About the author: This guest post was provided by Pathrise, an online mentorship program that works with students and professionals on every component of their job search. We have helped 800+ people land great jobs in tech through our workshops and 1-on-1 mentorship.
Are you frustrated by applying to hundreds of jobs and never hearing back? Maybe you do get a response, but it’s a generic rejection email, which makes it clear that they never even read your perfectly crafted resume and application in the first place.
When you apply online for an open position, you are competing against hundreds and sometimes thousands of other people. This is especially true for early career positions at large tech companies like Google and Facebook. So, how can you stand out and make sure your resume is seen?
At Pathrise, we work with job-seekers every day to help them find great roles faster than they would on their own. Fellows in our program have seen that sending a compelling and concise cold email along with their applications triples their response rate, on average. We are not saying that sending cold emails will always get you a response, but it will vastly increase your chances.
In order to successfully send cold emails, you need to find email addresses for recruiters and hiring managers, craft compelling emails with interesting subject lines, and hit send!
How to find email addresses
Once you have found an open role at a company that fits with your background and experience, you should send in an application through their online portal. Then, you need to get ready to send your cold email. The first step is to find a recruiter or hiring manager on the team who has a connection to you. Maybe you grew up in the same hometown, went to the same university, college, or bootcamp, or you have a similar hobby. We recommend using LinkedIn because you can search for the company name and role and then scroll through the options until you find one that matches.
When you know who you want to email, there are a number of tools that you can use to find their email address.
- Clearbit: a free Chrome extension that allows you to search for people and/or companies right from your inbox.
- AeroLeads: another Chrome extension that finds business email addresses and phone numbers from LinkedIn, AngelList, and similar sites. The service is free, but it also has paid options that come with additional features, like importing, exporting, and transporting contact lists. The paid packages also come with less limitations on number of users and leads.
- LeadFinder: a website that guesses and verifies email addresses based on first name, last name, and company.
We have also created guides to help you reach out to Google recruiters, Facebook recruiters, and even more tech company recruiters, which includes a spreadsheet of recruiter email addresses that you can use for your cold outreach.
Cold email examples and tips
Now that you have the email address of the recruiter or hiring manager, you are ready to write your cold email. The most important quality of a strong cold email is personalization. Remember: this person is busy and they do not have to read or respond to your email. You need to make sure that this message catches their eye and holds their attention.
Start with a strong subject line that highlights your connection. Avoid generic or vague sentences like “An inquiry” or “Reaching out”. You can also include the person’s name in the subject line, too, though it might make it feel a little salesy. Here are some examples of good subject lines:
- Sarah, fellow Northwestern alum reaching out
- Mutual admiration for dogs & good code
- John, New Yorker passionate about Google software engineering opening
Start the email politely and let them know why you are reaching out. Then, you can jump into how your experience connects with the company’s mission and goals. It is like a shortened and very personalized elevator pitch. Talking about their mission also lets them know you have done your research. When you connect yourself to their goals, you already show that you are a good fit for the culture.
Finally, close the message with an actionable ending. Thank them for reading your email, acknowledge how busy they are, and try to get a quick call on the books. Make it as easy as possible for them by providing a few times that work for you.
Let’s put that all together in the form of a cold email that you can adapt for your own use:
I recently applied for the [position] I saw on [platform] and noticed you are a [role] at [company]. While I am not sure if you are the right person to contact, I definitely have the experience that the team is seeking.
As a Math major, I’ve taken the time on the side to perfect my code to analyze data problems. I’ve worked on 10+ data projects focusing on data cleaning, visualization, and prediction models using machine learning, neural network, and topic modeling. For example, with work in [impact statement], I can see myself leveraging those experiences to scale the data mountain at [company].
I know you are super busy, but I would appreciate the opportunity to hop on a quick call to learn more about [specific role/team]. Would you be free for a 15-minute call either [timeframe 1] or [timeframe 2]?
With these tips & email templates at your disposal, you should be more than ready to send great cold emails to recruiters and hiring managers. For even more information on how to send strong cold emails, check out our guide.
Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, we’ve seen up to 3x as many responses to applications.
If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your cold emails or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow. Apply today.