Cloudflare TV

Recruiting Corner

Presented by Todd Ciampa, Roshni Hundel, Jason Tanner
Originally aired on 

In this session you will learn from our recruiters regarding the application process at Cloudflare. This will be a high level panel discussion where one of us will be host asking the other two recruiters about best practices.


Transcript (Beta)

It is 11 30 so I wanted to welcome everybody who is joining us from all over the world potentially to the first episode of the Recruiting Corner.

My name is Todd Ciampa.

I'm a new member of the Cloudflare recruiting team having joined about two months ago and I'm joined with a couple of our other counterparts in the U.S.

and I'll let them introduce themselves now.

Roshni, tell us a little bit about yourself, how long you've been with Cloudflare and what parts of your organization you support from a recruiting perspective.

Yeah, so my name is Roshni Hundel and I've been at Cloudflare for around four and a half years now.

I'm a recruiter on the global recruiting team, started in San Francisco, helped the Singapore office grow and now I'm based in New York.

Currently I support the BDRs, the customer support team, special project and legal, have helped multiple teams across all the offices so jump in whenever necessary.

That is awesome. How much time did you spend in Singapore?

A year and a half and been in New York for almost two years now.

What a great experience and show some of the global mobility opportunities presented at Cloudflare.

Jason, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Yeah, thanks Todd. I definitely cannot follow up on the exciting career path that Roshni has had in her many international locations.

I'm based out of the San Francisco office and I support a variety of different business units.

The main four are product marketing, product management, which also includes product design, partnerships and then like Roshni, I kind of fill in here and there on some one-off roles in HR, the people team as well.

I've been here about two and a half years and it's been an awesome ride so far.

That's great, that's great and as the first recruiter hired in Austin, my responsibility is to really carry on the great work that Roshni and Jason and the rest of the team have done to build out the Austin presence even further and so I currently support our business and data analytics, sales, product strategy and engineering.

So as you can see, we all get have a pretty diverse set of experiences and things that we work on.

And so our first topic that we wanted to discuss is the best practices that candidates should follow as it relates to applying for a new career opportunity.

We think this is applicable not only if you want to work for Cloudflare but for any company in general.

So we're going to be kind of providing our point of view on some of those best practices that we think that can help you to land the job that you want.

To set a little bit of context of why we think this isn't so important, if you look at the data for a year to date in 2020 as well as 2019, less than one percent of the people that apply for an opportunity at Cloudflare get hired.

And so there's a ton of competition out there and as the Cloudflare brand continues to get more and more popular, that competition is going to only get more and more fierce.

And so we have some questions that we're going to go through that we thought were applicable and we are happy to answer any additional questions that we don't cover during this session.

So why don't we go ahead and get started and in true TV fashion, I'll get my cue card with my questions ready here.

So I wanted to start off with you Roshni to get your point of view.

What are some of the steps you think that a candidate should take when they see an opportunity on a third -party website like LinkedIn or Glassdoor?

What are some of the things that they should do to prepare to be a good applicant?

First and foremost, I would highly suggest research.

The roles are there but make sure you're researching the company, the position, look up the company further on LinkedIn, see how many people are at the company, look it up on Crunchbase, Google it, read the company blog, go through the website, even YouTube.

A lot of companies have videos on YouTube these days so definitely check that out.

I know that Glassdoor is a big, you know, people definitely check companies out on Glassdoor and that's definitely somewhere where you should go as well.

But from a recruiter's perspective, just know that it's not the end-all be-all for companies.

Remember that people usually only give ratings if they are dissatisfied.

So if you talk about a service like Yelp, you know, you're only going to provide a negative review while we, and you know, we just, Glassdoor is a great place to read about like work-life balance and people's experiences.

It's a good resource but it's not always the whole picture.

You know, we've owned our Glassdoor as well and we even had our head of people, Janet, responding to reviews directly for a while.

We're definitely very invested on what's said on there and we care about our candidate experience.

So make sure you're doing a full round of research across all. I totally agree.

Jason, is there anything that you would add? Roshni, you nailed it. I think, you know, we're in an age where, you know, if you asked someone 20 years ago how you would research for an interview or research for a company, there was much limited offering.

We're in a age of, you know, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, I mean, you name it.

There's probably 10 different places you can go find information but definitely the top three would be LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and I'd say TechCrunch or an industry-type publication.

I would also check out meetups and conferences and join relevant meetup groups.

See if the company is hosting any meetups themselves that can help you network and find the right people in the company that you're interested in.

