How to Land a Dream Job at a Startup

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How to Land a Dream Job at a Startup

It’s January, a time of reflection and consideration of the forthcoming year. For some of us, that means we can have itchy feet, an eagerness to see where our passion could be better placed. Where rewards are also intrinsic and well, that yearning to be a part of something darn cool!

So, you may be getting tired of your corporate job or you’re equally looking to make that leap on the ladder and want to join a startup (or scale up). Probably because of its dynamic work environment, the mission they’re on, or because you love their product.

Many people looking to make this move may start by reading startup job boards and websites looking for the perfect role and then would submit their CV.

But hold on there.. that approach works well mostly for non-tech, non-startup companies antidepressant lexapro. Startup environments are fast-paced, a little bit of homework goes a long way before even starting to think about applying for that job.

Early stage startups like autonomous and talented doers, versatility and leadership go hand in. Everyone participates in all kinds of projects: all hands on deck is every day practice. So not only will a startup be looking for someone with a varied skillset, but also someone who can be a team player.

Let’s have a run through a couple of tips that could help in your search this year!

Be Passionate!

If you’re taking the recruiter path, they’ll ask you if you have ever worked in startup tech before. If yes, talk about what it was like! Especially talk about the painful parts: It demonstrates resilience and passion! Every startup needs people that know what it’s like to be on a startup team. If you haven’t worked for a startup before, retrace your experience and find examples of this. The “I just want something new” thing is NOT going to work.

You’ll need to make your interviewer understand what’s inside you, and that you’re ready to face every future challenge. Help your future team understand how you’re going to be able to join them and create value like nobody else can.

Be Human!

Sounds crazy, but it’s a huge one. Many startup companies hire based on attitudinal factors first and then shape the new recruit around the specific role. Startups both big and small are a long haul, yes they can be fun and rewarding. But it’s so important that a smaller team gels, and are aligned tightly toward a goal

If there’s one weak link in a startup chain it could spell disaster. so the founders or management will be very careful to analyse whether you could actually work together as people and if that extends to the wider team

The best advice is prepare for off-beat or unorthodox situations. As we know startups are dynamic environments you could be asked for anything spontaneously, like – to tell a joke, give a speech or discuss wider concepts. Whatever happens, it’ll be rewarding to you, even if it can feel strange at the time

Read.. Lots!

Every great startup today has a wide footprint on the web. Does the CEO write a blog? Does the CTO publish weekly in a magazine about a specific topic? Read EVERYTHING. You don’t have to be able to write a graduate thesis on their work, but you should be able to understand what they like and what they hate. Remember that most startups will have you meet the Founder/CEO/CTO before you are made an offer. You’ll probably directly interviewed by him/her.  Well, they’re all passionate and genuinely attracted by interesting people: get to know them a bit more by reading what they write, and it’ll be easier for you to establish a connection with them!

As a similar point if you don’t know the moving parts about the startup world, it’s moving parts, terms and own sub-culture. Definitely dive into the world of ReadWrite, Techcrunch, Wired, TNW and the like. It’s a good start!

Know the Product

If the startup you want to join has a product that is of interest to you or a family member or friend, you need to trial it or access it before meeting the team

Take some notes about the sign-up process and the overall user experience, what you like about it and what you feel like has to be improved.

Create your short list of things you’d do differently! All startups crave user feedback. If you show interest by actually trying the product and having some insights, that will stand out.

Be Flexible

Startups develop fast, and you must be able to adapt and be ready to wear multiple hats (especially for early stage startups!). The more flexible you are, the more options will be available for you! And don’t forget that you’ll need to be multitasking, work irregular hours and share the desk with an ever-growing team.

Barely a price to pay to be an integral part of something you believe in, right?

Attend Events: Go Networking!

You should start attending startups events now. First of all, because it’s fun: it’s always great to hear the story of a successful entrepreneur while you’re sipping a beer. This can give you a good insight on what it takes to be part of a winning startup. Showing your interest, meeting with other people that share your passions and having a good chat with them will make a really good impression of yourself and maybe help you out in your first interview.

You can meet a tonne of interesting and effective people whilst networking, it’s still a gold plan to assist in your own networking building

Who Knows Who?

If you’ve done your networking events, it’s time to follow up on email or Linkedin. You might be surprised about who people are connected to. Many times for startups, talent can be referred. If you line it up right you might be the one referred to the talent manager

Match the Culture

Remember the “it’s better to be over-dressed” advice? Forget that. If you’ve landed your interview, do your team research, so that you immediately look like you’ll be a great fit! Dress as if you’re already on the team. Any startup you’d want to work for is not going to hold it against you for not dressing up. They wouldn’t expect you to wear something to an interview that they wouldn’t wear themselves into work. Having said that, if you’re more comfortable dressing up a bit, go for it. Just leave the three-piece suit at home!

Show Interest, Ask “How and Why Did All of This Start?”

During your interview, you’ll have the opportunity to ask  questions; there isn’t a better one than “How did the company get started?” A great entrepreneur is always an amazing story-teller. Asking them to talk about the company will be like asking a mother about their child.

You’ll end up understanding more about the company hearing its story than by asking any other question!

How’s your startup journey so far? We want to know.. Share them in the comments!





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