one where the employee is working in the department you intend on applying for.
Initial cold message:
Hi [name], I hope all is well. I see that you’ve been at [company name] for [number of years] years. How has the work environment been in the [department they’re in] department? I’m currently on my [internship/entry-level job] search, and [company name] is at the top of my list. I figured I’d reach out and ask you about the company culture and work environment to see if it’s a good fit for me. Thanks!
Some other topics that you could mention in the above message in addition to, or instead of, work environment/company culture:
- How this company is different than their previous one(s)
- Their opinion on the future of this company
- Whether or not this company focuses on growing employees within the organization – how much opportunity there is to progress one’s career there
- What drew them to this company at first/how they went about landing their position there
After the employee responds, go ahead and exchange a couple of messages back and forth with them, and be sure to thank them. Be natural, be yourself, and engage in meaningful dialogue. After this exchange, ask them something along the lines of this:
With regards to the [position name] position posting on LinkedIn, is your team is in charge of recruiting for this role? If not, do you know which team is? I’m asking because I’m very interested in applying for this position, and I want my application to reach the right hands.
This message will most likely lead them to do one of two things: (1) ask for your resume, and forward it to the correct person, or (2) directly connect you with someone.
Although one of the above two possibilities is most likely to occur here, it’s not guaranteed. You should send this final message if neither of these two possibilities transpire.
Simply ask for it:
Sounds great. Would you be able to forward my resume to [team’s name/person’s name]? I’d love to learn more about this position.
Again, the above samples are simply templates of possible messages you could send. Not every conversation will go like this, and you should be prepared to adjust on the fly.
Directly reaching out to the hiring manager of an internship/entry-level job posting:
This approach is for messaging the hiring manager of a role, which is going to be different than the previous example. Even if you’re positive that they’re the hiring manager for the posting, though, clarify it for sure with them. Also, even if they’re the hiring manager, you still shouldn’t attach your resume in the first cold message.
Example of initial message to the hiring manager for a role:
Hi [name], I hope all is well. I’m a [college student/recent graduate] at/from [school name], and I major(ed) in [major]. Throughout my previous role as an intern at [company name], I worked on a variety of different projects that involved [A], [B], and [C]. I landed on your LinkedIn profile while looking for [internship/entry-level job] opportunities at [company name], and wanted to know if your team’s in charge of the [position name] position that’s posted on LinkedIn. If you’re the hiring manager for this role, I’d love to discuss more with you. Thank you!
Tthe A, B, and C fields should either be referencing specific items listed on the job description, or other elements that you feel are relevant to the position.
Always remember that employers want to hire candidates who are most fit for the specific role. Thus, be sure to mention your skills and previous experiences that can benefit them the most.
The best way to do this is by analyzing the job description, and fishing out items on there that are most applicable to you and your experiences.
We wrote a blog related to this, covering exactly how to tailor your resume to the job descriptions of specific job postings.
Also, please note that if you have yet to have an internship, you can simply mention your other previous experiences, such as class projects, independent projects, volunteer experiences, etc.
Definitely don’t be afraid to reach out if you haven’t had any internship experience yet.
After all, you’re just starting out your career, and the people you reach out to are fully aware of that.
Contrary to what you may think, these people don’t expect you to have 25 years of corporate experience at this point of your life.
Maybe 15 years, though… JK.
Reaching out to an industry professional in a field you’re interested in:
This dialogue enables you to understand the path they took in order to get where they are now.
These people can be a source of inspiration for you, and can potentially become a mentor of yours.
Here’s an example of how you should reach out:
Hi [name], I hope all is well. I admire the route you took from [position name] to [position name] in such a short time span! I’d love to hear about your career journey, and learn some things that you believe contributed to your progression. I’m actually interested in pursuing a similar type of career path myself, so any tips you could share with me would mean a lot. Thank you!
Essentially, there are several ways you can reach out using this approach – the first part of the message is a compliment, and the second part is a question you have for them.
Reaching out to a recruiter of a company you want to intern for/work full-time at:
This type of message is used when you are reaching out about any potential current/future openings that aren’t already posted online.
Be sure to mention your education, major, and previous experiences/skills that fit the industry and company.
Hi [name], I hope all is well. I came across your LinkedIn profile while researching [industry name] recruiters at [company name]. I’m a [college student/recent graduate] at/from [school name], looking for [internship/entry-level job] roles, and [company name] is at the top of my list. [Discuss your industry-specific skills and competencies, referencing any previous experiences you’ve had. Also, do some research on the company and describe how you are a great fit]. I’d love to discuss further and learn more about any [industry name] openings you may have at [company name]. Thank you!
This article serves as a great baseline for cold messaging on LinkedIn as a college student/recent graduate. However, it’s important that you put your own twist on your messages so that they’re unique and genuine.
We highly recommend keeping track of your cold messages and responses, in order to get a better idea of which strategies work best for you. Keeping a log like this will enable you to perfect your outreach method, which is the main goal here.
After reading this article and implementing our proven tactics, you are bound to see a significant increase in replies, which will propel you on your internship/entry-level job search.
At first, you might find it hard to cold message professionals. That’s perfectly fine. We hope that this article can ease that difficulty, and with time and practice, you will feel significantly more comfortable about it.
Remember, as long as you’re being yourself, it’ll all work out for you.
Thanks for reading!
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At College Resume, we help college students and recent graduates, just like you, land their dream internships and entry-level jobs.
You can learn more about us here, and you can view our services here.