I frequently get letters from people in the UK and abroad asking me if I can fix them up with a job. Unfortunately I can’t because I don’t employ anyone and I don’t run a recruitment agency, it’s just not what I do.
But I do train people in influencing and how to be interviewed for jobs, so I might still be able to help: so here are some thoughts about how to maximise your chances when you write an email to somebody asking if they can help you to get a job (or any other kind of help).
I’m not saying you did all of these in your email to me, and I don’t want enter into a dialogue about it, (I just don’t have the time!) but I hope this list is helpful:
1. Keep it short
- People with power or influence (and I’m not saying that’s me!) are always busy and if you send me a very long email they won’t even read it
- or they will skim through it and miss the key points that you are trying to make.
- Long emails also imply that you are going to be a high maintenance difficult person who needs lots of time
- Also it’s YOUR job to condense the message down to the key points, not theirs – and it’s rude to ask them to give up a lot of time to work out what you’re really trying to say
- Long emails imply that maybe you have sent it to lots of people – surely it wouldn’t have been worth writing such a long one just for me? In which case why should I give it my personal attention?
….so your email must be short, I would say a maximum of 150 words.
2. Have a very clear call to action
Say exactly what you want, not just that you “want help”. Do you want advice, do you want to be put in touch with somebody who is looking for someone with particular skills, what? Make it easy for the person you’re writing to by saying exactly what you want them to do.
3. Don’t mention God!
Religion might be a good thing to mention in Africa or some parts of America but here in the UK we never mix work and religion. If you mention God in your email it makes it sound unprofessional to English readers …or weird, or even like a scam. Just keep away from that subject.
4. Don’t be pushy.
Don’t say “Are you available on Wednesday or Thursday for a phone call?”, or “I await your reply” or “Kindly reply with information”. The person will reply if they want to, regardless of pressure you exert, so exerting pressure will just annoy them and make them less likely to reply.
I hope the above points are useful and that you do get the good results that you certainly deserve
onwards and upwards!