Your job search and networking emails aren’t getting returned. Why?

The person you’re sending them to is very, very busy, and doesn’t want to read your epic email about how you always wanted to work for their company because it will allow you to grow in your career, or apply your strategic thinking and analytical skills to their unique customer proposition.  He/ she wants to scan.

You’re using bullet points- good, right? That’s better than paragraph form, and it will certainly help them absorb more information.  Right???  Not necessarily.  You might want to change your formatting to highlight JUST what they need to know.


Move over, Bullet Points.  Here comes Bold.

Warning:  Please only use this approach if you’re in Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Social Media, or some kind of communications-oriented role or if you’re writing to an executive; it may actually backfire if you are writing to a Human Resources person (who may think it’s annoying if it doesn’t fit their exact mold on that exact day) or for a job where the hiring manager doesn’t know that this is how writing is happening on the web, these days.  This is not the right approach for a nursing position, for example.

With that disclaimer, here’s what I mean, for job search communications.


Hi Casey,

I was talking with Brad Irwin who recommended I reach out to you.

Here’s the “quick synopsis:” I lead Business Intelligence technology deployments for Fortune 500 clients.  I’ve been at Datatech Corp for the past few years as VP of Client Services, working with the client teams and internal teams to make complex deployments happen on time and at budget.  Prior to that, I was at Epsilex, Inc. as the leader of their solutions group.

Brad recall thinks very highly of you and thought you might be open to a brief chat and a possible introduction or two, if you see fit after we speak.  I’d greatly value your perspective on the Business Intelligence space and any colleagues who might be in similar roles and thinking about expanding their teams.   I’m also interested in connecting with Chris Colton, if he’s still the head of Solutions over there and if you’re open to making an introduction after our call.

I’ll work around your schedule; I’ll come meet you for coffee, connect at an event, hop on a call or chat, or come to see you while you’re between meetings somewhere.   Are there any times that might work for us to connect over the next few weeks?


And, for ninja-level users, I’m also starting to see and use some of the bolded points in color (like a neutral blue).

That’s it, in a nutshell.  They’ll know that you are conscious of their time, you’re trying to make things easier on them, and they’re more likely to get back to you. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Anyone out there who’s tried it?  Coaches and hiring managers, do you agree or disagree with bolding in a “cover letter” or networking email?