What's the best approach for sending a cold email when applying for a Hollywood job or requesting informational interview?
If you’re trying to make a contact at a new company and don’t have any connections that can refer you, you can always send a cold email to an employee you've identified through LinkedIn, a college alumni database, or even a news article. But you have to draft the email with care to ensure your note will be well-received. Cold emails can help you, but only if they're done correctly. So what's the best approach?
One thing's for sure: You should never ask someone you don't know to pass along your resume for potential jobs (the only case when this is appropriate is if you're reaching out directly to a hiring manager about a position you know is available). Instead of using cold emails to beg for employment, use them to set up informational interviews. People like to pay it forward (and also like to talk about themselves), so if they have time, they’ll probably be happy to sit down with you, or at the very least, set a call. Understand that a complete stranger is never going to put his reputation on the line for someone he's never met, but if you spend just 30 minutes with that person, you'll have developed a relationship that you can mine for opportunities later (if you play your cards right and keep in touch). Just make sure to let the other person dictate the terms of the meeting, so you don’t inconvenience him. Once you’ve met and established a good rapport, you can then ask for referrals when the time is appropriate (i.e. when a position is open).
--Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan