Writing Your Mentor Outreach Email

So you have just been paired with your alumni mentor and you’re looking forward to setting up your first phone call or meeting. How should you go about drafting your initial email to your mentor? What should it say? Should you attach your resume?

Let’s get into some of these questions.

Your initial outreach email to your mentor should be short and sweet. The goal of your email is to set up your first meeting or phone call. So you don’t have to worry about delving deep into your background, attaching your resume, or engaging in long explanations about why you want to meet them. Give them the basics, ask to set up a meeting, and press send!

The most effective emails with the highest response rates ask specific questions and make very clear what they want. So make sure that in your email, you ask a very clear question proposing some times to talk and ending in a question mark.

You don’t even have to worry about crafting a separate email. When you are paired with a mentor, you should see two emails. The first is an email sent just to you identifying your mentor. The second is an email you’re cc’ed on that is sent to your mentor introducing you. Just go ahead and respond to that email, briefly introducing yourself and asking your mentor if they are free to talk on the phone over the next week.

Here’s an example of how this can go:

Sample outreach email I send to your mentor:

Subject line: Your ND Mentorship Program Mentee Pairing

Amy,

Thank you again for serving as a mentor in Notre Dame’s Mentorship program. I have paired you with 1L Hazel Adamson, hadamson@nd.edu. Hazel is interested in building her labor and employment career in Detroit.

I have been in touch with Hazel who knows to contact you within two weeks to set up your first phone call or meeting.

Thank you again for participating.
Best,
CDO

Some of the time, your mentor will reply to this email and ask when you’re free to meet. In that case, it is easy. Just confidently propose a few dates and times that work for you, thank them for serving in the mentorship program, and your mentor will work with you to get something scheduled from there. If your mentor responds to this email, definitely reply no matter what.

If your mentor doesn’t respond (which they usually do not), it is up to you to respond to get the first meeting scheduled. Here is a sample student response:

Amy,

Thanks for serving in the mentorship program, and I look forward to connecting with you. Are you free to talk later this week? My afternoons are generally open after 2:00 Eastern. I look forward to talking soon.

Best,
Hazel

That’s really all it takes! Your mentor has agreed to serve in the mentorship program, which means they want to meet with you and are expecting to hear from you. You can save the details about your background, planned career path, and specific questions for your first phone call or meeting. And save your resume until it is requested.

If you have specific questions about your outreach email or would like to have it reviewed before pressing send, do not hesitate to reach out to the CDO. We’re happy to review that outreach email for you or help in any way you need.

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