By Kevin Wu, co-founder and CEO at Pathrise

If you are in the midst of your job search, you have probably noticed that when you send applications into online portals, more often than not, you do not hear back. It can be frustrating to find a job online that you think is a perfect fit and then get radio silence.

The problem is that sending applications into online portals is not enough anymore. If you really want to make an impression and increase your chances of being seen by the recruiter or hiring manager, you need to practice reverse recruiting, which means you reach out to the recruiter as you apply for the job instead of waiting for them to reach out to you.

According to our data, sending an email along with your applications will increase the likelihood of a response by an average of three times, which is a huge benefit, especially since sending an email can take less than five minutes per application.

You want to email someone who will be connected to the job you are interested in and who can help your resume get seen. That means you should be looking for recruiters, technical recruiters and senior members of the team. Another option would be for you to find someone who went to the same school as you or has a similar connection with the hope that it would make the email warmer.

If the company is small enough (under 100 people), you can even reach out to the CEO or CMO -- sometimes they’ll reply, and maybe even interview you themselves. 

Of course, in order to email these contacts, you need to know their contact information. As a first step, you should check if their information is available via an email-finding tool such as Clearbit or Any Mail Finder. Alternatively, you can find somebody on LinkedIn and try to guess their emails. The most common patterns are:

  • first@company
  • firstlast@company
  • flast@company
  • first.last@company
  • f.last@company
  • first.l@company

After guessing and before sending, you can use verifiers or automatic email guessers -- such as Hunter, LeadFinder or Email Checker -- to verify if your email is correct or not, so that it won’t bounce when you send it:

Once you have figured out who you are going to email and you have their contact information, it is time to prepare what you will say. These emails should have the following five features:

  • Concise: The email is short and to the point.
  • Compelling: It mentions something about you and your interest in the company that is convincing enough for the person reading it to respond. Does it excite them?
  • Personalized: The email doesn’t seem overly templated. You want it to look like you wrote something unique for the particular company.
  • Friendly: It comes across as friendly and casual. Usually, you can be more relaxed in the technology industry than in some other fields, like finance.
  • Correct: The email does not contain typos, misspellings or grammatical errors.

Make sure you mention that you have already applied for the job -- you can even include a link to the job posting or the job ID number, if that is available, so there is no confusion. Here is a template you can use for this accompanying email:

Hi [name],

I hope you’re doing well! My name is [your name] and I’m reaching out because I recently applied for the [position] 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 wanted to reach out to you specifically because I was interested in the work you are doing, specifically [something from their LinkedIn or something the company is working on]. I am a skilled developer who writes clean, people-friendly code and I believe I would hit the ground running and be a great fit for your team.

I would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about you and the company. Would you be free for a 15-minute call, either at [timeframe 1] or [timeframe 2]? In advance, I have attached my resume for your review. I really appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

[Your name]

The addition of an email with your application can be what brings your resume into a recruiter’s hands. Make use of these tips and the template to expedite your reverse recruiting and increase the responses you get to your job applications.

Kevin Wu is co-founder and CEO at Pathrise, helping students and young professionals around the country land their dream jobs.