I never hire breaded fish sticks. So stop introducing yourself as such.

For the past few years, I have been receiving a lot of emails, composed of a cover letter (more or less inspired by the first page of Google) and a run-of-the-mill resume. Their goal is to apply for an internship or a job. Just to be transparent, this is what I (helped by the good ol’ atext) have answered to these emails:

Hello,
There are currently no open position for this job at Clever Cloud.
Regards,
NB: This a semi-automatic reply.
We receive this type of emails several times a day. A run-of-the-mill resume + a typical cover letter (probably googled). They are sad to the bone and we receive thousands of them. In our recruiters’ head several questions remain: Why does he/she want to work for us? In what way is my company special to him/her? Is she/he enthusiastic to work with us? Who is she/he? A properly written, mature and targeted email with an online resume, a LinkedIn profile, a Twitter or a Github account… this is how you can get my attention.
But couldn’t we, at least, meet?
I would be delighted to, but I do not have time to receive everybody. If so, I would only be doing that. You have to stand out to stimulate my curiosity.
NB2: These are a few free tips from my recruiter experience, not an invitation to answer them, and you maybe not concerned about that ;-)
Have a good day.

For those who would find me tough with my semi-automatic email reply: at least I reply and explain why it is a no. Most of the time, companies do not even bother to reply. My email is semi-automatic because it fits the applicant’s involvement : a “breaded fish stick resume and cover letter” (an expression of the great Vincent ROSTAING). I reply fish sticks sauce. However, with “real” emails, even to say no, I personally reply and concretely explain why.
Which brings me to one great piece of advice for anyone looking for a job in my industry: Forget that YOU are looking for a job and explain me why I am looking for you. Tell me what you can do with me and show me that this is not a bundled email. You have to put yourself as if you were the recruiter, who does not try to give you a job, but who is looking for talents to complete his team.

The cover letter is a very outdated practice, it comes from the time when paper was THE way. When you send an email, your email has to be the cover letter and needs to motivate the recruiter to meet you, not lists your motivations to work. This is the only goal: set up a meeting or a video call, not the collaboration in itself.

A good meeting request email does not include any attachment (people hate attachments), but it must contain:

  • Explanations on why you want to work for Clever Cloud, and only for Clever Cloud, what stimulates your interest at Clever Cloud as a company and as a project.
  • What you bring, in terms of both skills and passions, and want to put at our disposal. And by that, I do not mean “become a developer within your company”, but “I want to work on low-level integration tools in Rust” or “The automated deployment approach you offer would have been a real plus in my previous missions, I would like to make a demo within the IT services” or “I would like to advocate your solutions in the Ruby and Node ecosystems in Northern Europe”… In short, what is your project with us?
  • Also a hint that proves that you follow us: a suggestion on a conference video or a blog post, a bug reported on the product. Once, I received an email from a guy who wanted a marketing internship, with 3 paragraphs that listed all of our communication errors and how he would have done it. Well, I hired him.
  • Finally, a link: Github, LinkedIn, Twitter, blog, Medium, Youtube, Slideshare…

And if you do not receive a reply, follow-up nicely, people are often overwhelmed. If you really want to work in a specific company, don’t take “no reply” for a reply, insist. It proves your motivation and it educates recruiters to systematically reply.

And above all, if you are not hired, it does not mean that you are bad, lame or whatever. It means that you do not match the needs. Recruitment is the art of finding a good match between talent needs in a team and your skills and aspirations. I could receive the best email from the best acoustic engineer on the market, I would not recruit him because I would not know what to do with him. It’s not that caricatural but it does happen. Don’t disguise yourself, it’s a bad idea, you should find the perfect job for you instead.

I just hope these advices will help some people to find a job or internship.

And if, helping developers to save time and work more efficiently is your passion in life, you can send an email to job@clever-cloud.com .

Thanks to Yoann Grange (thanks for your reactivity), MarcAntoine Perennou, Alexandre Berthaud, Clement Nivolle and Vincent ROSTAING for their help.

And thanks again to Yoann Grange who translated the French post to English.