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Want to Work at a Start-up? Here’s How to Land the Job

Want to Work at a Start-up? Here’s How to Land the Job

There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to work at a start-up. There’s the chance to get in on something at the ground floor, to work on something new and exciting, the possibility for advancement, or maybe they just want to work with a smaller group of people. Whatever the reason, if you count yourself among those who would like to work at a start-up, you need to think about your application strategy. Start-ups are looking for different things compared to established companies, and you need to adjust your methods accordingly. Here are a few things you can do to land that job:

Find the Right Company

First, you need to find the right company for you. Not all start-ups are the same, and not all of them is the right fit for you. Learn what the company does, and find out as much as you can about who is running this new business. See if the roles they are looking to fill align with your skills and goals. You should also look at the financial situation of any start-up, as you don’t want to be laid off after a month because the company went bankrupt.

Know What the Company Is Looking For

After you’ve found a few good start-ups that you might want to work for, the next thing to do is find out what those start-ups are looking for. What kind of person are they looking to hire? What skills does the open position require? Hiring new employees is one of the biggest decisions start-ups have to make. This is because not only can new employees help to grow a new company, but they can also serve as a security risk if the company isn’t careful. Start-ups are very careful about who they hire, and as a result, are very specific about what they are looking for. If you’ve researched the company, and think you are a good fit for what they want, you can then start preparing to apply.

Refine Your Skills

Before you send in that application, however, there are a few things you’ll want to do. The first one is to refine your skills. As mentioned, start-ups are very particular about who they hire. That means if your skills are not up to par, or if they are out of date, your chances are slim of getting the job. Take the time before you apply to work on your skills, no matter what they may be. Are you a web designer? Study the newest trends. Programmer? Learn a new language, or improve your skills in an old one. The more you can improve your skills before you even apply, the better off you’ll be.

Clean Up Your Resume and Cover Letter

Next, the first thing any prospective employer looks at is your resume and cover letter. This means you need to work hard on these, as you want to make a good first impression. You’ll likely face a lot of competition for this job, and if your cover letter doesn’t impress, or if your resume is sloppy, you can be sure someone else will get the interview. If you’re not sure how to write a cover letter, be sure to research it before you submit anything. The same goes for your resume, which you should tweak to focus on a start-up audience.

Build A Portfolio

Along with your resume and cover letter, you may need to submit a portfolio of your work. This is a collection of all your best work, to showcase what you bring to the table. Assembling a portfolio is straightforward, but also vital. You don’t want to take it lightly, so think hard about which items are going in, and how you want to present your work. Many people choose to set up a separate website that holds all of their work, so consider this route if you’re unsure of what to do.

Work on Interview Techniques

Finally, if you were lucky enough to get to the interview phase, you don’t want to mess up here. Now is the time to put your research of the start-up, and your application preparation, into good use. Knowledge of the company, and how you can help, will go a long way towards winning over the employer. But you’re likely to face other questions as well, so brush up on common (and uncommon) interview questions before you go in. This is your chance to convince a new start-up that you belong on the team, so put your all into it.

Treat the Job Application Process as Part Of The Job

No matter where you’re applying – be it a start-up or established company – you need to treat the application process like you would the actual job. Prepare beforehand, put forward your best work, and act professionally. If you can do all of this, you have a good chance of landing a job at an exciting start-up, and being a part of something new.