Stop Relying on Job Boards — Do This Instead to 10x Your Chances of Landing Your First Data Science Job

Reza Fazeli
2 min readMar 23, 2022


Are you applying for data science and machine learning roles and not hearing back from companies?

In fact, 95% of your applications to job boards will go unnoticed.

On top of that, you have no control over the response time. It could take months before you start hearing back from employers.

Here is how you can gain more control over your job search and avoid shooting in the dark.

Send out cold emails and messages.

There is no downside to sending cold messages but there is a huge upside.

It can increase your response rate to 30%. Compare this to the 5% response rate from job boards and sending out cold messages becomes a no-brainer.

Send an email to someone who is in a role you’re interested in and ask for a quick chat with them. Prepare to ask questions that help you learn more about the role as well as the person’s experience in this role and at the company.

Create your role even if it doesn’t exist yet.

With smaller companies and startups you can reach out even if there is no relevant opening at the company.

You can message the CEO or the CTO in small companies (< 10 employees) and describe how you can help them leverage data to improve their product, processes, etc.

Read about the company and their product to understand what data they might be collecting and think about how you can add value to the company using this data. Come up with a few ideas and discuss them in your conversation with this person.

Chances are that they have been looking for someone with your capabilities but didn’t have the time or resources to look for the right candidate.

And now you’ve reached out!



Reza Fazeli

I write about building a daily coding habit 🛠 | learning in public 🎓 | breaking into tech 🚀 | need help? reach out! - ML @IBMWatson