I think that's a great call and, you know, something that I would add to take it even a step further is that, you know, people hire people, right?

And if you can discover that there are people that you either used to work with or maybe people that are connected to people that you work with, kind of making those connections on LinkedIn and doing that kind of research to learn from those folks are other great things that could definitely help as well.

And so, as it relates to that, you know, marketability and thinking about your personal brand are things that are pretty important as well.

So, what are some things that you think that candidates can do to assure that they are marketing themselves in a great way?

Jason, what do you think? Sorry about that, I was on mute.

So, you know, I think marketability goes a long way now and, you know, there is a few different things that, you know, we look at as recruiters, you know, and one thing that we like to say is, you know, just take a look at what maybe your online brand or online presence is.

Everybody makes transitions.

So, when you're in high school, you have a different brand. In college, you have a different brand.

Then when you start, you know, a career search, you have a different brand.

So, you know, just make sure that the things that you're posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, you know, you don't want to have anything that's going to be an outlier or anything that, you know, possibly a recruiter, hiring manager, or something in a background check could pull up.

So, just keep it clean and, you know, just make sure that you're keeping your image professional and you don't want anything to jeopardize, you know, if you find your dream job, you wouldn't want your dream job taken away because of something you posted, you know, a year ago when you were out with friends.

So, yeah, just keep it professional as you can.

Awesome. Roshani, anything to add? Yeah, I mean, as Jason said, make sure you clean up your social media.

It doesn't have to be sanitized completely, but be aware of the narrative it creates.

You know, it's not huge in tech, in the tech world, but it's not overly considered.

However, if you're applying to roles in banking or legal or education, law and government, they're definitely going to do a decent scrub of your social media.

So, always keep that in the mind.

Yeah, no, I totally agree. And as it relates to LinkedIn, I think other things that you can really do is making sure that it is completely and totally up to date.

This is an opportunity to get those recommendations from past peers, managers, customers.

People put a lot of stock, it's similar to reviews, if you were to buy something on Amazon.

So, the more people are saying great things about your work products, the higher probability that that's going to be an interesting thing to that company that you're applying for.

And so, as we get into thinking about how you want to apply, I mean, resume writing is always a really big and interesting topic.

And so, what are some things, Roshni, as it relates to writing a good resume that you think things that recruiters and both hiring managers are looking for?

Well, I want to really get started with a cover letter. Why or why not have a cover letter?

It's a debatable question, even amongst us as peers. Some teams read them, other teams don't.

It depends also on the level of the role that you're applying to.

So, they're more read if you're applying to a more senior position.

But if you are providing the cover letter, make sure you proofread it, make sure it's addressed to the right company.

You don't want the wrong company name in there, which we often see.

So, we know you're using a template. You know, make sure you're explaining why you want to work for this company or why you want this role.

Unless it states in the JD that it's totally required to have a cover letter, it's not always necessary.

We don't always necessarily look at them either.

But if you are providing it, make sure it is clear, concise, you know, addressed correctly and gets to the point of why you want that job.

That's awesome. Jason, tell us a little bit more about some tips and tricks that you would advise a candidate related to writing a good resume.

Yeah, so, you know, just like Roshni said, the biggest things that you can do with your resume, just kind of think of it as if you're writing an essay and turning it in.

Get a couple people to proofread it.

I like to get people that are totally outside of my industry to read it, just to have a fresh set of eyes.

But then, of course, you want people, your peers.

So, maybe ask one of your peers that's in the same role as you. And then, maybe ask a former manager or, you know, mentor.

It's great to get feedback from all different sources.

And then, yeah, just to touch on, you know, the cover letter piece.

You know, there's going to be some roles that will explicitly ask for a cover letter.

The reason for that is maybe they need to see your writing content or a sample of your writing.

There's also certain industries where it's very common as well to have cover letters.

You know, as recruiters, I would say if I'm on the fence with a candidate and I'm not sure if their experience is the right match, if there is a cover letter, I will see if the cover letter speaks to anything not on their resume, maybe volunteer work, something like that.

So, you know, even though cover letters aren't widely used, they can definitely be used for certain positions and even to maybe help a candidate get across, you know, a viewing of one higher manager recruiter.

Okay, and I'll throw this out to either one of you. What about length of resume?

What are your thoughts on that? I would definitely try to keep it to one page, and if absolutely necessary and your experience requires it, two pages.

List your accomplishments, everyday duties, start with a bullet, use those action words.

