How to Ask for a Job (With Email, in Person, Over the Phone Examples)

Many people find themselves in a challenging position when they are looking for work. Job hunting can be stressful and frustrating, especially if you don’t know what to do or how to go about the process.

According to experts, these are ways to ask for a job through email, in person, and over the phone.

John Stevenson

John Stevenson

Marketing Specialist, My GRE Exam Preparation

How to ask for a job through email

  • Gather all the information you’ll need about the job and the company you’re applying for personalization

Employers know when a cover letter is based on a template and has been sent to a few companies already. These types of applications immediately go to the waste bin, no questions asked.

This is why it’s important to know the details of the name of your employer and company to properly address them. After that, include what you liked about the company.

  • Introduce yourself properly

Start introducing yourself by mentioning what you do currently or the latest job position you’ve held. This way, the company will immediately have a grasp if they can offer you something or not.

Of course, don’t forget to mention the position you’re applying for and where you saw the job posting.

  • Explain why you’re qualified for the job

Come up with a short and concise paragraph on your experience. Highlight the biggest accomplishment you’ve experienced in the course of your career.

  • Say the time and day they can reach you for an interview

Show more interest by saying that you are available for an interview. It’s one way of showing that you have initiative.

  • Don’t forget to include your resume

Attaching your resume will help the company you’re applying to get to know you better. This is also to give them detailed information about your experiences in your career.

Here’s a sample:

“Dear Mr. Evans,

I’m writing to express my interest in applying for the sous chef position in your restaurant. I have always been a fan of the food you offer during my stay in culinary school. I can’t even count how much I ate there as a student. I’m a recent graduate, and with expertise in the gourmet kitchen, I believe that I will be an excellent addition to your team.

Back in culinary school, we’ve successfully won a gourmet competition with our dish, quail legs with tamarind glaze and fig chutney. I also love making new recipes, and I was hoping I could contribute to your growing menu.

I would love to meet you in person and cook for you when you have the time. I’m always available from Monday to Saturday. Please do not hesitate to call me or reach me through my email.

Also attached is my resume for your reference. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Best,
John Stevenson”

How to ask for a job over the phone

  • Prepare beforehand

Practice how you’ll respond to questions by imagining every possible question you could think of. Prepare a notepad and pencil there so you can list important details while on the call. Call in an area of your house where there will be no distractions or noise.

  • Communicate in a professional manner

You’re applying for a job, so it’s vital to use a professional tone when speaking to an employer. Respond courteously, and do not forget to ask questions from time to time.

  • Ask directly

When calling, directly state the reason. Employers like it when you’re direct to the point. When you’ve reached the right person, say your name, explain why you’re calling, state where you got the company’s details, and ask if the position you’re applying for is available.

  • Be confident

Answer questions by avoiding fillers like “hmm,” “uhh,” and more. These fillers make someone sound like they are unsure of something. Don’t forget to thank your interviewer after the call.

Here’s an example:

Hello, good morning! This is Betty, and I’m calling to apply for the position of sales executive in your company. I was referred by Kenny, one of your current employees in the accounting department. Thank you so much.

How to ask for a job in person

  • Call beforehand

Calling beforehand and seeing if they’re available to accommodate you. This shows professionalism on your part.

  • Ask for the person in charge

Immediately ask for the person in charge. It’s helpful if you do research before coming to determine who exactly is in charge.

  • Introduce yourself

Briefly introduce yourself by stating your name and your background. Also, don’t forget to shake hands with them.

  • Explain why you’re qualified

Briefly state your work experience. When I say briefly, say only the biggest and remarkable experience you’ve had during your career.

  • Leave your resume

Leaving your resume will give your employer your complete details. Your contact details should be put here as well so they can reach you in the future.

Matt Glodz

Matt Glodz

Certified Professional Career Coach | Managing Partner, Resume Pilots

When asking someone for a job, never be overly pushy or aggressive. Your main goal should be to express your interest and explain why you would be a strong fit for the role.

However, bear in mind that trying too hard is never attractive.

Calls: Ask if it’s a suitable time to speak

When you call an organization to ask for a job, make sure you are speaking to someone with decision-making ability.

If you reach the hiring manager or business owner, make your purpose for calling clear and – most importantly – be respectful of their time. When responding to a job posting, you could open your call with the following.

For example:

“Hello, I came across your [position] posting on LinkedIn, and I thought I would be a great fit for the role based on my experience as [position] at [company]. I would appreciate a few minutes of your time to talk through the role in more detail. Would now be a good time?”

Emails: Keep them brief and attach your resume

When you send an email to ask for a job, keep it concise and attach a copy of your resume.

