Whether you’re a recent graduate, looking to switch jobs or took a break and want to get back into the scene, these tips might make your employer prospecting phase easier.
Spend a week and make a list of companies you badly want to be a part of . The inspiration for this list may come from engineering blogs, news mentions, articles by the founders, just about anything. If you are getting truly desperate, maybe even some of the cringeworthy quora answers on company cultures. Anyway, keep the list small.
Do your research on the company. You don’t necessarily have to demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of their product or space. Show that you have put in your hours to get to know them better.
Make notes for:
Email the founder
Email the Founder/CXO. The irony is that you have a much higher response and turnaround rate when you mail the head directly than mailing the HR. HR personnel get 100s of mails a day, from within their companies, from outside. On top of that, they deal with various employee prospecting tools like HackerRank, Linkedin applications, AngelList applications, etc. You will be one among the 500 applicants.
To get emails, first google ‘[firstname]@[company].com’ and related combinations. If that doesn’t work, use Email Hunter or Clearbit. The free tiers for both these services will most likely be enough to get what you need.
Content Of the Mail
Experiment with unusual subject lines. For e.g. “do you want to hire me?”. Open rate = 250%!
Things to Avoid
“Your company is so good it is going to become 100x and I want to be standing beside you through this”
They will smell your bullshittery even before they open your mail.
“big data”, “machine learning”
Oh really? You built an artificially intelligent bot? Are you sure it’s not just a program with a bunch of nested ‘if-statements’? Link to projects and let it do the talking instead.
This one is more for the founders. You know who you are.
These guidelines will hopefully get you off onto a good start. Your objective should be to look for an employee/founder fit. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Founders know every single hire is important. Which means even if you’re looking for an entry level marketing executive position, following these steps will serve you better than applying through the traditional channels. No founder will think to himself “Look at this peasant who thinks he is important enough to mail me directly”.
Be thoughtful, don’t spray and pray. Personalize your email, show them that you handpicked them. You could potentially be emailing someone who you will work with for another decade.