10 Tips on How to Get Hired at a Startup

14 Jan 2016

 It is a good idea to work at a startup before you begin founding one of your own. Although not necessary to work for one, working at a startup will give you a deep insightful view on what it takes to build and scale a startup at various stages. It will also give you sense of whether you are cut out for the startup life or not. Here are some ways on how you can get hired at a startup:

  1. Be flexible

No matter what your supposed job title is at a startup, as the company grows, or as demands change, your role will shift. You have to show that you’re flexible enough to adapt to the fast changing startup environment.

  1. Build your network

A lot of startups hire by recommendations and referrals, so it is important to build your network as soon as you can. Meet-ups, networking events, hackathons, conferences etc. are great ways to meet people. Do be shy to reach out to people you know who have worked at a startup or the ones who have these connections that you could get introduced to.

  1. Stay informed

Stay up to date on what is happening in the startup world. This will help you come across as a knowledgeable person who has a keen interest in the industry. You can stay informed by reading all the startup news you can, you can do this by following the many media sources available on the web.

  1. Show that you are open to challenges

Optimism and energy are very pleasing personality traits. They also show that you are open to tackling new challenges.

  1. Tweak your resume accordingly

Usually startups look for what you can offer beyond your resume; what your passionate about and what kind of achievements you have made in the past. Generally, traits such as a hands-on approach, driven mentality, creative mind or great work ethic should be evident in your resume. Also, it helps a lot if you have some previous startup experience.

  1. Research the startup and the industry thoroughly

Show that you are interested and aware about the current environment. Be up to date with the startups current scenario, products, services and funding news. When you have done your homework you will know how you can provide value to the startup

  1. Answer interview questions confidently

Think about examples in the past where you have successfully handed crises, and how you have demonstrated leadership skills, or working under pressure.

  1. Try the product or service

If you can, try the product or service of the startup. You will know how you perceive it and whether you would want to work for the company that builds a product you/service you love. Also, in an interview you need to show that you really understand what the company does.

  1. Follow funding.

If you are keeping track of startup news, you will know which startups have raised funding. If a startup has raised funding, chances are, they will be hiring. Apply to those startups.

  1. Constantly keep updating your skills

Spend some time enhancing your skills. The more you can bring to the table the better. Whether, it is improving your communication or writing skills or learning a whole new skill like coding, it will always be beneficial both for your personal and professional growth.

The last and most important this to know is if there is a startup you are interested in, apply irrespective of whether they are hiring or not. At the very least, ask for an informational interview. Find out what they look for in candidates. If you are skilled enough and can show that you will add value to the startup, chances are they will be willing to create a position for you.

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