Startups have a reputation for being chill places of ping pong tables and Prosecco Fridays, but we’ve gotta burst that bubble...
...Startups want the best people, people who know how to graft and who can think for themselves. Well, we both know you’re the sh*t. That’s why you’re here. But how do you tell a startup that? You can’t just kick the door in and throw your CV at them. So here are some pointers for getting your foot in the door, and showing the startup world why you’re the new hotness. 💅
1. Build a Network
The old saying of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ applies to most businesses in the modern world, and startups are not an exception. It’s not a matter of nepotism, more narrowing down a big market.
- Meetup.com has loads of resources for connecting with other people. Look for digital meetups in your industry! Or if you’ve got any mates that work for startups, They may know of openings in other companies or their own that aren’t being advertised yet.
- Have an online presence, share articles and blog about issues relevant to your industry. If you can establish your credentials, startups may reach out to you.
- The startup world has a lot of great newsletters such as Sifted and Seedtable which are packed with information about the industry centred around startups.
- Not to brag, but we think our job board is pretty great! Or you could check out sites like Angelist which is also designed for people looking to work at startups. We won’t mind 😉
2. Understand the business
Startups need their new employees to be able to hit the ground running. The best startups also appreciate people who can bring new ideas to the table, so don’t be afraid to really pick at the details.
- What does the business do? How does the business make money? Are they turning a profit right now, or are they reliant on investor capital? If you have an understanding of their business model, you’ll look much more invested in the development of the business. You can find these details on websites like Crunchbase, Angelist as well as the company’s own website.
- What about their values? Startups tend to wear their ideals on their sleeves, and they’ll take an interest in candidates who relate to these values. Apply to startups that have values that make you feel passionate and inspired to work for them- you’ll come across more authentically.
- Do they have any competitors, direct or otherwise? What do those competitors bring to the industry? Are there any improvements they could make? Competitors indicate a healthy ecosystem- but does the startup you’re applying to embrace that by innovating?
"Startups tend to wear their ideals on their sleeves, and they’ll take an interest in candidates who relate to these values."
3. Develop yourself
If you’re looking to work for a startup, odds are you’re the sort of person who relishes a challenge, and not the type to rest on your laurels. So, if you want to get noticed, this is something you should embrace.
- Firstly, have an elevator pitch for yourself. What do you specialise in, and what sets you apart from everyone else? Can you narrow that down to a single sentence?
- Don’t stop at your area of expertise, sales experience, growth skills, data analysis, and technical literacy are all in-demand skills at many startups regardless of industry. You don’t need to be an expert in these things, but a decent understanding will help.
- People who work at startups need to be more flexible and adaptable than those at more traditional businesses. Job descriptions tend to be much less strictly defined, and everyone will have to wear a number of hats. Don’t try to claim you can handle anything thrown at you if you have no basis for this, but indicate your willingness to think outside the box.
Hiring is a big deal for a startup, especially the little ones. You’re a big potential investment, so figure out what you bring to the table and how to make that come across.
Hey, don’t tell anyone, but we’re putting together a community of startups and people like you who want to work for them. Want access to hot tips about who’s hiring, and how to get them to notice you? You just gotta click the link below, and we’ll send you the deets. It’ll be our secret 🤫
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