Assume that your recipient is busy, and quickly give them the information they need to decide whether you might be a suitable fit for their organization. If you don’t hear back, it’s fine to check in after a week or two. If you still don’t get an answer, it may be time to move on.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Hear Back From a Job Interview

When enquiring about available positions, you can write:

“Dear [Name],

While I recognize that you may not be hiring at the moment, I’m writing to submit my resume for a potential [position] role with your company.

I believe I would be an asset to your team based on my [relevant experience] with [companies].

Would you be open to a quick call to discuss?

If not, I would appreciate it if you could keep me in mind for future openings in [functional area].

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best,
[Name]”

In-person: Practice your elevator pitch

When asking for a job in-person, you’ll need to strategically tailor your communication based on the situation and your relationship with the individual.

If you are walking into a business to make an inquiry, arrive with your resume in hand and dress to make a positive first impression.

Even if you end up not speaking to a hiring manager, be polite and request that they pass on your resume to the right person.

Zoë Morris

Zoë Morris

President, Jefferson Frank

How to ask for a job in person

Approaching an employer to ask for a job in person can seem daunting but done in the right way and in the right environment, it can show your passion and confidence, both of which are admirable traits to any employer.

Networking events or exhibitions are the perfect places to mingle with potential employers and register your interest with them, but there’s a fine line between coming on too strong and naturally progressing to a point in the conversation where it’s appropriate to ask about any vacancies.

As humans, we love to talk about ourselves, so try building up the conversation by introducing yourself and getting to know their personal background, as well as their journey into the industry.

You can then circle back to what they’ve said by sharing your own experiences and how your transferable skills have helped you get to where you are now. This poses the perfect opportunity to dig deeper and ask whether they are hiring or plan to in the future.

Even if there are no current vacancies, exchange business cards so they can either reach out to you when something opens up or you can follow up with them in the future.

How to ask for a job over the phone

Although cold calling is usually seen as more of a burden than a help, picking up the phone to call an employer regarding job vacancies can make a strong first impression. But before you begin dialing up, it’s important you know what points you’d like to cover.

Not only can a phone call be fleeting if it’s unexpected, but if it’s a big company, you’re more than likely going to have to leave a message with an administrator who can pass it on.

You’ll want to keep the phone call brief but convey a powerful enough message to make you stand out from others who may have had the same idea. At the very least, you should introduce yourself, including:

  • your name and occupation
  • say why you’re calling
  • describe any qualifications, skills, or experience that would make you a good candidate

If you have any mutual connections, now would be the perfect time to mention these. Knowing you’ve been referred from someone will always help you stand out.

How to ask for a job over email

The best advice I can give for asking for a job over email is to almost think of it as a sales pitch: You need to sell your suitability to the employer and make them want to invite you in for an interview.

Your email should be kept brief but convey enough information to make the employer want to get you in front of them, either virtually or face-to-face.

You’ll want to include any standout achievements to pique their interest, but save the details of your full career journey for when you get to speak to them directly rather than via email.

Not only will this make your email much easier to digest, but it’ll give you much more to talk about when you do get to meet with them directly.

Vanessa Phan

Vanessa Phan

Managing Consultant for HR, Cardinal Education

Through email:

There are certain methods and steps to asking for a job via email:

  1. Find out who you’re supposed to email. If you have any connections where you plan to apply, you can ask them where you’re supposed to send your email application. You can also do a web search to find the names and contact details of the intended recipient.
  2. Research about the recipient of the email. Do a web search on details that can help you find common ground with the recipient.
  3. Introduce yourself. State who you are and why you are emailing them, including your current job position or any relevant information for the position you wish to apply for.
  4. Write down your qualifications and include a copy of your resume. Include in the email a brief explanation of your education and certifications and any related experience that can help you get the job. Attaching a copy of your resume will also support the qualifications you were mentioning. A powerful cover letter may also make your inquiry interesting.
  5. Take the initiative and ask for an interview. Politely thank the recipient for their time and express your initiative by telling them that you are more than willing to speak more about your qualifications in a phone, online, or in-person interview, whether it is on the phone or a sit-down interview.

