Study: Beginning Email With Short, Disingenuous Inquiry Into Personal Life Best Way To Network

CLEMSON, SC—Having carefully analyzed over 30,000 pieces of correspondence over a two-year period, a study released Wednesday by Clemson University confirmed that beginning an email to a well-connected individual with a short, disingenuous inquiry into his or her personal life is the best way to network. “We’ve discovered that opening your message by insincerely asking a non-specific question, such as how their family is doing or whether they enjoyed their vacation, is the perfect way to segue into your otherwise transparent request for help landing a job,” said lead researcher Roger Anton, adding that including a friendly jab about the other individual’s favorite sports team was found to have a particularly high rate of success in softening them up before getting to the real reason they were contacted. “It is clear that just one stand-alone sentence inquiring generally about the person’s life is sufficient before beginning your paragraph on your renewed job search. Our data also suggests that it is equally important to end the email with a vague reference to a hobby or interest of theirs, perhaps by mentioning that they must be excited that the ski season is right around the corner.” The study also confirmed that those who chose not to close with “Hope you are doing well” had a near-infinitesimal chance of getting what they wanted from the exchange.

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