You've created a list of the top companies you want to work for.

Excel list

Now's the time to reach out to employees who work there and get your foot in the door of your dream company!

Why Reach Out?

  • The average corporate job opening receives roughly 250 applications!

  • If you want to stand out in a sea of applicants, you must make yourself visible.

  • Regardless if a job is posted or not, contacting employees at your dream companies is a great way to build relationships.

Man saying

Identifying Contacts

Ask yourself these questions to determine which method of contact makes the most sense:

  1. "Do I know someone who works at the company?" (1st degree connection)

  2. "Do I know someone who knows someone who works at the company?" (2nd degree connection)

  3. "Who can I get to know at the company?" (cold messaging)

To do list

1st Degree Connections

  • If you know them well enough, you can be direct with your request right off the bat.

  • Be clear and state why you're interested in working for the company.


I'm interested in working for Amazon because I'm all about boosting productivity. Given that you've worked there for 3 years, what recommendations or advice do you have on how to best stand out as an applicant?

Woman saying

2nd Degree Connections

  • Write 1-2 brief paragraphs that will make your connector forward your message right away!

  • 1st paragraph: Share why you want to work for that company specifically.

  • 2nd paragraph: Briefly explain your background and how you want to add value to the company.

  • Need help? See this email template.

Man typing excitedly on keyboard

Cold Messaging

LinkedIn is the best way to identify who to cold message.

As you look through the company's employee list, look for things you have in common with them, such as:

  • Attended the same school/college

  • Grew up in the same city

  • Similar hobbies

  • Volunteer(ed) for the same causes

  • Joined similar LinkedIn group(s)

Jot down these common points between you to help write your outreach message.

How To Compose A Cold Outreach Message

Hi [insert name],

Introduce yourself and how you found them [LinkedIn profile, portfolio, news article, etc.]. [Mention a common interest to build rapport].

Briefly share why you're reaching out and what you want to learnfrom them based on their experience with the company.

Ask if they would meet with you and/or answer a few questions you have (either via email, phone, or a 15-minute video chat). Tip: If they agree to a video chat, create a Calendly link to reduce back and forth scheduling.

Thank You,

[Your Name]

Woman typing on keyboard

Quiz: How Can This Message Be Improved?

Flaticon Icon Read the following outreach message and choose the correct answer below.

Hi Emily,

My name is Cherry Arias. I'm interested in working at your company and wanted to connect with you about potential opportunities.

I'm a recent engineering grad from UC Irvine and have experience in logistics, manufacturing, and operations.

I'm wondering if you would have 15 minutes to speak with me. My schedule is very flexible. I look forward to connecting!

Thank you,



What could Cherry have done differently (select all that apply)?

Take Action

While it can feel intimidating to contact an employee at your dream company, it's 100% worth the effort!

Your next steps:

  1. Who is someone you could connect with about a job you want?

  2. Once you've identified that person, put these steps to action!

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