On the phone:

Even when asking for a job on the phone, the initial steps are the same, and the latter steps deviate from the email method:

  1. Research about who to contact in the company when you apply. Just like when looking for a job via email, knowing who to contact is important in asking for a job.
  2. Research about the company itself. Knowledge of what the company is looking for in an employee, as well as their goals, are things that can help you in the interview.
  3. Write a script for the call. A script will help you keep in mind the important points that you want to say in the interview.
  4. Prepare a list of questions. Anticipate the kinds of questions that might be asked of you and in return, prepare to ask them questions about the position or the company to express your interest in them.
  5. Practice and prepare a space where you can answer the call. Practicing for the interview will help you feel at ease later on. Preparing a room to ensure that there will be no interruptions will also raise your odds of being accepted.
  6. Prepare your resume nearby during the call. It is important that your resume is nearby anytime you might need it.
  7. Take notes and prepare for any possible further interview schedules. Keep a notepad or piece of paper nearby to take notes during the interview. It will make some advice and details easier to remember, especially when they give you a date for the next subsequent interview.
  8. Be polite and use proper phone etiquette. Remember to greet them at the beginning of the interview and thank them at the end. Using proper etiquette will give them a good impression of your character.

In-person:

Finally, asking for a job in-person is somewhat similar to emails or phone calls, as we will see below:

  1. Find the best place or event to look for a job. Job fairs, networking events, and informational interviews are times when it is best to ask about opportunities for employment.
  2. Focus on gathering information about the job over its availability. Express interest in the job by asking about it without beelining for the vacant position.
  3. Ask them for advice. Asking the person for general advice on how to get a position you’re after will also express your interest in their field of work. Don’t just bombard them with requests for the position.
  4. Create connections and relationships. Building relationships during the events mentioned above is important because of the benefits it may yield. Fostering relationships may secure you job opportunities in the future. LinkedIn and other similar portals also help create these connections and relationships.
  5. Send a letter or email that expresses your interest. Rather than blatantly asking to be hired, express in a letter or email your interest in the position. Emphasize the company’s reputation and achievements and that you would like to grow with them as an employee.
  6. Look for ways to stand out. Be memorable. You can send them a portfolio of your achievements or do something unique in an introduction or interview so that the hiring manager will remember you out of the numerous applicants.

Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart

Founder, Marketing Entrepreneur and Lead Generator, Webris

In-person

The most excellent method to inquire about a potential job in person is to be polite and confident. If you know you have the necessary skills, you should speak with the manager and inquire about your job chances.

For example, if you had a terrific interview and want to get right to the point, you may say:

“I’m interested in the position; is there anything holding you back from making me a job offer right now?”

It greatly improves your chances of landing the job. Make a concerted effort to look your best, communicate effectively, and present a positive, never-say-die attitude to position yourself as a natural fit for the role.

Email

The most important thing to remember about this email is that it must be a sales pitch. Sell your candidacy to the employer and make them want to hire you.

Find the employer for the organization you applied to and tell them you’re interested in their employment history, progress, and unique perspectives. You must be direct and know what you are talking about.

For example, you could state that your experience in a particular field provides you an advantage over other candidates.

Over the phone

Make sure that your communication and listening abilities are excellent. It would help if you appeared to be the most acceptable candidate for the job. Make confident that you know what you’re talking about and that you’ve done your homework on the position.

It would help if you began by introducing yourself, discussing your qualifications, and finally requesting a job interview after persuading them that you are the best candidate.

Chris LaMorte

Chris LaMorte

Co-Founder and Head of Marketing, WebChimpy

How to persuasively craft your email

It’s perfectly fine to inquire about a job over email. However, people should remember that they are not “demanding” that the company give them a job.

When you are the one intimating the company, you must persuasively craft your email. Why should the recruiter even open your email in the first place? What’s so good about you? A half-baked effort isn’t going to do the job.

  • You need to prepare your cover letter and ensure that the CV can be read by ATS (Application Tracking System).
  • Make sure you are using formal business language when writing the email.
  • Be specific about the job position you are applying for and the skills that you bring to the table.
  • Highlight how the company could benefit from hiring you.
  • Mention all the additional qualifications and certifications that you have other than your academic qualifications.

In the subject line, mention the job role you are interested in and your name. For example:

“Job Vacancy for Editorial Assistant at (Company X): (Your Name)”

Before sending your email, look for the talent acquisition team and search for the people on LinkedIn. Then single out a person and search for their email address.

Here’s a sample email that you can write to the recruiter:

“Dear (name of the talent acquisition manager),

I am writing to inquire about the possibility of any job vacancies in editorial or digital marketing positions. As a literature graduate who has over 3 years of experience, I am confident that I would be able to make valuable contributions to your organization.

