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How To Use Clay to Craft The Best Cold Emails That Land You a Job

Cold emails can help you build a professional network for future job opportunities. Learn how you can leverage Clay and AI to get in touch with decision-makers and land your dream job.
Updated October 17, 2023
craft a cold email to get a job
craft a cold email to get a job
Difficulty: Medium. You should know a normal amount about this tool/topic
Time Required: ~20 minutes

Sending cold emails for job hunting can open a lot of opportunities. 

First, it increases your chance of being hired. Emailing a decision-maker directly can help you stand out from a pool of applicants.

Second, cold emailing can help you grow your network. Even if you don’t get hired on your first email, you’ve already built connections that might provide you with future job opportunities.

So, where do we start? How do we find the right people to connect with?

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to enrich a list of companies to connect with decision-makers using Clay

I’ll also explain how to use AI to craft a perfect cold email, along with some tips to help you land your dream job.

craft a cold email to get a job

What Are the Benefits of Sending Cold Emails?

Cold emailing means reaching out to people we’ve never contacted before. Since they are ‘unsolicited,’ they’re often labeled as spam or a nuisance.

But why do we still consider cold emails an effective strategy to connect with people? What are the benefits of sending cold emails?

Let me share with you a few good reasons:

  • Direct outreach: This means you can reach decision-makers directly, bypassing layers of gatekeeping.
  • Lower costs: Compared to attending job fairs or networking events, sending cold emails can be a cheaper strategy for job seekers.
  • Full control over messaging and timing: This simply means you can tailor your approach to each recipient.
  • Get immediate feedback: Cold emailing allows you to receive instant feedback, whether it’s a positive response, a no reply, or a decline.
  • Expand your network: An email might not guarantee a job immediately. But it can definitely help you grow your professional networks which might lead to better opportunities in the future.
  • Scalability: Cold emailing helps you reach multiple potential employers in a short span of time.

How to Write a Cold Email to Get a Job Using Clay

1) Build Your Company List

Start by checking out platforms like Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, and RepVue. From these websites, filter your search based on the job roles and location you’re looking for. 

Use a scraping tool like Instant Data Scraper to pull all the details from hiring companies. If you need some guidance, check out this separate tutorial about How to Scrape Indeed Job Postings in 2023

Once you have the list, it’s time to import them on Clay. 

There are many ways to import a CSV file on Clay. 

First, click the ‘new table’ on your dashboard. Then, you can select ‘Companies,’ ‘People,’ or ‘Template.’ For this tutorial, select ‘Companies,’ and then click ‘Browse files’ or drag and drop a CSV. 

add new table on Clay

From here, you can choose an enrichment tool from the starter list. Or skip this part and click ‘Add Data Later.’

The second method to upload a CSV is to click the ‘Start from a Blank Table’ option. This will open a new table with the default columns. At the bottom of the page, click ‘Import.’ Then, choose the CSV file you want to upload.

import a list on Clay

Once you have your table ready, we can now proceed to enrich our list.

2) Find Contacts of the Company

The next step is to find a contact person for the companies that we’re interested in applying to. You'll want to connect with the hiring manager. They're the people who'll be most interested in what you bring to the table.

Let’s go ahead and enrich our list.

In Clay, right-click on your table and select ‘Add Enrichment’. 

add enrichment on Clay table

On the pop-up, we’ll need to find an enrichment tool that we can use to find contacts. To make your search a little easier, type some keywords on the search bar at the top. In this case, you can type ‘Find Contacts,’ and then hit enter. Clay should show you a few options you can use.

For this tutorial, we’re going to use ‘Find Contacts at Company’ by LinkedIn.

Find Contacts at Company using Clay

This will open another window to set your inputs. For the ‘Company Identifier,’ you can input the LinkedIn URL, Sales Navigator URL, or Company Domain. 

The LinkedIn URL provides the most accurate results. But we don’t have the LinkedIn URLs of the companies yet. So, let’s use the company domain.

Next, enter a job title keyword you’re interested in. Since we’re applying for a job, let’s use the keyword ‘Hiring Manager.’

Find Contacts at Company settings

Note that you can also refine your search by filling in the other fields on the settings window. For now, let’s skip these options and click ‘Continue to Add Fields.’

On the next pop-up, you’ll be provided with a list of data you can add as a column to your table. For this tutorial, let’s activate the toggles for the LinkedIn URL, Name, and Title.  

Find Contacts at Company settings

Click save and run.

You should now see new columns added to your table. 

enrich table on Clay

3) Find the Work Email of Decision-Makers

Now with your list of names and LinkedIn profiles, the next step is to find their work emails.

Again, right-click your table and select ‘Add Enrichment.’ On the pop-up window, head over to the ‘Waterfall’ tab. This method allows us to enrich data by using multiple tools, where each phase depends on the outcome of the previous one. 

Under ‘Waterfall,’ select ‘Work Email.’

find work email of contacts

On the settings window, Clay automatically selects Clay Enrichments, Datagma, and Hunter as default email providers. You have the option to select other tools by clicking the dropdown. For this tutorial, we’ll stick with the default settings.

Next, add in the Full Name, Company Name, and Company Domain. 

