Cold Emailing For Investment Jobs

Online job applications are soul-sucking. Why not try something new by cold emailing for those investment jobs and internships?

Fair warning, I’ve received the one (yes, 1) job from cold emails. That’s from about 100 odd emails. Still beats my exactly 0 jobs (or in-person interviews) from over a few hundred online applications.
So as usual, I’m no expert, but do think I have a unique experience.

My Experience

I’ll be honest, I’m no grade A boy genius that’s always been top of the class. I don’t think I’ve ever been top of the class. Except maybe the lowest level maths in my final year of High School. 

So how do I stand out?

Well, it’s not easy. Applying online may as well be throwing resumes into the wind. Response rates are abysmal. And the responses that I do get aren’t the ones I want.

So I zigged when others zagged. I tried direct. I got together a rusty snapshot and spiel about me, a polite request, and started sending. I sent a tonne out. Got a tonne of rejections. BUT, plenty of nice, encouraging responses. Which is a hell of a lot more than I ever got from online applications.
Then I got one offer for a phone call. And that phone call got me a coffee chat. And that coffee chat got me a job.
After hundreds of depressing online applications followed by a fair few emails. I had a job. 

Why Cold Email for Investing Jobs

It’s direct. It’s also more personal I think. My response rates compared to traditional applications were through the roof. And even when people said no, they were really nice about it. No automated denials. Although there were a few auto replies. 

Could it hinder my prospects? Maybe, I wouldn’t rule it out. There’s a chance someone down the line will recognise my unique name and remember I was the desperate pleb begging for a job. 

But that’s yet to happen. And who knows, maybe that wouldn’t be a place you’d want to work for anyway.

So for me the benefits have vastly outweighed the costs.

Writing the Email

There are two possible types of emails I think of. One is straight-up asking about job roles and opportunities (my route).
The other being the informational interview/chat route.
For example, “Is it possible to catch up so I can learn more about your role etc”. It’s more of a learning opportunity and networking type, but still has the chance of an offer. Reddit’s advice seems to be pretty strong on the informal, informational type interview which I think is totally fair.

I was desperate and broke so I went with the direct option. I’ll try to give examples for both though.

Keep It Short

People are busy. They don’t want a sob story. Give them the facts and give them the request. If they say no, move on. It’s half a game of quality over quantity and vice versa. You want to find good companies and people you want to work for. Do your due diligence beforehand and get the right info. But don’t pin your hopes on one place. I think I sent around 60 odd emails.

And while you might send 50, 100 or god knows however many emails, be sincere about it.
Dig up direct email addresses to send to. Use people’s names where applicable.
I did a few contact form reach outs, and I reckon they had the worst results.

Research & Be Respectful

You should be able to do some digging to find the persons email address in the first place. Digging, researching and being curious has helped me immensely and I think it’s an important skill. If I’m too lazy to find someone’s email or wasn’t able to, I think I had bigger problems to worry about.

So you’ve done some digging and have someone’s work email address. Don’t abuse it. Be polite and sincere. You’ve interrupted their work emails with something a little more personal, so act accordingly.

Check out my example below. This was the actual email that got me my job.

If I could edit that now I’d probably break down a line after 2020, in order to not make it look like such a wall of text.

Example time. Feel free to copy and paste to use and edit however you like.

This is my straight up asking for opportunities email.

Hey [person],

I’ve recently started my [Degree] at [University] this semester and am currently looking for internship opportunities throughout 2020 and 2021. 

If there’s ever a possibility of an internship opportunity at [Company], I’d love a chance to come in and learn as much as possible.

I’ve attached my resume in case you want to know a little bit about me.

Kind Regards, 

X Æ A-12

And here’s my informal, informational ask email.

Hey [person],

I’m currently a [1st year] studying a [Degree] at [University].

I saw that you have a deep background with [area] in the [Industry], something that I am very interested in. 

If you’re able, I’d like to set up a time for an informational interview in the coming weeks. Do you have time available?

I’ve attached my resume in case you want to know a little bit about me.

Kind Regards, 

X Æ A-12

Just be clear and concise. And maybe try not to sound like an entitled butthole.
You’ll send a couple then realise they look like a dog’s breakfast. So maybe save your favourite firms after a couple of warmup emails. Just my opinion.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What Next?

Get silly and send it!
But when I hear you ask? Think about when you’d like to receive an email. Monday’s are busy and usually getting back up to speed. So you probably want to avoid them. On Friday everyone’s mind is on the weekend, not some noob throwing a Hail Mary email application. Strike two. I aimed for the downtime. Just before lunch on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
Was it the perfect time? Probably not. Did I think it at least gave me a better chance? You betcha. 

Overall, the response was miles better than any other application I’d done. So for a bloke with no networks not in the city, I was stoked with the outcome.

Summary

Give it crack. See how ya go.
If you want me to double-check your email beforehand (I’m no expert though), feel free to DM me on Twitter. I’m always happy to help.

Best of luck and may the odds be ever in your favour!

60% of the time it works every time

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