Below are a few skills that I have gained throughout my experience [share any relevant experience you may have]:

(list the specific skills and expand on them. Explain how each of the skills can be used for the job responsibilities)

I have attached my resume and cover letter for your perusal and would love to take the discussion further over a phone call. It would be a pleasure to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
(Name)
(Contact Details, email & phone number)
(social media links)”

Sai Blackbyrn

Sai Blackbyrn

CEO, Coach Foundation

How to ask for a job over the phone

Research, Research, and Research

While a phone call may not be an interview, it can quickly turn into one. You have to have done your research and know every relevant information there is to know about the organization and the person that you will be calling.

You can find out who the person you’re going to be calling is by searching through LinkedIn or Facebook. The key to building a professional connection with them is finding some middle ground between you two. You’re an anonymous person calling them so you have to find a way to get them to talk.

Scripting the call

Try writing down bullet points of what you have to say. More often than not, you should be incorporating these three elements in any phone call you make to the company:

  • Who you are
  • Why you’re calling
  • What you bring to the table

If you’re calling a manager at a medium-sized company, they might not have time to listen to every little detail about your life, and it’s your responsibility to summarize your qualifications, achievements, and what you can offer the company that they don’t already have.

Making the phone call

Make sure you’re in a quiet space, and you have the company’s information, the person’s information, and your resume all ahead of you. You don’t want to be scrambling between the call looking for your stuff.

Try to address them as Mr or Ms. until they tell you otherwise and don’t speak over them. You have to be polite yet confident in your approach to show them that you have the desire and passion to work for them.

Lastly, end the call and thank them for their time while adding that you’re looking forward to hearing from them again.

After the call, wait for 10-15 minutes and then send a thank you note through email. What this does is that it gives the other person a point of access to you in case they want to contact you about an interview.

Here’s a sample phone call:

“Good afternoon David,

My name is Alex, and I’m calling to see if you have any openings in your Marketing department. Here’s a little information about me, I graduated top of my class with a 3.8 GPA, and I’ve been working as a Marketing Associate at a Manufacturing Firm for the past 2 years.

With the way that your company has been growing in the B2B sector, I would love to be a part of your rapidly growing team. I bring dedication and relentlessness to any table where I’m sitting, and I would love to do that for you.

I would like to thank you for your time, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you again.”

Magda Klimkiewicz

Magda Klimkiewicz

HR Business Partner, Zety

How to pitch your passion via email

While applying for jobs is more common than simply asking for one, the latter is doable in certain situations. Ideally, it will happen when the project of a certain organization deeply fascinates you, and you believe you possess some valuable experiences and skills to help advance that project.

Don’t be shy and write them an email at the very least; you have nothing to lose. I would also suggest you write a follow-up after a week or two if they don’t reply.

Here’s a general example of how you could reach out to them via email:

“Dear X,

My name is Y, and I’m an (industry) enthusiast — in fact, I’ve been following your organization for a number of years, and I must confess I’m an absolute fan of [specific project].

I know this is unusual, but since I have nothing to lose and am simply passionate about the kind of work you do, I was wondering if you’d have a look at my resume and perhaps consider me for (role).

I have N years of experience and have run [projects] with great success. You can see all the details in my resume, which I have attached. I never imagined I’d be writing something like this, but this would be a dream opportunity for me, so here it is.

Thanks a lot and I look forward to hearing from you!

Greetings,

(Your name)”

It is important that the projects and experience you mention are relevant and show that this is more than simply about getting a job. On the receiving end of the email, this has to be perceived as a calling and vocation for which you are truly a perfect fit.

Ewelina Melon

Ewelina Melon

Head of People, Tidio

How to write or call the employer and ask for potential job opportunities

It’s thrilling to find a job and a company that is a perfect match for you, but they may not have any open positions you may apply for. It doesn’t mean your chances of having your dream job are scuttled!

You can always write or call (if the recruiter’s phone number is available on the website) the employer and ask for potential job opportunities. If there aren’t any, ask for considering your resume in the future recruitment processes.

How to do it well and increase your chance of landing the job?

Do proper research on the company and position you are applying for

Put on a detective hat and take your time to get to know a potential employer. It is one of the best ways to prepare for the call and become a top-notch candidate. Use LinkedIn to find current employees and get a closer look at their experiences and skills.

Find the best time and place for conversation

Call from a quiet place where you can concentrate and make sure no one disturbs your conversation.

During the call, keep your CV nearby

Update your resume before the call and make sure you include in it essential information. While talking about your job experience, try to follow the information from your CV.

It ensures that the information you provide on the phone matches what the hiring manager will see on your CV after the call.

Use the first minute to introduce yourself in a few words

Use the first minutes of your call to make an excellent first impression and arouse curiosity in your interlocutor. Briefly explain your academic and professional background, what your current position is, and what role you are interested in.

