Avoid These Gobars When Applying To A Startup

In the past one year, we have seen over 1000 applications to PriceBaba.com via different sources. Here are a few very basic pointers for anyone applying for a job.
A lot of this is from a perspective of a startup and some of it would be more of our personal choice at PriceBaba, but I sincerely hope that putting this out there helps.
Email Screenshot
email 1
Angelist Screenshot
email 2

  1. When emailing your C.V. to someone, always mention what post are you applying for in the subject line. And please do not write ‘resume’ or ‘cv’ as your subject, at least my Gmail merges all emails with the same subject lines often.
  2. Write a good cover letter along with your C.V. Don’t copy paste one of those professionally written cover letters available online. Most companies can understand the difference between the two.
  3. Do not use abbreviations & SMS language in formal emails. That’s a very big annoyance when working with youngsters these days.
  4. Check for grammatical errors in your emails before sending. You may spell fresher as frasher, but we are more annoyed at the fact that you are an engineer and didn’t know how to run a spell check!
  5. Always use the ‘Reply to all’ option in emails so that you keep everyone on the other side in loop. That’s something we have now started to mention explicitly in our first email to candidates. However it is a little difficult for us to coordinate if you do not use Reply-to-all and that may also cause us to accidentally lose track of some applications.
  6. Address the person who’s replying to you with their name and you better spell their name correctly. Seriously!
  7. When applying for a job in any company, don’t apply for two different job posts at the same time. We are indeed humans and see these emails. Your chances of getting a reply goes down if you try and get into the company via applying for different positions.
  8. You may be eager to know the salary offered, but it is downright rude to mention your current CTC and expected CTC in that first email you send. Generally you should wait for the other end to evaluate your profile and get back with details. You can hold off the CTC question until a face to face meeting or subtly during a call.
  9. Don’t forget to attach your Resume when sending an email, and if you miss it, don’t send another email with the attachment and think that we will magically forget the previous email. It is okay to reply on that same thread and say, “oops, I missed my resume, here it is now”. Forgetting attachments is an industry wide accepted problem, but thinking that the folks at the other end are dumb and their only job is to deal with email overload of applicants is a bad idea.
  10. If you are applying via AngeList, do remember that we can see how many startups you are applying to (If you aren’t yet aware, Angelist is indeed a great resource). So if you say, ‘I would like to love work with you’ and I can see that you have emailed 40 other companies via Angel.co, I will appreciate your big heart and click reject.
  11. Do some research on the company, their history, look at what they do, ask questions if you don’t know. It is always good to see someone who knows us applying for a job. It shows a) you have basic intelligence to research and understand an internet entity b) commitment towards the job you are applying for.
  12. Don’t give up. Startups go through phases when they are desperately hiring, looking for specific talent, mass hiring and a lot of times when hiring is frozen. That is the nature of the business in early days. So if you get a reply saying we aren’t hiring, we don’t see a fit or don’t get a reply at all, try emailing a couple of months later. Or ask them when you can contact again. So in case you are looking out a couple of months down the line too, you may get through that startup.

So much for avoiding the wrong things when applying to a startup. Even a tiny startup like PriceBaba can get over 200 applications a month (that too without trying very hard). So you better make the job of the ones hiring easy by not doing a gobar when contacting them 🙂
I sure have missed a lot of things. Do add in comments below!
Ps: I do understand that the above list would help freshers the most. And the best part is, some of our best performers at PriceBaba are freshers. So we like to invest in your growth! Also: PriceBaba Is Hiring.
[About the author : Ankur is the co-founder of PriceBaba.com, a product research engine that let’s you find best prices for mobile phones. He loves sharing his opinions on Startups & Technology. You can talk to him on twitter @annkur.]


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