3 Networking Emails to Ask for a Job When You’re Not Confident

Asking for a job without exact experience, contacts or a foot in the door can feel extremely difficult.

You could be fresh from college just starting out or you’re returning to work after a long period of time and are afraid that you’ve become deskilled. Perhaps you’re wanting to make a career leap and are concerned that your experience is irrelevant to the sector you want to go in.

In our experience, building relationships with potential employers and colleagues has been by far the most effective way to get a job. People like to work with people they know and have built rapport with. When you’re not confident of your skillset or perhaps have a few weaker areas you’d like to compensate for building connections can be the difference between getting people to give you the chance to prove yourself and getting passed on.

So to ask for a job when you’re not confident of what you have to offer we’re going to send networking emails to build rapport with our potential employers/ colleagues.

This isn’t always easy- after all. Once you’ve been in the position of being uncomfortable with a connection request from someone you barely know to the highest-ranking person in your network, or being bombarded with coffee meet-up requests, you’re likely to become reluctant to place similar requests on others. That said, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. If you’re extra thoughtful, people will notice and be more inclined to help.

Start by reaching out to networking contacts- it may not feel easy but that doesn’t mean that the situation is hopeless. Focus on being honest, direct, appreciative, and gracious. Worst case scenario is that the person goes ghost, replies with an unhelpful email, or simply says no. To help you on your job search we’ve listed 3 effective email templates below.

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Template 1 | For Reaching Out to Somebody Know for a Foot in (Best for People You’ve Met in Person)


Hi [Insert Name],
I hope you’re having a great week. It was great seeing you the other week at [Insert Event].
I wanted to thank you again for helping me over the past couple of weeks as I continue my job search. Since we last spoke I came across an opportunity at [Name of Company] that I’m very interested in, and I know you’ve mentioned that you have connections with the managing director there. I know it’s a long-shot but it would help me a great deal of you were willing to connect us via [Email, LinkedIn etc].
Also, next time we’re at [Insert location], please let me buy you a drink!
Thank you again, [Insert Name], your help is always appreciated.
[Insert Your Name]
Dear [Insert Name],
I noticed we’re both connected to [Insert Name of Relevant Person] on LinkedIn! I’ve been meaning to get in touch with them to [Insert Purpose Here]. I would be extremely grateful if you could introduce us- no pressure if this isn’t possible.
Many thanks!
[Insert Your Name]


Hi [Insert Name],
I know we haven’t caught up since you left [Old Company Name], but [Name of mutual friend] tells me you’re doing really well at [New Company Name]. I’m really happy you found something you enjoy. I’ve been thinking about taking the leap myself and I recently came across a position at [New Company Name] that caught my eye.
Here’s where I’m going to be cheeky enough to ask if you might be willing to connect me with [Insert Name] the hiring manager! I’ve attached a [draft covering letter/ resume/ email] to make it easier, and by all means, please make any edits if you think appropriate.
Thanks again [Insert Name], I look forward to returning the favor.
[Insert Your Name]

These messages increase the likelihood you’ll get a response for the following reasons. First, they’re all short and concise. Secondly, they explain why you’d like to make the connection, and finally, they give your contact a comfortable way to decline if they aren’t able to fulfill your request.

Instead of agonizing over and delaying reaching out to your contact for an introduction, send a concise and friendly email. Always remember to thank your contact for their assistance, and patience. It might be a good idea to mention something that doesn’t relate to your request to turn the conversation into a mutual exchange. It might be a good idea to let them know you’re interested in more than what they can do for you!

If you're looking to develop your communication skills for professional environments even further, we think you’ll like the "Professional Networking" video course by Dorie Clark from LinkedIn Learning.
Click here for full access to "Professional Networking" On LinkedIn Learning
In this course, former presidential campaign spokeswoman Dorie Clark shows you networking strategies that you can adapt to maximize your strengths and connect with people. Clark helps you identify and prioritize the people in your network most critical to your success. She also helps you identify which networking events are worth your time. Lastly, you'll learn how to start conversations and use social media in a way that builds authentic relationships.

Template 2 | Reaching Out to Someone Loosely Connected or You Haven’t Met Before to Express Interest


Hello [Insert Name],
I hope you are well, it’s been a long time since [include a shared experience here].
If I’m correct you’re currently working at [Insert Company Name] as [Insert Role Name]. As it happens I’m actually looking to transition to [Insert Role/ Job Sector]. Since you’ve already found some success in this area, I was hoping you would be able to give me some pointers?
If you have 15 minutes or so, it would be amazing if you could take a look at some of my questions. Or, if you’re looking to get a break from the office, I’d I could treat you to lunch to discuss this role in person.
Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you,
[Insert Your Name]


Dear [Insert Name],
I’ve been following your LinkedIn updates and notice that there’s an opening at [Insert Company Name].
I’m definitely interested in pursuing the role and have been wondering whether my skillset might be a good fit. I would really appreciate if you had 15 minutes to discuss this opportunity over the phone? If not, could I send you a couple of questions over email?
I really appreciate your time and guidance.
All the best,
[Your Name]


