You read all the news about startups being sold for billions of dollars and you also read about up and coming startups getting rounds upon rounds of investor funding.
Now, you may be curious as to what it’s like to work for a startup. The pictures they post online seem to be so liberating – young people in shorts and flip flops with laptops changing the world.
The following is how I managed to secure a job with a startup even before my official graduation.
1. Learn how to write a stellar resume.
All the “rules” given by career experts that you probably heard of are all true.
A rule such as tailoring the resume to just one company at a time and writing a custom cover letter to go with it.
Being on the end of screening applications – I can tell you that just doing the above rules will make you stand out from the crowd.
A video I would recommend for you learn how to write a resume would be this. I used it and it worked for me.
If you find it challenging to write your resume, you can engage with us at Inforati. Check out our services here.
2. Make sure your job search profile and LinkedIn profile are strategically updated.
With the resume you have crafted, it’s time to upload that into the job portals.
Use the same details you used in your resume to update your job profile and LinkedIn.
Some job portals will provide a PDF version of your profile to employers when you apply for jobs (this happens when you don’t attach a resume of your own in your profile).
This can be a terrible first impression.
Not only are the PDF’s not formatted, the details may also be arranged in a non-strategic fashion.
For example, if your main strength in your resume was the fact that you went to a prestigious school, it would be better if that were highlighted first in your application.
If the “wow” factor you have is that you interned at a prestigious company, but your grades weren’t so good, it’s best to have that internship listed first instead.
So be sure to upload your resume and not rely on the automated PDFs.
3. If you are called for the interview, read up on the subject matter and read carefully on the job description.
I applied for a job in content marketing. I had an idea of what it is about from reading books on Seth Godin but I can’t really explain it well.
So I went on to trusty Google and found out. I read a few guides (spend a few hours on this) and had a better grasp of what it is.
After that, I read the job description.
What I can tell you now looking back is that most job seekers don’t know that the job description was thought out very carefully and strategically by the heads of the department before publishing it.
The point is to take each word seriously. Although they listed 10 things, all 10 things are important. They are not there for filler sake. They are there to communicate to the right candidate that this job is for them.
Go through each of them and try to understand the best that you can.
Prepare questions if you have any, based on these descriptions.
4. When at the interview, use this one thing to differentiate yourself.
Now, you are probably thinking what you have to offer to a thriving startup.
The truth about startups is that they are looking for top tier talent (like everybody else).
But often times, top tier talent is hard to come by and hard to persuade to join the bandwagon unless they have the right incentives in place.
The next best thing they can hope for is a person who may not have the skills but has the drive and the capacity to get there — a do-er that has the right attitude to make the company succeed.
This is the one thing you should use to differentiate yourself from the others who don’t have this insight.
This is where your hours of research from before comes in.
Show them through your actions that you are serious about the job. That you took the time to understand the subject and understand what they were looking for.
I once asked a friend of mine who interviews people and he said the one thing he looks for is the eagerness to learn.
Remember that to be a star player, you need to be 3 things:
- A hard worker
- Proactive (have initiative)
- Smart (creative – able to give Eureka ideas over and over again)
At this stage in your career, show that you have the first two as the last one comes with experience.
At the end of the interview, don’t ever (I mean EVER) say “No” when they ask you if you have any questions.
Fire away and ask as many relevant questions as possible.
Doing all the steps above gives them a great impression of what you can do for them and in return, significantly increase your success rate of getting hired.
This post was written by Ben Sim from iPrice group.