By Shar’nee Francis, Career Coach at Dev Bootcamp
Dev Bootcamp is the original, short-term, immersive software development program that transforms those new to coding into job-ready, full-stack web developers.
In my role as a career coach at Dev Bootcamp, I work with our graduates to guide them through their job search process after they complete our immersive, learn-to-code program. In my experience, I have found that when alumni connect directly with an employer they are more likely to secure an interview and get offered a job. A key skill that I teach Dev Bootcamp graduates is how to write cold and warm outreach emails, which help you build a relationship with a future employer.
While the idea of cold and warm outreach emails may sound similar to the “cold calling” that sales people do when they reach out to total strangers to sell a product or service, it is actually an important networking tool. So what is it, exactly?
Cold outreach is connecting directly with someone in a company where you have no existing network or mutual contacts. Warm outreach is emailing someone you were referred to or have met in the past, perhaps at an event or job fair.
Reaching out with an effective, personable email humanizes the job search process and will bring you better results than submitting an anonymous form on a website.
Here are four simple steps for crafting effective outreach emails that will enable you to build professional relationships and land that interview:
1. Introduce yourself.
After a quick greeting, introduce yourself with the goal of establishing a career connection. Tell them who you are and what you do such as, “I hope this email finds you well. I am Shar’nee, a front end developer working out of New York City.”
2. Establish relevance.
This varies depending on if you are writing a cold or warm email.
For a cold outreach, do a little research and find some common ground with the person you are writing. You could reference an article that you’ve read that they wrote, or highlight your excitement about the industry or company that they work in. For example, “I came across a blog post that you wrote on technology in education and I find your perspective on EdTech is really interesting and exciting.”
For a warm outreach, reference your relevant connection to that person, such as, “We recently met at the FindSpark conference, and you mentioned that you were seeking applicants for developers at your EdTech company.”
3. Set Your Value Proposition.
Once you have made yourself relevant to the connection, address the needs of your connection and highlight how you can add value to their company.
For example, “I recently built an application that helps teachers create small study quizzes which can be sent to students via the application. Students can then complete the quiz and help the teacher assess which topics they may need to revisit in an upcoming lecture.”
4. Close with a call to action.
In the last section of this email it’s time to make your ask. You want give specific next steps for the connection to consider. The next steps could be:
For cold outreach, the next step might be meeting in person to further discuss things relevant to you both.
For a connection you’ve never met before, you could close with something like, “I would love to talk further about your perspective on technology in education and get your advice on how the project I am working on may benefit the EdTech community. Would you be available for coffee on Thursday or Friday around noon?”
For warm outreach, the next step might be chatting about the specific opportunity referred to you.
For a connection you are looking to deepen, you could say something along the lines of, “I would love to talk to you further about the role you mentioned during the FindSpark conference, would you be available for coffee on Thursday or Friday around noon?”
Keep your outreach email short, polite and straight to the point. After you make your call to action, sign off with your name and contact information. It seems simple, but taking the time to make a personal connection will get you one step closer to your dream job.
Dev Bootcamp is the original, short-term, immersive software development program that transforms those new to coding into job-ready, full-stack web developers. In Dev Bootcamp’s rigorous and supportive environment you will gain a thorough knowledge of software development fundamentals, the metacognitive skills to quickly pick up new programming languages, and the emotional intelligence to land your first job and have a successful, evolving career as a web developer. Find out more and start your today at devbootcamp.com