Applying to jobs online is like dropping water in the ocean especially when you’re starting off with less experience. Here are some more ways to be proactive:
1. Finding People
The first step is to identify companies you’re interested in, then you can seek out individuals who can influence your ability to get interviews (i.e. recruiters, managers, engineers). LinkedIn is a great way to find these individuals. Search for your company of interest, then the people section, and use keywords (“manager”, “mechanical engineer”, “recruiter”, etc.) to find people you’d like to reach out to.
2. Reach out
You can reach out directly through LinkedIn (sending a connection request with a note or a DM) or try reaching out via email. Sometimes emails will be posted on profiles or you can find the company email format (usually easy to find for larger companies) to deduce what their email would be. There are also dedicated services for this task such as RocketReach for finding people and contact information.
The contents of your message will largely depend on who you’re contacting, but the general rule of thumb is to keep it concise, direct, and personalized (noting commonalities like the same university, mutual connections, etc.). For individuals such as recruiters, you may want to be more direct by referencing online job postings that are open and your experiences whereas with engineers you may want to inquire more about their experiences with the company and the role they’re in.
To Recruiter Example:
I’m [Name], a [year/major] at [university]. I noticed some job postings for [list a few roles/links or IDs] on the [company] website and thought I’d be a good fit as I’m [list some of your top qualifications, talk about past projects, etc.].
I’d be happy to chat more about these roles and I’ve attached my resume below for reference.
To Engineer Example:
I’m [Name], a [year/major] at [university]. I noticed that you also graduated from [university] and are currently in a [role] at [company]. I’d be happy to chat more about your experiences there if you have some time for a call.
- Adjust the templates according to your strengths and what you find is working/not working. You’ll eventually pick up your own style over time! Keep it personal - remember these are all human connections at the end of the day.
- Make sure to treat every interaction as if it were an actual interview, so be prepared to talk about the company, the role, and yourself if needed
- Don’t get discouraged by low response rates. Find ways to improve your approach (i.e. your resume, messages, LinkedIn profile) and keep trucking along!