You know, there's a lot of ways to find a variety of them. Google for them if you need to.

Pinterest has a lot of pins that even suggest different action words you can use on resumes.

You know, if it makes sense to do so, if you're totally changing your career, tailor your resume and make sure it aligns to the position and the requirements and responsibilities that the job description is looking for.

So, for an example, like if I, as a recruiter, was to apply to another recruiting job, I wouldn't change my resume very much, but if I was to apply to, say, an executive admin role and I wanted a career change, I would definitely change my resume up to kind of cater to that job description and showcase how my skill sets are transferable to maybe being an EA in the future.

Makes sense, makes sense. Jason, on the same subject, do you ever see people include, like, personal information about themselves that potentially could actually put them in a position that it would negatively impact their candidacy?

Yeah, you know, and I think we've seen resumes evolve, and I think internationally, different countries and different, you know, international guidelines exist.

I think it's very common outside of the U.S. to have a picture on someone's CV or resume, whereas in the U .S., we kind of don't look for that.

I think putting in sensitive slash personal information, it's not really necessary, you know, to be honest, because we're looking to find the candidate that has the best experience on their resume, and then if they have a cover letter kind of earlier, just explain who they are, like a brief snapshot of, you know, what they've done, why they want to, you know, work for this company or work for, you know, this position.

So I would say just, you know, not divulging too much personal information and kind of keeping it, you know, professional in at least the early stages of your interview process.

Yeah, no, I totally agree, right? It's all about your work experience, and so really sticking to that relevance, I think, is important, and, you know, all of us actually are just stepping out of some awesome training that we're having right now at Cloudflare as it is, that everybody does have those, right?

And mindful of those biases are critical, but they do come up sometimes and interfere with candidates and how they might represent themselves.

So including things like your birthday, or maybe your marital status, or if you are somebody who has a lot of experience, you know, listing all of your experience for the last 30 or 40 years, or even the year you graduated from, unfortunately could put you in a position that ages them, right?

Or things of that nature, and so really kind of sticking to the things that are really relevant, I think, are things that I would really think about as well.

So good, good stuff on that, as well as on the cover letter.

I would also mention they probably include, like, links to showcase your work, you know, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Dribbble.

If you have a portfolio, make sure you're providing the link to how to access that online, so hiring managers and recruiters can check that out as well.

But yeah, I totally agree with you, Todd.

Just keep, you know, any personal information off your resume, for sure.

Just more skill set related is what's required. And that's a good point, Roshni, about each industry and each kind of department has kind of expected norms.

So, you know, portfolios for designers, maybe some content, some writing content for marketing or PR.

So any of those things, if a candidate wants to add an attachment with their resume that, or cover letter that has, like, some content that they've written, as long as it's not, you know, copyrighted from somewhere, and they're able, and it's their own content, and it shows a sample of their work, that's very much something that hire managers look for, is what does this person's experience, and what does their actual content look like, and that can help them, too.

Yeah, and totally, on the engineering and tech side, right, being able to showcase your coding and abilities and design and all of that, right, there's GitHub, there's Stack Overflow, and I'll never forget, you know, several years ago, I was working with a hiring manager that had a really great analogy.

He's like, if I was going to hire a juggler, I'd want to see him juggle. And so if I'm hiring software engineers, I want to be able to see their product and see their coding abilities, and so by giving that information, it just only increases the likelihood of you moving forward in the process.

So as we talked about, there's a ton of competition, a lot of companies, and so one of the things that I think is really important are how you might stand out from the crowd.

So Jason, what can a candidate do to really help them stand out or increase their chances of getting an interview?

Yeah, so that's a really good question, Todd. I think, as we all know, especially just within the last three or four months since COVID, there's been a lot of, there's been an increase in candidates looking for work either proactively or reactively if they're caught in a reduction in force or layoff.

What I recommend, and I think you guys would agree with me, use the tools that are out there to your best advantage.

So if you are on LinkedIn and you see a posting for Cloudflare for an account executive, it may say who the posting, the person who posted that job is.

It may have the recruiter's name attached to it, or it may have someone at Cloudflare specifically, like one of our operations managers.

If you can actually see someone's contact that you know works at the company, it's okay to send them a message or at least try to reach out and just stand out and say, hey, I did apply to the role on your website, but I think that's the big thing I will say.

The biggest thing any candidate can do is apply to the job directly because then we can go into our tracking system and our applicant system and send it directly to hire managers for feedback, which is critical.

