Landing a job at a hot startup is notoriously difficult because as a startup they lack the time and the resources to give you the time and training you need to perform at your best. Instead, they want the finished product that can have an instant impact on their fortunes.
If you are looking to switch paths and join a hot startup, it's still possible. The National Center for Education Statistics revealed that another 1.6 million students graduate with a degree every spring. You are already up against some stiff competition.
In this guide, you are going to learn how you can go about landing a job at a hot startup.
Give Employers What They Want
Employers don't care if you have a degree. It's not your ticket to a better future. They want specific skills that they can't easily find elsewhere. Like a salesperson, you have to sell the advantages of hiring you. Why are you different from everyone else applying for the same job?
This should come to your head immediately and you should already have a proposition ready and waiting.
But if you are wondering what's popular right now, the answer is in STEM skills. Science, technology, engineering, and math are all in demand now. If you have skills in any of these categories, you already have a major advantage.
Get Online and Take the Initiative
There's no reason why you have to suddenly become a Twitter celebrity, but there are reasons why getting online and being active on social media can pay dividends. Here are some of the key reasons:
• Show them your skills. If you are applying for a marketing job, generating a big following demonstrates that you know how to market yourself first.
• Show how passionate you are about the company by connecting with them.
• Let companies find you. Many people have been headhunted on LinkedIn simply by staying active.
But keep in mind that whenever you make yourself visible on social media you should remain professional at all times. Don't do something stupid that will destroy your online reputation. The easiest way to do this is to create separate public and private accounts for your various target audiences.
Have the Soft Skills Your Employer Wants
Working in a startup is like working nowhere else. There are so many differences that it would be impossible to list them all here. Founders of startups are looking for certain skills that pertain specifically to startups. You need to make sure that you illustrate them.
The first thing you need is a lot of energy. Startups are bouncing around all the time as new things happen and tragedies hit. It's a rollercoaster ride and you are going to need to light up a room every time you enter it.
Next you need the ability to function under stress. Startups are unique in that this is the only business type that is permanently under threat from extinction. A lot of the time you will be desperately trying to meet deadlines. You need the ability to shoulder such pressure.
Finally, you have to be flexible. When running a startup, it's like you never have the resources you need to accomplish the task at hand. Founders want a flexible team that can fill vacant positions temporarily, when needed. Do you have the flexibility needed to take on multiple responsibilities?
Be Passionate about What the Company Does
Hot startups have a huge amount of expectation on their shoulders. They don't need and can't afford to have anyone there who doesn't want to be there. If you are here for the money, this isn't the job for you.
The company 1Face, released a statement about its hiring policies when it first opened its doors, "We never wanted anyone who didn't fully believe in what we were doing. Passion is sometimes the only thing that can drive you forward during difficult times."
How do you show your passion?
Research what the company actually does and take a look at its products long before you actually apply. Demonstrate that you have gone out of your way to get enthusiastic about what your desired startup does.
The nature of the startup means that you need good timing and more than a bit of luck to beat out the competition. But if you are smart about it and you know what your employer wants there's no reason why you can't get the job you want.
What are your top tips for approaching startups for a job?