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This startup was founded by graduates from my university. A year ago, I applied for a Deep Learning internship, but they rejected my application saying I don't have enough practical experience. They said they would consider me for a full-time position when I got the required experience. I have worked hard for the past year and I think I now have enough experience. I mailed them my CV and cover letter 10 days ago.

One of the co-founders is friends with me on Facebook. My dilemma here is this: should I contact him on FB? Would this be appropriate?

  • I have never spoken to him. I was contacted by the other co-founder in the previous correspondence. My question is about the idea of messaging upper management directly and I'm also wondering how to initiate the conversation. – papabiceps Mar 17 '18 at 14:41
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    Related: How to re-apply for a position just a few months after not getting it the first time. If you have the contact details of the person you dealt with before, using that would probably be the best approach. – Dukeling Mar 17 '18 at 14:42
  • Networking is critical in a situation like this. If you knew Bill Gates would you attempt to get a job with Microsoft? I know I would. – Ramhound Mar 18 '18 at 6:12
  • @Ramhound, I think it's pretty dependent on the context of my relationship with Bill Gates. Yes, networking is critical, but there is still a boundary between social networking and professional networking, in my opinion at least. If I grew up in the same town as Bill Gates and played soccer with his kids, I wouldn't try to get a job from him - just comes across as tacky. If I interned on a project he oversaw and interfaced with him professionally, yes - fair game. It's not clear to me what papabiceps relationship with the founder is or which bucket it falls in to. – dwizum Mar 20 '18 at 13:29
  • I disagree. If I knew Bill Gates, wouldn’t think twice, but would expect the same from people who knew that guy who knew Bill Gates (provided I ended up being anyone); “Developers Developers Developers!” – Ramhound Mar 20 '18 at 13:38
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Contacting the company is a good idea. Things may have fallen through the cracks, in which you following up will help, or they may be on the fence about you, in which case you following up will also help.

Contacting upper management is more sensitive. How large is the company? For a small (<15 person) company, this is maybe a good idea; for a very large company, maybe less so. If you do contact them, make sure you indicate that you applied through the proper channels and are contacting them just to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks, as you weren't sure who is leading the search.

Contacting upper management through Facebook strikes me as unprofessional. Things may be different in a young, start-up culture though. If you go this route, I would be very brief and simply say that you sent in your application, haven't heard back yet, and hope to be able to meet with him soon.

  • I would combine this with @Dukeling's comment above. Contacting the company through the recruiting channel they have already established with you is a good idea, and the least likely to be perceived as unprofessional. – dwizum Mar 20 '18 at 13:25
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If he is your Friend on Facebook I don't see a problem. Just inform him you applied. Don't go into your experience or ask if he got your resume. "Heads up I mailed my resume to HR."

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If he was your LinkedIn contact, I'd say go for it as LinkedIn is a professional networking group. Unfortunately he's not, he's your Facebook "friend", and it doesn't sound like a very close friend at that. While of-course there are exceptions, I tend to think of Facebook for your personal life, and LinkedIn is for your professional life. I wouldn't mix work with pleasure. But, feel free to email him at his work email and ask for a status update if you have any sort of "in" with him, and hopefully he would recognize your name in his inbox and give you a serious inquiry though.

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