17 August 2020

10 Tips for Applying for a Remote Role at Float

10 Tips for Applying for a Remote Role at Float

If you’ve successfully applied for only a few jobs in your career, it’s easy to feel like the hiring process is a one-sided affair.

Before I joined a real estate company, I had no idea how agents sold properties. I assumed their only goal was to extract as much money from me as they could. In fact, most agents are less concerned about squeezing an extra $10K out of every person who walks through their door, and more focused on increasing their sales volume and building great relationships—which can often lead to future business together.

Since starting Float in 2012, I’ve reviewed thousands of applications, interviewed hundreds of candidates, and invited dozens of people to join our team. I can say with confidence that our hiring motivations are very much like those of a good real estate agent—we want to build prosperous, long-lasting relationships. Ensuring you have a great hiring experience is an important first step in that process.

Each role we advertise receives anywhere from 500 to 1,000 applicants. Our hiring team, which consists of myself, my co-founder Lars, our Operations Manager Georgie, and a Department Lead, review every application that comes in. Typically, only 20 to 40 make the shortlist, meaning that more than 95% never make it passed the first round! This is a terrible ratio of effort vs. reward and points to a process that is not well understood by applicants. With that in mind, here’s my best advice to help you improve your odds when applying for a job at Float.

1. Answer the questions

We don’t ask for lengthy, generic cover letters. Instead, we craft questions specific to the role. This is our first step in getting to know you, and it’s where we start our shortlist process. Take the time to answer these questions thoughtfully, and explain why you think the role is the right fit for you right now. Great candidates have read our blog, kicked off a free trial of Float, and understand our business model. Their answers excite us! Get this part right, and you’re already ahead of 50% of the pack.

2. Build your case

Include relevant links such as LinkedIn, Github, or your website. These all help paint a complete picture of you, faster. When your resume matches what you say on LinkedIn, it adds credibility to your story, and each point of credibility helps build your case. Aim to build a case that is so convincing, no judge would dare leave you off the shortlist.

3. Brevity is key

We only have a few seconds to assess if your application is worth investing our time in. Meaningless fluff like “To whom it may concern” or “This is the perfect role for me” get in the way of us making that assessment. Cut to the chase. As my business management teacher once told me, “If you’re baking me a chocolate chip muffin, pack it full of chocolate chips!”

4. Spelling mistakes are unacceptable

There’s simply no excuse for them. Use Grammarly or an automated spell-checker. Read your application aloud before submitting it. Get another pair of eyeballs on it if possible. Show it to a friend, a partner, a stranger on the internet, etc. Do not submit an application with spelling mistakes.

5. Don’t skirt the hiring process

If you think the role is a fit: Apply. Don’t contact our customer support team, sign up for a webinar to chat with our sales team, or direct message me on LinkedIn. All of these are common occurrences, and none have resulted in a hire. Why not? Because we have a system in place to manage the hiring process and ensure every application is reviewed fairly. Trying to circumvent the system is a waste of everyone’s time. Our message is always the same: Apply!

6. ...unless you know someone

Know somebody on our team? Reach out to them and let them know you’ve applied. A friendly recommendation goes a long way to establishing trust early on.

7. Craft your resume with what matters: Recent job titles, companies, durations, responsibilities, and achievements

Do not hide key information or dance around parts of your career you think might not be viewed favorably. If you had a short stint at a recent employer that didn’t work out, that’s ok, it happens. Did you do some contracting with a few clients to break things up? That’s fine too, but make it clear. And please keep your resume to recent experience. A high school achievement award you won twenty years ago is nice, but it’s not relevant to your fit with us today.

8. Leave out information that’s not important: Education, personal info, etc.

We’ve never hired a person based on their education, and prefer you leave out personal information like photos, age, and status. Our system doesn’t allow us to anonymize this information before we review a resume, and we aim to be as unbiased as possible. Your location is not essential either—we’re a fully remote team—though for some roles (like customer success), we do require team members to live within a specified time zone.

9. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel

The above information needs to be easy to find. Keep your resume in black and white, use only one font (Arial is perfectly fine), and a minimum 12 point size. Please keep it to two pages max. We’re not assessing you based on your design skills in Word.

10. Assess us too

We’ve been working hard to share our team, values, and vision, so potential applicants can get a better sense of what it might be like to work for us before they apply. We’re proud of the team we’ve built, and I wake up excited about the work ahead of us. However, we know that Float is not for everyone. Take the time to assess us before you apply, and decide whether we’re the right team for you.

Do we make the cut? If so, we can’t wait to read your application. We’re currently hiring for a Senior Product Manager, DevOps Engineer, and Operations Manager (Mat. Leave).