Emphasize your qualifications and experience for the position

Once you catch an employer’s attention, there is a time for a final presentation. Shortly describe how your knowledge and skills will benefit the employer.

Focus on highlighting the most important job experiences, skills, and certificates to help your interviewer quickly grasp what you can offer their company.

Send a “thank you” email

By sending a thank-you note, you express not only your appreciation for the call but also your good professional manners. You also demonstrate your engagement and readiness to continue the conversation.

Jacob Villa

Jacob Villa

Co-Founder and Marketing Director, School Authority

Always ask for a job in person by using sharp and curious questions

Knowing how you ask for a job is crucial. Based on my experience, those who ask me directly in person always catch my attention. I’ve received lots of emails asking me about the open positions I have, but most of them ended up being unread unless they’re recommended by someone I personally know.

Asking for something in person will always do wonders in getting what you need, compared to asking via email or phone call.

When asking, make sure you don’t look needy. Use passive questions and frame them in a way that will make you look sharp and curious. Don’t just ask directly, “Can you give me a position in your company?” or “I need a job, do you have one for me?”

You need to ask questions that will open a window of opportunities for yourself like:

  • “I really admire your team, and I know that a team like yours is great to work with. Do you know a similar team whom I can join?“
  • “Do you have any tips for how I can stand out as a candidate?”

These questions are spot on and show your professionalism. And there’s no way your contact can ignore it if they really need someone to fill an open position.

The bottom line, finding a job isn’t easy. In fact, job hunting is already a full-time job itself, and it takes more effort than just browsing online job boards or sending resumes. You need to personalize it and get out there in the field. The best way to speed it up is to ask someone for a job in person.

Joe Ames

Joe Ames

President, Lighthouse Recruiters

Email or InMail to a prospective hiring manager

One way to ask for a job is by email or InMail to a prospective hiring manager. Understand that you’re not the only one who is taking this approach, so strive to be different by getting some background information about:

  • The opportunity
  • The culture
  • The team

Also, share some of your own background on what value you bring to their organization. By making it less about you, and more about them, you’ll increase your chances of getting their attention.

Consider a 60-90 second video that you embed into an email

If you really want to set yourself apart, consider a 60-90 second video that you embed into an email, InMail, or even text.

Creating an authentic video of your “elevator pitch” gives the hiring manager a sneak peek as to how you communicate, your passion for wanting to work for their company, and the value you can bring to their team.

In either case, use your network whenever possible to find common connections. If someone knows you, likes you, and trusts you, the odds are pretty good that you can get a warm introduction to someone in their network.

Finally, the secret sauce is the follow-up.

Most hiring managers receive over 125 new emails a day but respond to only 25% of them. Be persistent but not a nuisance, and stick with the theme of wanting to gather more information that can help them solve the problem of an open position.

Related: How to Follow up on a Job Application

The more informed you are, the more you can highlight your most important skills to performing the job at the highest level.

Connor MacDonald

Connor MacDonald

CMO, The Ridge Wallet

Create relationships through informational interviews

In-person, informational interviews are a creative way to learn about job opportunities. This is one of the best ways to stand out from others. If you have a genuine interest in getting to know someone’s career that you know of or recently met, ask them for coffee or if they have time for a quick chat to learn more about what they do.

Related: Who and How to Ask for an Informational Interview

Even if there are no current job openings for the position, one might open later down the road, and they might remember you over someone else.

For example, I have a friend who showed interest in a company and reached out to a worker for a moment of their time to meet; to ask them about their story, who they are, and how they got where they are now.

A few months later, a job opened there, and they were interviewing; no one got the job, and the worker reached out to my friend asking if they would like to work there.

In the end, establishing a first-degree connection and genuine interest in a company might connect you to your dream job.

Dorota Lysienia

Dorota Lysienia

Community Manager, LiveCareer

Build meaningful connections ahead of time

Many candidates underestimate the power of relationships when looking for a job. They focus solely on doing thorough online research and forget about plenty of opportunities they could get by reaching out to people they already know.

Did you have an interesting talk with an industry expert at the last digital marketing conference?

Use this opportunity to your advantage to grow your network and build meaningful relationships. Don’t wait for a time when you will need a job, but connect with valuable contacts ahead of time. If you develop your relationships in advance, it won’t be awkward to reach out to your connections when looking for a job.

My advice is to ask one of your connections to become your mentor and support you in shaping your career path.

That way, you can also get to know other experts from your industry and grow your network with time. The world is small, and you’ll be surprised how good relationships can benefit your future job situation and contribute to your career fulfillment.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?