How to Get Hired by a Start-Up

Working for a start-up can be incredibly challenging but a very rewarding experience, if you have the right drive, passion and patience this can be the perfect segway to expand your career. Start-ups are the perfect opportunity to allow you to grow with the company and learn about yourself – coming out as a well-rounded employee. Starts ups need future employees they can trust so they can focus on one thing – growing their business to success.

Before starting to apply for start-ups consider if they are the right environment for you. Normally employees go above and beyond at a start-up as the teams are smaller and budgets only starting to increase. The typical government worker culture of leaving the office on the dot is thrown out the window. However, with hard work comes great rewards and you are normally paid back by quicker career progression. Are you a hard worker? Continue reading.

Here you’ll find steps to land you your first job at start-up of your choice.

  • Pick a company you think aligns with your future and goals, start with the four C’s Company, Culture, customers and competition.
  • Being a part of a start-up means understanding the company from the inside out, past, present and future plans
  • Never have assumptions as it can mainly lead to disappointment, to understand their culture properly you should know the company’s values. The company may be super new and have not formed these for themselves. That is ok if they plan to you have the opportunity to be apart of that.
  • Understand their customers, you will need basic awareness of the type of customers that bring them most value and why. Showing your future boss that you have done the research and understand their target audience goes a huge way in a start-up. Refresh and surprise them in an interview by understanding their realised and future clients.
  • Starts up can be quite competitive in nature, especially in emerging markets such as fin-techs. Who is the competition? Know what sets them apart from other companies and what they can do better in.

Be proactive

Attend meetups around the industry, this is great opportunity to meet others in a similar field. Reach out to companies or professionals on websites like LinkedIn, this is a great way to start a professional relationship – keep messages direct and short

Go the extra mile with your application

Start-ups generally like to hire word of mouth or referrals; someone they know that will be worth their time. Companies want self-motivated employees who have a track record of being able to learn quickly and are very team oriented as its most likely the team will start small – show that you have a collaborative mindset!

Your resume – should shine your professional experience, tailored to the specific role. Showcasing your technical skills that align with the company

Your cover letter – is written to articulate your fit for the company, this is your chance to show your personality and your values, reinforcing why you are the best candidate for this role. Find concrete examples on how you’ve handled problems or demonstrated leadership skills

What starts ups will look for

You’ll need to be very self-motivated as they will probably not have a human resource manager explaining what to do, starting the job at full performance is key. Sharing skills you have developed that will be useful for the company such being team orientated, flexible or understanding marketing strategies is very helpful for a start-up. You need to show that you have the capabilities for the position.

But most importantly, have a great attitude and showcase you are ready to learn.

Consider all the factors why a start-up will add value to your career, an opportunity to expand your skills, build on your resume and acquire valuable professional experience.  

Be true to yourself and to the employee, the fit has to be right in both directions! Now get out there and get your foot in the door of a fast rising start up, good luck.

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