Startup Jobs

Find a Job at a Startup.

This course covers all the tips and hacks on getting started with your startup job search. Break into startups today. 🚀🙌

Thank you for signing up for this. I’m thrilled to have you. This is a Crash Course on How to Find a Job at Startup. We are always excited to match our members with the best opportunities. Become a member here. 

Meet the Instructor

Hey there! I’m Eric. After interviewing over 100+ founders and companies and spending 8+ years in the startup space, I’m thrilled to bring you this course that tackles the job search. You can connect with me on Linkedin here.

Who is this course?

For those that are looking into breaking into startups.
Whether you’re a student, recently graduated or want to work at a great company this is for you.

Specific Goals of the Course:

Get fully equip and organized to tackle the job search 🙌
Get more calls on the resume 🔥
Get out of a dead-end job 😮
Advance your career faster 💰
Build up your army of supports (i.e. network) ❤️
Land an awesome offer 💼

“He or she who gets hired is not necessarily
The one who can do that job best;
But, the one who knows the most
About how how to get hired.”
Richard Lathrop

Outline

Lesson 1: Get that freakin resume ready!
Lesson 2: No experience. No problemo!
Lesson 3: Polish social media profiles
Lesson 4: That networking thing
Lesson 5: What the heck is informational interview?
Lesson 6: Connect with recruiters
Lesson 7: Online Resources and Tools
Lesson 8: Personal Brand
Lesson 9: Personal Portfolio
Lesson 10: Talk with the Coach

Lesson 1: Get that freakin resume ready!

While we are still away from the days that resumes are gone completely most companies still ask for the resume. The key with the resume is to have focus. Think like a marketer. Would a marketer blindly go out and start marketing a product to everyone? No! They come up with personas, right messaging, and market to the right channels, and experiment. When it comes to resume you need to have a laser-focus approach! Let’s start with building some focus on that resume.

Have a laser-focused approach. What roles are targeting? Job titles? Not sure what to target start working a project to see what you like and what you don’t like. Your resume can’t be everything to everyone. What are some competencies needed for this roles? Skills sets. Technical skills. Soft skills.

Here are tips on the resume:
There’s no doubt attentions spans are getting shorter and shorter. We live in the Tinder age. Recruiters on average spend 6 seconds on that resume. How much? 6 seconds. So it’s super important to keep it concise and to the point. Include things such as: Professional profile, Technical and soft skills, Experience, Volunteer, Awards, Languages, and interest

Why list interest? This is to potentially connect with the hiring manager and show you are more than just a resume. List things you like to do such as sports, reading, or cooking!

Keyword Optimization is the key. So let’s say you’re applying to a marketing role? Get the right keywords onboard such as inbound, outbound and email marketing to name a few. If you don’t have experience for a particular skill sets you can build it using side-projects or volunteer at a startup or a not-for-profit and get involved with those relevant projects.

Keep it maximum to two pages unless you’ve got a phD! Attention spans are super short. It’s probably even shorter for recruiters. Use action verbs and use past tense for positions you no longer work there.

Lesson 2: No experience? No problemo!

This is the total nonsense you have to go through once you graduate or even before. Forget this catch-22. Let’s do our own hack. So How do you get around this? Get a side-project with a startup.

Side-projects are those projects you work on like say a hackathon or on weekend. They are not paid jobs but it’s a great way to build up portfolio and show expertise. One of the best ways to build up the portfolio is with a startup. Reach out to founders and say:

“Hey Jane,
I came across your startup on FoundersBeta community. I love what you’re working on! I think travel-space is bound for innovation and your platform greatly brings value to the end-users. I want to explore and see if there are opportunities where help your startup in potential volunteer capacity with my skill sets in marketing. I can help out in part-time capacity while working on my studies. Please let me know if we can have a chat about this. Thank you for your time”.

The skill sets in the projects has be aligned with your interest and the startup.

Know Thyself

You say hey what if I don’t know my skills sets? Here are some ways to find out:

1. The answer is you need to explore and become self-aware at what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. Try a project and see if you like it! If you don’t move onto the next one till you figure it out.

2. Another way to go about this would be to ask friends and family for honest feedback. Yeah…kind of hard but you have to hear it. “Hey Jane! What am I good at?”

3. Do self-assessment quiz and surveys.

4. Self-reflection. This can be in the form of journals or blogging.

5. Check out Founders Lab for potential side-projects to join: https://www.foundersbeta.com/founderslab/

6. Volunteer at a non-for-profit. Again this has be aligned with your skill sets. Work on projects that will help your future career or at least explore any options. Volunteering can greatly help you differentiate but also showcase on the portfolio that while you’re looking for work you are contributing to your community!

Plug into communities

Online and offline communities that are relevant to your industry is one of the best ways to get involved, learn, grow, or help out. Find out which communities are relevant to your industry or profession These communities can be: Slack groups, Facebook groups, Linkedin groups, Online forum, Twitter Chats, Webinar, and Newsletters

For startup content plug into FoundersBeta community because we consistently have amazing opportunities being shared:

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/foundersbeta/
Linkedin groups: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8187714/
Online forum: https://www.foundersbeta.com/startup-forum
Newsletters: https://www.foundersbeta.com/startup-newsletter/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF1tVc6HBjYVDRfIomHZxig/featured
Startup Magazine: https://www.foundersbeta.com/find-a-job/

Get active with events

Attend industry, hackathon or whatever relevant event. Figure out which events are relevant to you! Try to be selective because some startup events are complete BS.

