Cold emails + Visa Sponsors Weekly

Visa sponsorship via cold emails

I've written before about ways to find a job overseas (with visa sponsorship) and how I managed to get multiple offers while living in Brazil and applying online, in two different times of my career.

Today, let's dig down into one of the main channels for that: Sending out "cold emails", or, in other words, contacting people who don't know you, via email.

Many innovative communication channels come and go - Skype, Linkedin, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc. There's no universal one in this list where you're sure to find everyone you would like to contact.

On the other hand, email has been stable for a long time, and it's practically impossible that someone from the company you want to work abroad, won't have an email address.

And here's one thing a lot of people underestimate: Individuals who built successful things and became an inspiration for everyone else are usually really good at managing their emails and replying to relevant messages. So there's a good chance they will get back to you.

Sending out cold emails has been a booster to my career. I've used it to get a paid traineeship abroad when I was in uni, to find jobs I wanted and to help me build startups. And even when I'm curious about a subject, I use it to gain new insights - Recently, I've exchanged a couple of emails with Patrick Collison with recommendations around Economics and History.

So, here's a list of four rules I try to follow when writing such emails.

  1. Respect their time.

    Your email should be short and intriguing. Remember, the receiver is busy and have very few chances a week to pay attention to cold emails. If it's too long to read, it will likely be ignored.

  2. Be personal.

    Your biggest job is to curate a list of people you would like to contact. You're better off investing the time to write strong custom messages to a couple of people than copying and pasting a generic one to multiple recipients.

    Once you have the list, do some research about each person or about the company they work for. Find something they've done/written which interests you and use that. Example:

    Hi Gracie - I was reading your blog post about the coronavirus outbreak and I'm curious about the data you shared about public hospitals in Japan. I've spent the last two days trying to collect similar information in India.

  3. Demonstrate why they should pay attention to you.

    Be concise and passionate to explain who you are and how your message can be relevant to the receiver.

    If you have friends/colleagues in common, start with that. But most likely, you will be applying for jobs in countries you don't know a lot of people, so the best way is actually to share a link about something strong you've done - Something like a blog post, tweet, side-project URL, Github profile or your latest paper. Example:

    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I went through all your posts about data collection and visualisation. Your focus on pairing your current work to things the world urgently needs is exactly what I'm aspiring to do. I just wrote about this and how it's critical to our industry (link).

  4. Have a specific request.

    Finally, the receiver should finish reading your email knowing precisely what to say so they can click "reply" right away. You should aim to make a single and straightforward request.

    Avoid generic things like "I need advice", "Can you help me with my dream of…", etc. This is too complicated and specific to your situation so that it will make the receiver's work harder.

    Prioritise more practical things. Think of this first contact as a first step. If you get a reply, then you can escalate from there.

    General ideas include asking them to share your blog post on Linkedin if they liked it, or a simple book recommendation for a specific topic of shared interests.

    For the goal of actually getting a job overseas, it's better to be more direct about your skills and your objective. Example:

    I really want to work with you and your team. My apologies if this is not the best time for hiring, but I'm patient and would like to start a conversation and wait for an opportunity.

    I'm confident I could be a great fit. I would be happy to be helpful over e-mail first. Is there any upcoming article that I can help creating the graphs?

I've broken some of these rules in a few situations and still got a response, so make a decision case by case.

Next week I will share full examples of cold emails sent to companies in the U.S., Germany and Australia. Make sure to sign-up to become a paying subscriber to get them.

Visa Sponsors Weekly

And here's the list of the latest companies I found, offering visa sponsorship:

  • HeartBug | Australia | Front-end developer.

  • OpenFleet | Canada | Product owner.

  • Lynceus | France | Machine learning intern.

  • HelloFresh | Germany | Backend engineer.

  • LINE Fukuoka| Japan | Software engineer

  • ZIVVER | Netherlands | Creative lead. Technical consultant. Software developers.

  • Tessian | UK | Designers. Engineers.

  • YipitData | USA | Business development. Sales.

  • ConsultAdd | USA | DevOps engineer. Python developer.

    … view the full list (subscribers only).