Hi [Insert Name],
I hope you’re doing well. I know it’s been a while since we’ve been in touch-  I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to make our previous dates a couple months back. It would be really nice to catch up.
I’m looking to switch jobs, and the [Name of Position] at [Name of Company] stood out to me. I heard you’ve been doing well there, and I’d be keen to learn more about your experience and general feelings on the company if you’re up for it?
We could do lunch, coffee? Whatever works best for you.
[Insert Your Name]
Hi [Insert Name],
I wanted to introduce myself. My name is [Insert Your Name], and I work as [Insert Position] at [Insert Company]. I became familiar with your work when [Insert how you discovered this person] and wanted to reach out to tell you how inspirational it is to me.
It would be great if we could get together to discuss your experience.
Have a great day!
[Insert Your Name]


Good Morning/ Afternoon [Insert Name],
My name is [Insert Your Name], and I’m a [Insert Your Position] with [Insert Your Company]. I wanted to reach out to [express my admiration of/ because I’m writing an article on] [Insert Project]. I’m keen to learn more about your process and was hoping you’d be willing to [chat/have an informal interview] with me about it.
I understand you’re probably extremely busy so if you would prefer to answer some questions over email I would also be grateful.
Many thanks,
[Insert Your Name]

When networking through email, it’s best to mention at the start of your email when you last spoke to each other, then follow with a concise request. This will increase the likelihood of success because you won’t be taking too much time and you’ll plant a positive memory in the other person’s mind.

These types of emails are most effective if either when you haven’t seen this person in a while or haven’t any relationship at all. They’re friendly but direct enough to be considerate of the other person’s time.

Whilst you may not always get a response, especially if the person hasn’t met you, or has very little to gain from helping you out it’s always worth putting the request out there. To get a higher chance of success be gracious, polite, and succinct.

Give your contact the option to opt-out, and include a line of thanks for giving their attention to avoid any awkwardness if the person is not really in a position to help and has to turn you down. 

If you're looking to develop your communication skills for professional environments even further, we think you’ll like the following video course from LinkedIn Learning.
Click here for full access to "Writing Email" On LinkedIn Learning
In this short course, author and business writing professor Judy Steiner-Williams shows you how to write emails for maximum readability and impact. Discover how to craft a compelling opening, how to message the right people at the right time, and how to leverage etiquette to use email as one of many communications tools.

Template 3 | Reaching Out to an Ex-Colleague or Boss for a Referral


Dear [Insert Contact Name],
I see there’s an opening for [Insert Role] at [Insert Company Name]. As you may know, I [Insert Relevant Experience] for [Insert Time Period].
I’m mentioning all of this, because I’m really interested in your Company’s mission and aspire to be a part of it. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about this opening, and if so, would you be willing to refer me to the appropriate person/ hiring manager? There’s no need to worry if this doesn’t work for you, if you had any pointers about applying to your company I would be very grateful.
Thanks for your help.
Kind Regards,
[Insert Your Name]


Good Morning [Insert Name],
I’m touching base today to ask you a favor. I’m currently looking a roles in [Insert Industry/Sector] and am building my connections within this field.
I noticed that you work with [Insert Name], and I was hoping that you’d be willing to connect the two of us? As I’m sure you know [Insert Name] has a lot of experience in my particular field of interest, and it would be great to get the opportunity to ask them a couple of questions.
I would really appreciate if you are willing to send a brief email to introduce the two of us?
If you have any questions please ask away!
Thanks again.
Kind regards,
[Insert Your Name]

These emails are great for several reasons. Initially, you’re stating the experience you have and why that would make you a good fit for the role- this means there’s no extra work for the person you are expecting to introduce you. Then, you’re showing you’re up to speed on what’s happening in their company. Lastly, you’re illustrating the different ways they can help, so they can work out what works best for them. Easy!

We all know A personal referral increases the likelihood you’ll get hired. However, it’s important to remember you’re asking someone to put their professional reputation on the line for you. It’s therefore in your best interest to ask in a way that informs a quick decision and allows them to reject your request without jeopardizing your relationship.

If you've decided you're ready to take your professional soft skills to the next level and get the dream career you've always wanted, we think you'll love the "Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills" video course from LinkedIn Learning. 

With this course of over 10 hours of high-quality video content you can learn to set yourself apart from the pack. You'll get the essential soft skills that will enable you interact effectively with others- a skill that employers value most and will stand the test of time. You'll learn communication fundamentals and being a team player whilst advancing your critical thinking skills.

You'll also create a solid process for achieving your goals and bouncing back from challenging situations, communicate effectively for others and become a problem solver. 

Click here to get to "Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills" video course from LinkedIn Learning. It's a no-brainer.

At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.  

If you’re interested in further reading, we’ve also included links to our trusted resources and related posts below. To find out more about NTRW and our recommended tools, you can do that here.

Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!

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Scripts & Templates for Life’s Uncomfortable Conversations. Learn more about NTRW here. NTRW is supported by adverts and affiliate marketing links. For more info, please see our Earnings Disclosure.

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Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation. Learn more about me here.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

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