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Center for Career and Calling

Sample networking emails during COVID-19

Four out of 5 jobs are never posted online. The smartest way to approach your job search any time, but especially during COVID, is to reach out to professionals that interest you and have conversations with them. 

The key: Don't ask them for a job. Ask them for their story.

Email from student

SUBJ: Interest in speaking with you

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

I’m currently studying Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University and interested in learning more about the publishing industry. I'm writing because I know you're an editor for Sasquatch Books, and I really admire Sasquatch's niche work  with Pacific Northwest and West Coast authors. If you have time, I was wondering if you’d be willing to share more about your experience there and elsewhere.

Would you possibly be willing to talk for 20 minutes over the phone or Zoom so I could hear more about your experience?

In the next 2 weeks, I’m available Fridays all day, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after 3.

Thank you very much for considering.

Sincerely,

Sally Student
(555) xxx-xxxx

Email from alum

SUBJ: Interest in speaking with you

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

I'm a fellow SPU alum and learned on LinkedIn that you're a Data Scientist for Boeing, and before that worked as a Planning Analyst for Expedia and Verizon. I'm reaching out because I'm considering Data Science as a potential new career, and your range of experience really interests me. If you have time, I'd love the opportunity to get your insight on the field.

Would you by chance have 20 minutes to meet up for a short phone or Zoom chat? 

If so, I could meet any morning before noon the next two weeks. 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I hope to connect with you soon!

Best,

Amal Alum
(555) xxx-xxxx

LinkedIn Message (Short)

Hi [Name], I'm a junior computer science major at SPU. I'm interested in cloud gaming, and would love to learn more about your work at Microsoft. Would you be willing to have a 20-minute phone or Zoom conversation so I can hear more about your career path? Thanks for your time & consideration! [Your name]

If you're reaching out to someone you're not yet connected to on LinkedIn:
  1. Have a message like this ready in advance (note it's a 300-character limit).
  2. Click "Connect" on the person's profile.
  3. Click "Add a note".
  4. Paste in your message & click "Send".
  5. When the person responds to you, you should get a message in your LinkedIn Message Inbox and your email connected to your LinkedIn account.
FAQ about connecting with professionals

Where do I find people to talk to? 

Through the LinkedIn Alumni Tool (SPU grads are warm leads!), professors, family friends, professional associations, past internship sites for SPU students, and just through web searches of organizations that interest you. 

What should I ask them? 

Here are some ideas on what you can ask, and how to follow up afterward

What if I'm nervous?

That's okay! Meeting with strangers naturally feels daunting for most of us at first. But stick with it and after 5-10 informational interviews, you’ll start to become visible in the industry you're interested in, start talking like an insider, and have a much better chance of getting work there. It's worth it!