Whether you just graduated college or are trying to make a change later in your career, getting that initial foot in the door for a particular job is always the hardest part.

As with all things, the key to a successful job search is to set yourself apart from other candidates and to showcase your unique skill set. Most of the time, simply applying for a role online and waiting to hear back from the company isn’t enough. In a previous blog post, I described how you can research the hiring manager of a role and stand out by emailing them in addition to applying online. Today, we’ll go one step further. We’ll look at how you can reach out and show your motivation for a role even if you don’t (yet) have all the required experience.

Send an email before applying online

Before applying online, find the hiring manager or recruiter that’s responsible for the role. Send them an email that explains your motivation for the job and the skill set you bring to the table. Don’t forget to attach your resume.

By showing that you’re really excited about the company and that you bring important skills to the table, you will not only get the recipient’s attention but increase your chances of landing an interview.

For your inspiration, let’s have a look at the following two examples for different roles:

1. Example email for engineering roles

For engineering-related roles, you can be proactive and show the company that you are really engaged with the company’s product. If you apply to a position at Smartcar and you don't meet the required years of engineering experience, you can reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager and say:

Hi Jackie,
I noticed the Back-End Software Engineer opening on your careers page. I would love to hop on a call and share why I would be a good fit for this position. I’ve attached my resume below for your review.
I know that I may not have the exact years of experience you are looking for but I wanted to be proactive and show you that I can do it!
I’ve created a car-sharing app using Smartcar’s API. Right now three of my friends and I share one car since we’re all in college and have different schedules. As we live on different sides of the campus, meeting up to transfer the keys can be a headache. So, we built an app using Smartcar. The app allows us to unlock our car remotely so that we no longer need to meet up.
[Add a few more details here, for example: what frameworks you used to build the app, whether you built the app on your own or in a team, how long it took you to complete it, or what your experience integrating with Smartcar was like. Also, share the app with the team!]
I hope that this showcases some of the things I can bring to the table. I would love to have the opportunity to tell you more about my background.  
Please let me know what time works best to connect in the next few days.
Thanks,
Mathilde

2. Example email for recruiting roles

If you are interested in a recruiting-related role but don’t have a lot of experience in this area, find a concrete example and show that you can take initiative and be successful in the job. If you apply to a position at Smartcar, you can reach out to the head of the recruiting department and say something like this:

Hi Jackie,
I noticed the Recruiting Associate opening on your careers page and I would love to hop on a call to share why I would be a good fit for this position. I’ve attached my resume below for your review.
I know that I may not have the exact years of experience you are looking for but I wanted to be proactive and show you that I can do it!
I noticed a Back-End Engineering position on your careers page. If I was on the recruiting team, here are three candidates I would source for the role:
[Candidate 1: name and LinkedIn profile]
[Candidate 2: name and LinkedIn profile]
[Candidate 3: name and LinkedIn profile]
I chose these candidates because they are web developers, they have the exact years of experience mentioned in the job description, they have experience working with Node.js, and they are currently working at API companies.
Here is a sample outreach email in which I would tell these candidates about our opening and ask them to get on a call with me:
[Write a short template of what your outreach message would be.]
If the candidates do not respond to me, here is the second outreach I would send:
[Write a short template of what your follow-up email would look like.]
I hope that this showcases some of the things I can bring to the table. I would love to have the opportunity to tell you more about my background.  
Please let me know what time works best to connect in the next few days.
Thanks,
Mathilde

Conclusion

Personally, if I received an email similar to the ones showcased in these examples, I would be incredibly impressed with the candidate and would want to learn more about them. Instead of just scheduling a phone call, I would probably invite them to stop by the Smartcar office for coffee.

Even if you don’t meet the exact requirements mentioned in a particular job description, being proactive and showing initiative can go a long way in landing your dream job. Companies like Smartcar always look for the most talented and driven professionals, and they will notice a great candidate when they see one. All you need to do is stand out from the crowd.

What was your experience like finding your first job after college or breaking into a new industry? I would love to hear your stories and tips. Please feel free to email me and let me know your thoughts!