Finding the perfect job can feel like an infuriating, never-ending journey full of twists and turns at every corner. And even if you've found the perfect company for you, they may not have any job openings available. Or, if they do, it may be in a field so saturated that sending an application in just a day after a job posting is published may mean you’re too late — or languishing in a pile of applications so big you don’t even get a chance to make your case.
So what more can you do to get ahead in this process? Is it even possible to get ahead of a job posting? Thankfully, there’s a way around the conventional job application process — and it all starts in your inbox.
If you feel as if you’re sending applications into the ether, it may help to take a step back and remember that there are different ways to job search. Instead of sending in an application on a job platform, you have the opportunity to reach out to people and companies directly via email.
There are two common reasons to send a job inquiry email — to try and get ahead of the hiring process by anticipating jobs before they're posted or to reach out to a company that doesn't regularly post their openings online.
These emails are a good way to get on the radar of employers, recruiters and companies that you want to work for. We know people often get jobs through personal connections, rather than through mass applications. So even if there is no job for you at the time, sending an email asking about job opportunities could open the door for an informational interview or a new connection with someone at the company — and the relationships you start to build might mean you’re top of mind when an opportunity does arise.
The exact email you draft and send will depend on your situation. To help you get started, here are seven examples of emails you can send to help you find job opportunities — and make some valuable connections along the way.
As a recent college graduate, entering the job market can feel daunting. Many open positions list unrealistic requirements and qualifications. You can use an email asking for job or internship opportunities to connect with a company that might not have formal programs to bring in and train recent grads or may not be as prominent in a given industry.
Offer yourself as a recent graduate looking to gain experience in the workforce. Detail your education and experience, as well as the relevant work you've done while in school or in previous internships that could come in handy at their company.
My name is Joanna Brown and I recently graduated from Harvard University as a gender and sexuality studies and communications double major. I'm currently seeking an entry-level media position in the feminist media space that allows me to put my superb writing, organization skills and media experience to use.
I would be eager to use my skills to support Fairygodboss’ mission of providing free resources and an inclusive environment for women to connect with other career-minded women. The work Fairygodboss is doing is exactly the kind of work I want to be a part of. If there are any open entry-level positions or internship opportunities on your team in content or communications, I would be eager to apply.
I look forward to connecting soon, and I hope we can stay in touch in the future if any positions become available. Thank you so much for your time.
Networking pays off. If someone you’ve met or worked with before is now employed at a company you would love to be hired by, you should consider reaching out about job opportunities. Whether or not there’s a job posted online that you’re interested in, your contact can provide insight on the hiring process at the company, submit a referral on your behalf, or introduce you to other people within the organization. These kinds of emails to former colleagues or any professional connection you've made are very common, and odds are your recipients have sent some of their own.
Congrats on your new position at Buzz Health Co.! I was so excited to see you continuing in sales management in a leadership role there.
I wanted to reach out because I've been looking for a marketing position in the healthtech space. I love the work Buzz Health Co. is doing to empower individuals to ask the right questions and make the decisions that are best for them, and I was curious if there are any openings you know of that I might be a fit for? I'm attaching my resume here for reference. Let me know if you hear anything — any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!
Chances are, you know a lot about your dream company and the work they do, and though passion isn't everything — it does take you a long way when it comes to standing out as a potential candidate. Having a job you’re passionate about makes you dedicated to the work, so when you reach out, make sure to mention how your passions align with the company’s mission. Even if there aren't any available roles, getting on the company’s radar and making a contact in the office will allow them to keep you in mind when jobs do happen to open up.
My name is Bianca Beale and I'm the Content Lead at Mountain Gear. I'm interested in writing impactful content and uncovering unique and innovative stories that haven't been told before. Since I can remember, Design Digest has been my publication of choice when it comes to staying up-to-date with what's going on in the world of design. It's long been a professional goal of mine to join your team and bring my writing, communication, and creative strategy skills to your in-house branded content team.
