The Template

Every week, I maintain THE TEMPLATE, an award-winningWinner of the 2015 Plank Center Award (public relations org.) for commitment to mentorship. blog that's been viewed more than 1.5 million times by people all over the world. In every column, I provide step-by-step instruction to help you become a stronger communicator. Like I always say, "Write well, open doors!"

3 Emails That Could Change Your Career

Once Tyler Oates pressed “Send,” he may have changed not just his life but the lives of thousands of people.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the 30 year old sent an email to his boss, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, and asked for a $10,000 raise for himself and the other 250,000+ employees at the bank. But wait there’s more; Oates cc’ed 200,000 coworkers on the message.

From Oates’ email, which appeared on Reddit:

“By [giving everyone a raise], Wells Fargo will…show the rest of the United States, if not the world that, yes big corporations can have a heart other than philanthropic endeavors.”

I know what you’re thinking. “Wow, that guy has guts. Also, he’s definitely fired.”

Actually, as of Thursday, October 16, Oates still has his job at a Wells Fargo office in Oregon. And who knows? Maybe Wells Fargo execs are sitting around right now talking about ways to better the lives of their employees.

A single email can change everything. That’s why the three templates below could place your career in a new direction.

Of course, only if you’re willing to press “Send.”

1. How to follow up with an employer you met at a job fair

Subject line: Follow up, [your name] from the [specific name of the job fair]

Hi Mr./Mrs. [last name],

It was great to meet you earlier today at the [specific name of the job fair].

After we spoke, I did more research on [name of the company]. I find the work you do interesting, particularly the [1-2 projects listed on the website; use specific details and prove you studied the company].

[Then, ask a follow-up question about the work the company does. For instance, “Do you feel the West Coast offers the biggest chance for growth”?]

I have attached my resume to this email so you have an online copy.

Please let me know if we can talk by phone. I want to learn more about the company and how I can be an asset to your team.

Thanks again,


Note: A recruiter could meet hundreds of people at a job fair. How many will send an email once the fair is over? Very few.

If you want to stand out, send a thoughtful message.

See: The Six Most Powerful Words in Networking

2. How to write an alum from your school about a networking meeting

[College/University][student/alum], needs your advice

Hi Mr./Mrs. [last name],

My name is [your name], and I am a [year in school or “recent grad] from [college or university].

I [explain how you obtained the person’s email address. For instance, “found your email address in the university’s alumni database.”]

I am interested in the [specific industry] field and see that’s the kind of work you do. I would like to learn more about your experience with [name a specific company or project the person lists on LinkedIn or a company website you find compelling; then one line about why you find it compelling]. I would also appreciate your advice as I navigate the job market.

Please let me know if you have time for a short phone call.

Thanks so much,


Note: An alumni database is a treasure trove of networking opportunities. Start the conversation with an alum, and see where it takes you.

cheat sheet

3. How to write someone you met at a networking event who might connect you to a job

Hi Mr./Mrs. ______,

It was great to meet you [earlier today/yesterday/last night] at the [specific name of the networking event]. I enjoyed our conversation about [reference a specific part of your discussion; prove you paid attention and remembered small details.]

After I left, I did more research on [either the person’s company or a company the person can connect you to]. I am interested in the company and especially its [reference a recent project from the company website and why you find it notable]. That’s the kind of work I would like to do.

Please let me know if you’re able to pass my resume to the right person. I have attached it to this email.

Or if you want to give me an email address of a contact, I can handle the introduction myself.

Thanks again,


Note: Offer to write the networking introduction yourself. The person might say “I’m happy to introduce you” but at least you took the burden off the helper in case he/she is swamped with work.

See: How to Find a Networking Group That’s Worth Your Time

What other templates for career emails would you like to see?

Share below!


Featured photo: Arya Zial (Flickr)


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