So once you have applied to the role, it's more than okay to try to reach out to someone at the company you either know personally, that would be the first step.

And then if you don't know anybody personally, maybe a second or third degree connection that would be willing to, you know, maybe get your resume viewed from someone in recruiting or the hiring team.

So yeah, LinkedIn, you can kind of find someone who works for the company or even the job poster.

And then, you know, you can also just kind of see if there's any meetups that are happening in the office.

For example, Cloudflare does a really good job of hosting meetups from many different organizations, product marketing organizations, product management, engineering, sales, you know, you name it, we have meetups in our San Francisco and Austin offices.

Go to one of the meetups and you might be able to talk to a hiring manager, a recruiter or someone that works at Cloudflare.

Excellent. And as we all know, we don't have meetups going on at this time.

And we don't know what that might look like in a few months if we're going to be doing them virtually or through Cloudflare TV.

But I totally agree, right? Finding those connections with people, those common interests can only really help to accelerate your opportunities to get an interview.

Roshani, is there anything else that you would add there?

Yeah, I mean, I would highly recommend to tune in to these Cloudflare TV sessions.

They are our new meetups. And so, you know, if you're interested in some sort of engineering role, see if one of those hiring managers is doing a session and tune into it, hear it, listen to it.

Again, this goes back to the research part.

The more you're educated on the company and the role, the more your chances are higher that you'll get selected for an interview.

So, you know, once you do get an interview and you can relate back and say, hey, I watched that Cloudflare TV session.

And, you know, I heard that engineering manager talk about this product.

And that will really impress the interview panel. And it shows that you're engaged and you're actually in tune with the company and that you want to learn more about what we do.

I cannot stress enough how much research is important.

It's like, do your homework, like put a website on Cloudflare, use our product, you know, take those steps to actually understand what the ins and outs of our product are, what our customers are feeling, what our engineering teams have to deal with and create internally.

Again, these are all things that hiring managers look for.

So. Roshni, that is such an awesome answer, you know, and it really aligns with the cultural values of curiosity that is so inherent in everybody that works at Cloudflare.

I love that. Now, this is a hot, interesting topic that we talk about within the recruiting ranks all the time.

So I know that we're going to have some strong opinions on that and keep in mind that they are just opinions.

And we want to do this in the way of helping you to be successful.

But do either of you see any risks to applying for several jobs across several different parts of the Cloudflare organization?

And talk a little bit about your feelings on that.

Roshni? Yeah, I would say don't apply for multiple roles within a company. I know like if you're new to the working, you know, you're new to working and if you're a new college grad, you might be eager and you want to apply to multiple roles.

This makes you look unfocused and desperate in your search and unclear in what you want your career direction to be.

So if you're applying for a few different roles and you feel like you're a generalist and a lot of a lot of the roles align to what your experience is, then try to keep them in the same department at least.

Don't span across different departments. Again, internally on our APS, we can actually see all the roles you've applied to.

It aggregates everything together.

And so when we see a person that's applied to like 15 plus jobs, we usually decline you because it doesn't seem like you know what you want to do.

So yeah, I mean, we're very, you know, empathetic and we know that candidates are curious about our unique positions.

But maybe it would be better if you just send an email to our careers at Alias and just attach your resume and say, hey, I'm not certain which role would be a great fit right now, but I'm definitely interested in working for your company.

That, you know, that email goes to all the recruiters and one of them will pick it up if they think you're a good fit.

That's awesome.

That's awesome. Live TV, some of you might have noticed a member of the team, Greg has showed.

So we might go ahead and include him in and get his perspective as well.

But Jason, is there anything else that you would add to what Roshni just said?

Yeah, no, Roshni, you did a great job. Again, I can't stress this enough.

It's, if you just graduated college and you got a degree in business, you can probably apply to 20 different openings in 20 different departments, right?

It's a very general degree. That was me. I graduated with a business degree with no concentration.

So for me, I had to figure out what I wanted to do. I got an internship that helped a little bit, but long story short, if you know that you want to work in marketing, but you just don't know what role you want to work for.

And there's two or three, you know, entry -level jobs open that are different, but they're all in the marketing department.

That's okay. Because you have a business administration degree.

Maybe marketing was something you were focused in or you're passionate about.

That's okay to apply to two or three jobs within the marketing group.

But just try to stay within one department because that will show that you're very serious about that department and that type of work that you want to get into.

