• Sridhar Rajendran

Day 21 — Changing my pitch to HR

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

Playing pied piper with staffing recruiters

Image credit: Pexels

My standard modus operandi for job hunting is relying on LinkedIn job board and reaching out to recruiters through the platform. For the occasional friend referral, I would send a mail to the concerned person. The response rate was abysmal. Once I improved my resume, things started to get better. At least people were letting me if I qualified for the role.


One of the oft-ignored communication mediums is e-mail. Despite the growth of social media platforms, marketers swear by the efficacy of a well-written email. While many profess email is dead, it is far from the truth. Even though I was aware of this fact, I did not utilise this earlier. Enter Clearbit.


Clearbit is a public database of email addresses of employees in almost in every damn company. I installed the Clearbit Connect extension for Gmail and it was networking on steroids. Earlier after applying for a job on LinkedIn, I would send an InMail or a connection request to the job poster. Almost 100% they never respond. Even if they accept the connection request, they never respond to messages asking about the status of the application. This used to piss me off incredibly but like all things in life, I grew accustomed to it.

Getting the attention of a staffing recruiter for 30 seconds is tougher than a 2-year-old in a playground. Ouch! No hard feelings peeps. I know that some of you actually are busy. Rather than wasting my time in LinkedIn, I started tracking down the email address of the job poster through Clearbit and sent them a mail stating the job posting and my desire to apply for it along with my resume and portfolio.


The response rate was quite better. People started responding faster. I began to understand the world of staffing. They spend a lot of time reviewing multiple applications per day leading to mental fatigue. And if my application ends up 30 seconds before lunch, most probably I will not make the cut. In UX, we use repetition and consistency to make a user feel comfortable with the interface. I did the same with my application.


The percentage of candidates who would track down a recruiter and send a follow-up mail after applying for a job through a job portal is bleak. Even if they looked at my resume earlier and decided not to go ahead, I get another chance at the lottery. While a person may not remember the specifics of a resume, the human brain registers the layout. So the mere act of looking at the same layout, font, and colours used in a resume has a higher chance of recall.


Combine this with a well-written email and I assure you, my friends, you will be heard. This is a sample email I sent to one of the companies. A quick introduction where I came to know across the job opening. A few lines about my understanding of the company and why I would like to work there. I added a line evoking nostalgia about the place where the company is located. Even though I do not know this person, I am trying to establish a common bond. Hey, we are all brothers and sisters. And finally my resume and portfolio for a quick reference.

Email to recruiter

Just because you are cold calling doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be personal. So if you are not having any luck getting the attention of recruiters, try this approach and let me know how it works.