Student Tip: How to Cold Email a Consultant
Every week, I receive a handful of LinkedIn requests from students of all ages/nationalities seeking to get into consulting. Cold-emailing is the right approach: getting to know a company from the inside will help during the interview process, and shows that the candidate cares enough about the role to do some due diligence. It’s also important to gauge how potential future co-workers treat soon-to-be graduates.
There are however a few ways of going about it, which matter and will help you get the answers you’re seeking. Below is a short guide to the first contact on LinkedIn, as well as a quick FAQ, complete with a template or two. Note that this article’s title says “email” and “consultant”, but I’d argue this advice applies to all methods of communication and professions.
1. Always write a message when sending an invite
Write a note. I don’t care if it’s copy-pasted and you’ll send it to 5 other consultants. No one will. That note is the very first impression you’re giving to a potential future colleague, and that impression should not be “Hi Adrien, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network”. This note also lets me know why you want to connect and makes me much, much more likely to accept. Below is an example that fits LinkedIn’s character limit :
Hi Adrien, I’m currently working as an [insert role or degree] in [insert city or school], but I’m looking for inspiration to find the next step in my professional life. I’d be very interested in having your insight on [Company] and on what your daily job there looks like! Would you agree to a quick call with me ?
If a call isn’t what you have in mind, that’s perfectly fine. Writing works just as well and is more flexible. The next step is the same either way.
2. Be direct and concise in your questions
Whether verbally or in writing, you want to avoid sending messages such as the one below.