It’s almost co-op hunting season at UBC and a lot of students have been looking for job opportunities. One of my friends reached out to me this morning to ask, “Why don’t people respond to my emails asking for coffee?”

We spent the morning talking about the number of people she’s reached out to, and on the surface, her numerous emails and LinkedIn messages should have landed her at least a few coffee chats. Unfortunately, the response rate to her messages was nearly zero.

When I asked her about how her messages are formed, she told me that they were short and to the point. Most of them read:

Hi, I’m looking for an internship. Are there any opportunities at <company name>?

And that’s why response rates were so low. I shared with her the 3 things I would do when looking for a job, and wanted to share the tips here as well:

1. Be Curious

Be interested in the person you’re reaching out to and do your research! Find out what they do, what their background is, what they’re interested in, and start the conversation with something you have in common.

2. Be Voracious

Reach out to as many people as you possibly can! Generally, friends of friends are the best places to start. The co-op office also has some great resources and can connect you with a lot of people in the industry.

3. Be Gracious

Thank the person for taking their time out of their busy schedule to talk to you! Time is limited and it’s always necessary to say “thank you” so that you’re leaving a good impression.


As a fellow job-hunter, the tips above have worked exceptionally well for me in terms of learning about the industry. While they may not have contributed significantly to my job search (given that offers are given mainly based on technical competency), they have helped me narrow down the types of jobs that I am interested in.

Happy job-hunting!

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