For the email validation provider, we’ll use Debounce.

find work emails using Clay

Once you’re set, hit save and run.

Your table should now be populated with email addresses, as shown below.

find emails of decision makers using Clay

Note that Clay might not be able to pull all the emails in your list. One reason is due to the app’s limitations. Another is that some hiring managers simply want to keep their emails private.

4) Alternative Method - Use Clay’s Recipe 

In the previous steps, we’ve enriched our table twice to find the names, LinkedIn profiles, and work emails of hiring managers.

If you don’t want to go through these multiple steps, you can simply select one of Clay’s recipes to automatically pull all the relevant information for you.

To do this, just right-click on your table and head to the ‘Recipes’ tab. Select ‘SMBs - Find and Verify Decision Makers + Contact Information.’

find and verify decision makers and contact information

On the settings window, Clay will automatically create the recipe enrichments, as shown below. 

You can also click the settings button of each tool and choose Clay’s or your personal API key for each app. Just keep in mind that using Clay’s API on some tools might cost you more Clay credits.

Next, enter the business name and website. Then, click apply and run.

find decision makers and contact information using Clay

The results should almost be the same. You can go ahead and hide those extra columns you don’t need. Then, proceed to the next step.

5) Use AI (Chat GPT) to Write An Email  

With those email addresses in hand, it’s time to reach out. 

But instead of writing individual emails, we'll use ChatGPT to automate the process.

Once again, let’s enrich our table and select ‘Use AI.’

enrich Clay table using AI

On the settings window, write a prompt. You’re free to be creative here. But I highly recommend you follow these tips to get the best results:

  • Your prompt must be specific. 
  • Make sure to specify your inputs, such as the contact’s name, LinkedIn URL, or email.
  • Describe the output that you want. For instance, you can tell ChatGPT to make your email formal or casual. 
  • Keep your email short. You can tell the AI writer to limit the email up to 150 words or less.
write AI prompt for cold email

Here’s a sample prompt I’ve entered on ChatGPT (feel free to edit this template to meet your needs):

Write a cold email to apply for a job at [company name]. Keep the tone of the email confident and keep the length of the email to 150 words. Tell them who you are, where you work, how you got their information and why you are interested in the company. Discuss some of the things that are interesting to you about the work the recipient does and how that connects you both. Ask about open positions related to managerial roles for sales. 

The company's name is /Company Name

Start the email with Dear /Name - People

End the email with Sincerely, [Your Name]

Once your prompt is ready, click save and run. You should see the results added to your table.

craft cold email using chatGPT

Tip: On your first attempt, you might not get the results you want right away. Keep refining your prompt until your email looks better. While you’re at it, I suggest you run only a single row each time you make adjustments. This will help you save more time and Clay credits. Once you’ve finalized your prompt, you can then run all of the rows.

Here’s an output of our AI writer using the prompt above.

chatGPT cold email output

Subject: Managerial Sales Role Inquiry at American Express

Dear Shawn Rose,

I'm [Your Name], currently working at [Current Employer], and I happened upon your contact through LinkedIn's network. As an ardent follower of American Express, I'm intrigued by your consistent impact in the financial industry.

Your commitment to innovation and customer service-oriented strategies strongly resonate with my professional path. Particularly, the transformative approach American Express adopts towards sales and marketing has drawn my interest due to its direct alignment with my career growth trajectory. 

I would be delighted to explore any potential opportunities for a sales management role within your respected organization where I believe my comprehensive leadership and sales expertise would bring significant value.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


[Your Name]

Note: In this tutorial, I’ve addressed the hiring managers using their full name. You can also use the appropriate salutation, like Dr., Professor, Mr., or Ms. (please don’t use Mrs., unless you know the person). But if you’re not sure about their title or gender, you can address them using their full name.

Tips Before Sending Cold Emails for Job Inquiries

Cold emails, when done correctly, can be highly effective in building relationships and increasing your network. 

Follow these tips to make your reach-out efforts a success:

  • Correct timing is key. So, send your emails during weekdays and preferably mid-morning. Hiring managers are most likely checking their inboxes during this time.
  • Make sure your email is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Your email should highlight your adept written communication skills.
  • Build a connection through shared interests. Research the recipient's work and mention it in your email.
  • Write a subject line that piques curiosity and encourages the recipient to open your email.
  • Briefly highlight how your unique skills or experiences align with the company's goals or the recipient's work.
  • End with a professional signature that includes your full name, contact details, and links to your LinkedIn profile or portfolio, providing an easy reference point for further details about you.
  • If you don’t hear back within a week or two, send a polite follow-up email to reiterate your interest and keep the conversation going.

That’s A Wrap!

When done right, cold emailing can increase your chances of getting hired. 

With Clay and AI, you can enrich your target companies, gather contact details of decision-makers, and craft a personalized email all in a short span of time.

But keep in mind, even if you did your homework well, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a job right away. Rejection is your friend - treat it as a learning experience. 

So hang in there, you should soon find a company that’s a right fit for you. Happy job hunting!

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Written by Christy Cañete
Christy Cañete is a software engineer who's passionate about front-end web design. Not only can she code, but she writes too! She loves breaking down technical topics into super easy tutorials. If you're looking to learn without the jargon, she's your go-to.
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