I'd also say, just be organized in your search, you know, if you're, and when applying, create your own Google doc and make sure you're listing the jobs you've applied to.

Don't reapply to the same role 10 times. It's not a good look. Agreed. Agreed.

Well, this has been awesome. And so what I wanted to do real quick is do a quick recap.

Roshni and Jason, help me out.

Are we able to see this screen? Yeah, we see your screen.

Okay. I didn't want to do that. So let's go ahead and recap. Yeah, it's not showing the slide, Todd.

It's a beautiful backdrop of an ocean and maybe a volcano, which is cool.

It fits in with Gregory's background. I think you might have to...

Let me try this one more time here. Let's see if this works. There we go.

Awesome. Perfect. Let's go ahead and kind of recap. Roshni. Yeah. So make sure you're doing your research, as we've already stated, plenty.

Make sure you're focusing on your personal brand and marketability, you know, all that social media, those LinkedIn profiles, keep them up to date, clean anything off that you wouldn't want, you know, people to notice or see.

And definitely leverage your network, make those connections, reach out to people you went to school with, you previously worked with, you know, ask people questions that work at the company right now.

You can connect with people at the company. If they accept, then just, you know, instead of saying, hey, I want to apply to this job, you could even ask, like, how's your role?

Can you tell me a little bit more? Can I set up a exploratory conversation to understand what it's like to work at Cloudflare?

All of those things are really important.

Absolutely. And so cover letters, right? What we've learned here today is that with over 100,000 applicants on an annual basis, the likelihood of it being read every single time might be a little bit on the low side.

But that being said, we don't want to discourage people from writing cover letters in the event that you are going to provide one, be succinct, be specific to the company, definitely tailor that cover letter so that it highlights why you are qualified for the position, who you may know.

If, for instance, if you're an out-of-state candidate and you're looking to relocate to Austin, you know, state that in there too.

And once again, make sure you don't use a template.

In the event that you do use a template, make sure that you remove the previous company name, because I think all of us have had tons of experience seeing X company versus the company they're applying for, and that's definitely not a great way to represent yourself.

Same kind of things apply to the resume.

You want to make sure that it's concise, that it's proofread, that you're using really solid action words that describe what you accomplished, what you developed, what that impact was, and why this is going to be transferable to the new opportunity that you're looking into.

Jason, can you bring us home on the over -applying?

Sure thing. So, yeah, as we talked about, and I know this was the most recent thing we talked about, so it's fresh.

You know, as you can understand, in the age where we get hundreds or thousands of resumes per job opening, it's super critical that you apply to the role that you are most passionate about and you feel that you're most qualified for.

When I'm talking to a candidate that says, hey, I actually am interested in three different roles at Cloudflare, and I ask them, you know, tell me more, and they say, well, I actually want to work for marketing, sales, or for business operations, I try to steer that person into their number one, and number two, and then, if necessary, number three choice, because their background is probably going to be a little bit more aligned to one role over the other.

So, just try to apply to the jobs that you are most passionate about and you're most qualified for, and then you can definitely move to your secondary or, you know, tertiary options, you know, if that first opportunity doesn't work out.

And, you know, we want to find the best role for you because you'll be the most happy in a job that you are most excited, most passionate about.

Excellent. Awesome.

Well, we wanted to thank everybody for joining the first episode of the Recruiting Corner and wanted to provide a little bit more information about what you can expect going forward because we are interested in having sessions on a weekly basis, and we are a global company, right?

So, we want to be able to provide similar versions of this content that is regionally relative, and so be on the lookout for versions of this led by our team in EMEA, as well as APAC.

Following that, the next step, once you apply for a position, we want to help you prepare for a successful interview and the things that you should be thinking about and doing ahead of it, some similar themes that Roshni hit on in terms of the research, but that research will really be specific to acing an interview and getting that job.

And then I think another thing that we're super excited about is getting more of the public in front of our hiring managers so that they can talk specifically about what it's like to work on their team, the kind of challenges that they're helping to solve on behalf of Cloudflare, so you can get an idea of their perspective on resume writing and how to successfully interview.

So, those will be some additional content coming out related to every part of the organization.

And this is our email, so recruiting -corner at

There are additional topics that you'd be interested in hearing about from the recruiting team at Cloudflare.

Tell us about it. So, thank you so much for everybody joining. We're out of time.

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Recruiting Corner
Join Cloudflare's global Recruiting team as they discuss our open roles and company culture, while helping prospective employees put their best applications forward.
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