Continuing the startup career theme from last week’s blog post, this week we’re talking about the 7 things you should do to get hired at a startup.
The most important thing to know about working and getting hired at a startup is that the team of employees determines the success (or failure) of the business. The owner isn’t going to hire just anyone, because they have more than likely put everything they have into their company.
• Be selfless – “There’s no I in team.” This adage should be all startups’ motto. Every employee should be a team player. Additionally, employees should have multiple skill sets that allow them to switch gears quickly to play several different roles within the company.
• Utilize your network – If you don’t have a network, make one. Start attending industry events, become a sponge. The startup community is small in most cities, and the people in your network will become invaluable connections, both professionally and personally.
• Be prepared – This applies to every job interview you’ll have, at a startup or not. Research the company and their staff. Know everything there is to know about the people interviewing you. Study the company’s progress and develop your own ideas on how they could expand their success. Additionally, listen carefully during the interview. Demonstrate that you’re taking in what they’re saying in and able to come up with your own conclusions based on what you’ve learned.
• Flatter them – If you know you can’t picture yourself with any other company, tell them. You have to mean it, but this will show the company you’re serious about the job and that you’re not afraid to voice it. Demonstrate to them that you will do anything it takes to get the job.
• Be honest and upfront – This point is painfully obvious, but an amazing number of job candidates lie on their resumes and in interviews. It’s imperative to be honest about your background and skill set. The company is more than likely going to call your references and verify your credentials before they entrust you with a position in their company. Plus, it’ll be pretty obvious you exaggerated your skill set once you start work..
• Demonstrate your enthusiasm to learn – If you don’t have an appetite for learning, the startup industry is not for you. Startups provide the unique opportunity to be in close proximity to everyone within the company, from interns to CEOs. Show that you’re excited to learn about every aspect of the business.
• Be flexible– Startups don’t offer typical 9-5 hours. You may not have many (or any) vacation days. Show that you’re flexible and more than willing to show up early and stay late.
Startups offer an exciting entrepreneurial environment that many want to be involved in. If you know you want to work at a startup, be sure to heed these 7 tips of advice and you’ll be one step closer to making it happen.