Posted April 09, 2014 by

Creating a cold networking email for an internship or job


Since you can only make a limited number of connections from your family or friend circle, you must learn how to create and send an effective networking email. The easiest way to find a professional is through your alumni directory or on LinkedIn.

Your first step is to generate a list of about 100 people

This is how you’ll build your initial network. Keep track of these people on an Excel spreadsheet. I typically create a simple color code: Not responded, responded, responded & very helpful.

Email menu on monitor screen

Email menu on monitor screen. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Once you have your list of 100 people I would search on google for the company’s email format. Wall Street Oasis actually has a database of company email formats for 1000’s of finance companies which makes it super easy.


For example, for Goldman Sachs, the format is The strategy is to find the full names of 100 people and just plug them into the company format. Some companies unfortunately include the middle initial like JP Morgan. For such companies, you sometimes just have to let it go or try to cold call since finding the middle initial is typically not worth your time. (hint: that also means those employees are contacted much less than their counterparts so there might be a higher response rate.)

I strongly suggest creating a separate Gmail account for your networking emails since you will be sending a ton of mails. You don’t want this account to get any spam or random emails that dilute the inbox (which leads to higher chances of you missing the networking email). This will effectively make it so that every email you get on this account will be important.

The networking email format

I suggest drafting up a format and then having a family member or close friend proof read it. Keep fine tuning the format as you will be sending this out to 100’s of people. I will use UNC as an example.

Possible subject lines

  • Tar Heel Reaching Out
  • UNC Undergrad Interested in Your Experience
  • UNC Undergrad Interested in Oil & Gas IB

Make your email subject catchy, but easily understood and genuine, to generate a higher response rate. Of the above formats, the first and third have gotten me the highest response rates.

Sample networking email body

Hi/Hello Firstname, (Dear Mr(s). Lastname if senior person)

My name is XXX and I worked/studied at XXX in the (past/present) include department/major. I noticed (something in common) and thought I should reach out. I’m very interested in (person’s field) and wanted to hear more about your experiences at Company XX (optional: and past companies YYY..etc). (Optional: include a full line here about something non work related, can tie in with something in common)

I know you are busy and understand if you cannot make the time, but I would really appreciate it if we could speak over the phone (in person if you’re close by). Thank you for your time in advance.

Sincerely/Best/Kind Regards/Regards,

Full Name


Final tips: proofread, attach a resume and follow up

Organize and plan by checking your work and following up to emailAlways recheck your email before you send it. More often than not, you’ll find something you want to change, or a typo you need to fix. Create a word document with the template and then you can just copy and paste the email into Gmail’s pop-up emails. Be careful not to paste the name of the recipient or company, however. That is a big red flag because it shows you are not careful to tailor your networking email, nor are you detailed-oriented.

If you generate a good rapport with someone, ask them on the call if there is any way you could improve your networking email. I’ve got some pretty good advice sometimes.

Attach your resume. A lot of professionals like to screen by resume even for a networking call so it helps if you have a strong one.

TIP: You wouldn’t want to apply for a job with an imperfect resume, so take advantage of College Recruiter’s resume critique. Our resume writing experts analyze and write more resumes than any other service in the world. Would it make sense to send us your draft?

Always follow up. If someone hasn’t responded in 7 days, feel free to reply to the email you sent. This will generate the “RE:” in the subject line which will make the recipient think they responded to you earlier, creating a higher chance of them responding. Also most of these professionals are super busy so it’s not considered annoying if you send follow ups every 1-2 weeks until you get them on the phone.

Rinse and Repeat this process for all of your contacts. I would stop at around 3-4 follow ups, and maybe try again in 6 months, keeping the same email chain. Also plan to hit 200+ contacts, don’t stop until then.

-The author is a college junior in the USA and recently accepted a summer internship role at a major investment bank in New York City.  He is currently a contributing blogger for

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