Students: Stressed Out About Job Seeking? Pub Club Experts Let You In On Their Secrets – Tip #3

Today’s Secret: The Right Way to Cold-Email or Approach via LinkedIn

The Publicity Club’s board of directors has received questions weighing on the minds of today’s communications students. Members of our board have provided you with answers – off the cuff, honest and useful information to help today’s college students prepare for their careers. Have more questions? Send them to and we’ll get you the answers.

Today’s question: What is the best cold contact email/LinkedIn message you have ever received? What made it the best?

Here’s what our panel had to say:

  • Honestly, I’ve never received one that I think is good. They are all too generic, clearly copied and pasted from person to person they emailed. What WOULD make one stand out is if they took some time and personalized it to me/my organization.
  • Start with a point of connection – what do you have in common? What can you glean from this person’s social media about college (an alum of where you are?), the industry (cool campaign?), sports (root for the same team?), music (love the same artist?), or hobbies that you can have in mind as you write the message? Don’t cross the line, though, and make it too invasive. Keep it light.
  • Don’t use the message to push your agenda, rather, see if the person on the other end would be available to answer some questions you have. Give them an idea of some of the content you hope to cover in a call, as well. And be sure to point out why you are asking that person for advice.
  • There have been two from recruiters, and they stand out to me for the same reasons: They were clearly written to me, were for positions I found truly interesting, and included something relevant beyond my career background. These were not a generic email blast that had my name and LinkedIn headline plugged into a few places. My LinkedIn profile has a plethora of information about me as a professional as well as me as a human. It’s very easy to take some extra time to write a thoughtful, relevant note. These recruiters accomplished two things by sending me something unique: They got my attention by knowing something special about me, and they made a good impression on behalf of their organizations, which seemed to care about the kind of people they hire.
  • Don’t forget about following up after you submit an application, too. It’s not quite a cold call, but if an applicant actually takes the time to follow up an application submission with a phone call/direct email to recognized decision makers, it definitely stands out among the crowd.

Thank you to board members from CerconeBrown, KoMarketing, Liberty Mutual, LPP, March Communications, PAN, and Text100 for addressing these questions. What other advice do you have on this topic? Tweet us your advice to @PubClubofNE #Tips.

Next up, we’ll answer a question about the best way to excel at your internship. If you have advice to give, or more questions to ask, send it along to