A Guide: How to Cold Email

TK Kong


When applying to jobs, it’s important that you don’t just apply online. You can increase your chances by getting in contact with a recruiter or hiring manager at the company. However, getting in contact is usually the hardest part so I created a comprehensive guide on how to do this via cold email.

1. Finding Emails

The first step is finding who to reach out to. You want to search for recruiters (university, technical) or hiring managers (design manager, VP product) by using professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

Method 1: After you’ve found the LinkedIn profile, click on Contact Info to see if they have their email address.

Method 2: Use to test for emails. Try a combination of their first and last names.

Ex. if the employee’s name is John Doe, try,,,

Method 3: Some domain names don’t allow for email verification. Don’t fret, you can use Clearbit Connect. This is a Gmail plugin that allows you to find employee email addresses. The only catch is that you have to give access to your Gmail contacts.

Hopefully, with these methods, you have now found the email address you’re looking for!

Extra: If you still can’t find the email, you can directly connect and message the person on LinkedIn.

2. Writing Emails

The next step is to write a concise email. I always break it into 3 parts:

Emails I sent to Venmo (internship) and AngelList (full-time)
  1. Quick intro (name, year, major, school). What are you looking for?
  2. Explain your accomplishments and prior work experience in 3–4 sentences.
  3. Attach your resume or link your portfolio.

It’s that simple!

Extra: If you have a personal connection to the employee (ex. met them at a conference), mention it! If you’re an avid customer of the company and have feedback, mention it! Just make sure to keep it short.

Hack: Use Streak to track when they opened your email.

Tip: Your email should be readable in one phone screen view.

3. Additional Tips

Follow Up
  1. If you don’t get a reply within a week, make sure to follow up! (See example above). They aren’t trying to ignore you. It’s their job to find talented people like you and you’re making it easier.
  2. However, if they don’t respond after two follow-ups, I recommend dropping the lead. You don’t want to spam them.
  3. Email is just one channel for reaching out. Some people are active on Twitter and receptive to direct messages! (I’ve previously landed freelance gigs through it)

Best of luck in searching for your next opportunity! If this post was helpful, give it some claps and share it with your friends!

If you have any feedback, please leave a comment or DM me on Twitter!

TK built to help students find design internships. You can find him on Twitter and view his work at



TK Kong

PM/Designer at Ramp. Previously at Facebook. Founder of Find me on Twitter @thetkkong. I write on