Though I didn’t see any open positions on your website, I was wondering if there were any roles on your radar that fit my qualifications. If so, I would love to submit my application. If not, I hope you'll keep me in mind in the future as positions open up.
Thank you for all the work you do. I look forward to being in touch.
When emailing someone you don’t know, social media is key to finding some sort of connection you share. LinkedIn is a great source for diving into this research. For example, you could mention that you both grew up in the same metro area, attended the same college, or are fans of the same motivational speaker (Brené Brown, anybody?).
My name is Emily Lopez and I have recently come across your work experience in sales management with Owl Technologies. I have been following you on LinkedIn for the past few months and have noticed that we are both alumni of UGA.. It’s always nice to connect with fellow bulldogs!
For the past five years I have been working for Sun Co. as the Lead Sales Coordinator. The experience I’ve gained at Sun Co. has been invaluable for my knowledge in negotiating, prospecting, and social selling. However, I am interested in taking my skills and experience to Owl Technologies to help companies streamline their workflows and move more quickly to reach their goals. I would love to schedule some time with you to talk about the role you and your team play.
Do you have any availability for a call in the next couple of weeks?
Thank you for your time,
When asking for an informational interview, you’ll need to show exactly what you’re asking for and why. Mentioning the recipient’s experience at a certain company or a particular aspect of their career trajectory, for example, will show them that you’ve done your research. If possible, find a common connection between you that can help make the email feel more personal.
My name is Natalie Ruthers. I was sifting through LinkedIn recently and came across your name. After further investigation, I realized that we both spent time working at Riley & Son Services on the content team.
I’m reaching out because I’d love to learn more about your job in business consulting. I’ve been curious about a career in consulting and would love to know how and why you made the switch from content.
Would it be possible for us to connect for 15-20 minutes over a Zoom call? I can work around your schedule to find the best time.
Looking for a change? In this type of job inquiry email it’s important to identify transferable experience, skills, and any training that may be related to your desired industry or position. This will show the recipient that you’ve thought this change through and are serious about the prospect of connecting with them to discuss it.
My name is Willow Evans and I am currently the Communications Director at Around the World Fitness. While at Around the World Fitness, I have worked closely with our sales team to market our various services around the country and realized that I’d like to explore opportunities in sales. I believe the coordination and project management skills I’ve gained as the Communications Director at Around the World Fitness would help me excel in a sales position.
I’ve been a fan of Wildflower Yoga since becoming a member five years ago and would love to have a chance to speak to you about open positions on the sales team. Would it be possible for us to connect for 15-20 minutes over a Zoom call? I can work around your schedule to find the best time.
If you’re interested in working for a competitor, it’s important to provide information on why you admire the company and how you could contribute with your skills and experience.
My name is Mallory Johnson and I’m the Lead Software Engineer at Central Design. I have been following the work of Big Apple Design Co. several years before my start at Central Design and have continued to be impressed with the digital experiences Big Apple Design Co. provides its users.
I am currently looking for my next opportunity to bring my experience in software engineering to a team that shares my values for quality, user-friendly design. I would love the opportunity to sit down with you to discuss how I could contribute to the engineering team at Big Apple Design Co.
Do you have any availability for a call or meeting in the coming weeks?
Thank you for your time,
Before you send your email off, make sure you:
Check your subject line. It’s important to be clear and concise here. A subject line like “Is Your Company Hiring?” doesn’t give the recipient as much information as “Sales team opportunities — Joanna Brown from the Women in Sales conference” does.
Proofread your email to check for any grammar mistakes. And make sure you don’t accidentally name the wrong company or get your facts wrong.
Add updated and relevant professional links to your email signature including your LinkedIn page, portfolio, or current company profile in case the recipient wants to learn more about you.
If you haven’t heard back from the recipient after sending (give it a week or so…), don’t be afraid to follow up!
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Haley Baird Riemer is a New York City-based actress and writer.
Team editors contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice to this article.