A Short Rant on Inefficient Writing

There is one form of writing I hate most: networking emails. There are many different kinds of networking emails, such as:

  • Cold-emails (I don’t know you, but plz help me get job thx)
  • Warm-emails (You were in a student org 6 years ago that I’m now involved in, help me get a job plz & thx)
  • Post-event emails (We chatted for 4 minutes in a circle at Pizza House with 6 other students, plz help me get an interview)
  • Post-call emails (Thanks for spending 45 awkward minutes on the phone)
  • Post-interview emails (thx 4 ur time, it was great to chat about ___, thx, etc)

After recruiting with at least 10 companies, I’ve probably sent at least 100 networking emails in the past couple months. These emails are rarely longer than 3-6 sentences long, but usually take me at least 15-20 minutes to write. It’s infuriating. I’m constantly asking myself questions like “How do I mention our common interest in soccer in a way that makes this person remember me, but not in a way that makes me come across as extremely fake?” Or I’ll spend my time making my email sound less repetitive so I don’t use the word ‘chatting’ three times. The frustrating¬†thing is that none of these specific choices ever really affect the reader, because the people reading these emails will likely skim them. But this doesn’t stop me from spending forever writing them. Having to write a personalized follow-up email to someone you connected with is incredibly easy, but¬†unfortunately you can’t connect with everyone well. Not having to write these emails is probably the best part about being done with recruiting. Bureaucracy is fun.

2 thoughts to “A Short Rant on Inefficient Writing”

  1. Agreed, networking emails blow. Thankfully, LinkedIn mail has alleviated some of the pain for me. I will say that having templates already set out has made things a little easier for me, and it generally seems like recruiters can’t tell as long as I add in that personal detail or two. I’m curious to see how emails to financial services recruiters differ from the emails that I send to software development / technical recruiters though. Who knew that short emails could be so stressful…..

  2. Jake –

    I can absolutely sympathize with everything you’ve written. Recruiting is an exhausting process that is even more tiresome when you’re busy with your classes. I’ve always found that the hardest part about these emails is the need to be timely about them. It’s nice to have two weeks until an essay is due to slowly perfect it, but that opportunity is nonexistent with networking emails. I’ve noticed that I spend a lot of time on these emails as well, but I was curious as to whether or not I have this problem with other forms of writing. Even in writing comments on everyone’s blog posts throughout the semester I’ve found that I take more time than I probably should be. Sometimes it just feels like there’s not enough time in a day…

    Congratulations on being done with recruiting! Now that you’re not having to send these emails regularly, what are you using the extra time to do?

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