Working within a start-up environment, a bad hire is a very expensive mistake. Not only in terms of finances, but in time and effort lost, and the distraction from getting things done. If you assume almost two months to interview, hire and start a new employee, and it takes three months to train and figure out you've made a mistake, the total cost is almost ten months to get back to where you were (that is being able to assess if you've made a mistake).
So for this post, I wanted to provide some feedback for anyone replying to a job ad. This of course is my own view and reflects my personal style when cycling through hundreds of emails and resumes.
When replying to a job posting (in no particular order):
- DO NOT simply attach your resume to a blank email. You'll be lucky if anyone opens it.
- Don't tell me why I must act now and how otherwise I would be missing on an opportunity (aren't you the one looking for me to hire you?)
- Keep the intro email short. If it's too long I will glaze over it or ignore it.
- There is no need to say how you feel you would be a perfect fit for [company] or a valuable asset. Chances are you don't know enough about [company] and their challenges to make this kind of statement.
- Make sure you itemize the qualification(s) that you have, paying particular attention to ones set out as requirements in the job posting. This demonstrates that you actually read the posting. If the job calls for Python and Django experience, don't go on about C++ and a dozen others. It's not that impressive.
- If you are a recruiter, DO NOT tell me that you have the 'perfect' candidate - unless you do. If you fail to deliver on that, you lose all credibility. I am yet to see this as being the case.
- If you follow-up via email after submitting your resume, please re-attach your resume. This is just for 'my' convenience so I don't have to go through my list of resumes to verify (in the case that I don't remember your name). I am more likely to read a follow-up anyway.
- Show some initiative. Do your research on the company, the people, the business area, the competition etc. If you can strike up some intelligent dialog, you've got a decent chance.
In summary, anyone interesting in working with Crowd Science, or any position where you have to get through me, all you need to do is make sure you can demonstrate the final point. It's really quite simple.