Getting your first internship in tech

Recap: Tips for sending cold emails to startups

  1. Communicate how you can add value to their startup at this stage. Nobody wants to babysit an intern for three months. Everyone wants a talented person to take stuff off their plate. Always strive to be the latter. I suppose that’s career advice, too.
  2. Explain why you’re interested in their startup, specifically. Think product, market, team, traction, etc.
  3. Keep it concise and easy to read. If you’re writing long paragraphs, consider whether you can turn them into bullet points. I like to write two or three short paragraphs, one longer paragraph about my background and my interest in startups, and 5–6 bullet points about things I can help with during my internship.
  4. Go for it. The worst thing they will do is delete your email. Cold emails are the ultimate embodiment of action with asymmetric upside. The only downside is that you might waste some time writing the email. The upside can be life-changing. Email someone who seems like they would never answer, they might surprise you. Always be ambitious.
  5. If you’re passionate about something, let that shine through in your email, but keep your responses short, simple, and sweet

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