How To Get A Job At A Startup

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Are you hungry for a career at a startup? Is it your goal to thrive in the entrepreneurial world? Check out our tips to help you find your startup dream job.

 How to Get a Job at a Startup – 5 Tips From Experienced Startup People

You want to get first hand tips about how to get a job in a startup from the experts? I’ve got something for you! Right in the heart of the London startup scene, at Campus London, there was an exciting event: a panel discussion about ‚How to get a job in a startup’. The four panelists were experienced working in startups and told us listeners what great companies are looking for. I want to share with you the 5 things that sticked with me. You can find out more about the event and the panelists here.

How could you land your dream job in a startup – 5 key takeaways from the panel:

1. You’ve got great skills but don’t know how to prove them? Put them on ‚paper’! Show them something! Show, don’t tell!

There was a guy in the audience raising his hand and telling the panelists, that he wanted to change from his corporate finance job to a marketing job at a startup. The problem was: He couldn’t prove that he would be good at it. One of the panelists laughed and said: If you’re in finance, I’m sure you’re great with spreadsheets. That’s awesome for the tasks you need to do in Marketing. You need to do different analyses and a startup couldn’t be happier than to have a guy being a specialist for analytics. Get some data, play around with it and show them what you’re able to do. Always think of a way to show your skills and not only talk about them.

2. Speaking of skills: In a large corporate company graduates can be taught the skills needed while working there. In a startup that’s not possible. You need to have at least one skill to help them solve their problem.

Don’t worry if you’re not having years of job experience, you can also show your skills through your own projects, e.g. writing your own blog or programming something that you can show off.

3. When you apply for a job at a startup you need to show them who you are. It’s not about which uni you went to or which diploma you received. It’s about who you are. Show that!

Sounds like a counterintuitive advice since we were trained that uni and diplomas are very important for getting a job. But most startups need someone to do a good job to solve their problem and if you’re good at something it doesn’t matter if you learned it at a top university or on your own through practice, books, tutorials etc.

4. A great idea for an application is to point out five things that are wrong about the business and tell them how you would solve those problems.

Startups like people who can work on problems on their own. In a startup you can’t be guided all the time. You need to spot a problem, find a solution and execute it. This kind of application is a good way to prove this ability. Then you only need to show that you can also execute the suggested solution. And don’t be afraid to give feedback, startups will appreciate it!

5. Last but not least, one of the panelists said: ‚We wouldn’t hire or purchase without a recommendation from someone we know’.

Startups often try to recruit people with the help of their network. That way they want to make sure they don’t lose time on poor hirings. And if they hire within their network, the possibility is high that they new guy will fit into the team and company culture. This said it’s important you go out, attend startup events and get to know people of the startup community.

Hope this helps getting your hands on your dream job at a startup! Fingers crossed!



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