Take online courses. Don’t stand still. Do something while searching. Brush up the skills and continue to learn while searching. Hack on a project.

Check out FoundersBeta startup courses to get started with startups.

Talk to experienced professionals

Reach out and connect with experience professionals and ask questions about how they got where they got. But whenever you reach out hyper-personalized it.

Lesson 3: Social Media Profiles

Will the real slim shady please stand up? One of the the key things to search is to stand out. This is not a time to be shy. You are meant to be different anyway! Tailor your approach to each social media differently and keep it professional.

Facebook – get rid of those parties half drunk pics and put on the privacy hat.
Twitter – post about things relevant to your industry, tips, and content but avoid getting into Twitter fights and anything political
Linkedin – For your your Linked profile get recommendation, publish content, and make sure you have clean head shot profile picture. Recommendations can be from classmates, professionals, and even better your actual word experience. It can also be from projects you’ve done for volunteer or did freelancing. This greatly helps with building up expertise and credibility!
Instagram – If it’s use for personal put on the privacy again unless you’re posting for professional purposes

Lesson 4: That Networking Thing

With rise of sites such as Linkedin it’s tempted to add as people many people as possible. But that is a bad idea. Networking is more about quantity vs. quality. What’s even better than networking is you start building a community of supporters. When you want do online networking avoid sending out generic message. Again, personalize it! Networking is both ways someone helps you but you also want to add value.

Networking in-person

Don’t ask “Let me Pick Your Brain”

When you meet people in person at events or one one avoid asking “What do you do?” instead use “what’s your story?” People will have such different tune and feel when you ask them that as opposed to “what do you do?”

Everyone says networking is important. But majority of events you go to people just exchange business cards and that’s far as it goes. Here’s what you should do differently!

Ask founders for coffee but give something in exchange, not money!
When you connect with a founder you hear about their experiences and stories. What could be more valuable than this? When you approach founders stop asking “let me pick your brain”. Like as if founders are sitting in the office waiting for that. They put in years of blood, financial risks, sweat, rejections, and tears into building a business. Instead offer value in return for the time. How about?

– Sharing your marketing notes from a conference you went
– Showing the founder a new way to win customers
– Offering to write a guest blog post for the blog
– Offer feedback on the product or service

The whole point is to always add value, collaborate, and you will be amazed how your network will accelerate. You can submit your profile and sign up on our FoundersCoffee and start grabbing coffee with founders: https://coffee.foundersbeta.com/

Networking online

Networking online can be excellent way to meet initially and take those connections offline. We host monthly Job Fair and startup networking event. Check those out here

Asking for Introduction

Social currency is a thing. You help me and I help you. The more you help your network the more you have social currency to use! For first degree connection, sometimes you need an introduction to someone else whom your first degree connection knows them. This is way better than cold approach that connection you want to connect because warm introduction have better response rate. You can ask for an introduction to your first degree connection if you have a good relationship with your first degree connection! Here’s a personalized approach to ask your first degree connection for introduction to someone you are interested in getting connected.

“Hey James,
Hope all is great! I notice that you are connected to Roxanne who is currently working at Facebook. I’m currently looking to learn more about the industry and I’m wondering if you’re able to make an introduction to her. This would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.”

Lesson 5: Informational interviews

University or college career centres have the names of alumni that are available to connect with students to do information interview. Informational interview are usually 30 minutes and you can talk to the professional to get advice, and tips. This can be done over phone, Zoom video or Skype, or via coffee. When you you approach the alumni go with a hyper-personalize message! Say something along the lines of:

“Hi Jennifer, I noticed you have you profile on UofT alumni. It’s always great to connect with another alumni! I currently a recently grad and very interested in learning about your career path. Your work in not-for-profit has been an inspiration. I’m currently looking to learn about blah blah….I’m wondering if you would be available to chat with me. Thank you for your time!”.

Hyper personalize your message when you reach out and don’t forget to put a thank you at the end. People to tend to respond to personalized emails as supposed to generic cold emails.

Lesson 6: Connect with the gatekeepers

Recruiters are like gatekeepers! They play such a key role for hiring. Here’s how you should approach:

Connect with recruiters at event or online. Be hyper-personalize and professional if you’re cold approaching.

When a recruiter approaches you but the job is no match. If a recruiter approaches you, but the job is not suited for you reply and say thank you but this won’t be a match for me, but I’m delighted to pass it to my network. You remain in touch and maintain a good relationship! Also what could be better than matching up your friend with a job?

When your application gets rejected. This will be like so many times. Maintain humility and professionalism but again do stay in touch because that recruiter might have another opportunity for you 6 months later!

Submit your resume to agencies. As agencies sometimes have great opportunities.

Lesson 7: Online Resources for Startup Search

Where do you search for Startup Jobs? Of course a great starting point would be FoundersBeta. You can plug into our Facebook Jobs group as it gets updated on a daily basis with tons of opportunities for both internships, co-ops, and full time. Check out this comprehensive list:

FoundersBeta Job Listing
http://foundersbeta.com/startup-jobs

FoundersBeta Facebook groups
Facebook General group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/foundersbeta/
Startup Jobs and Internships: https://www.facebook.com/groups/802704053105679/
Y Combinator. Y combinator startups tend do really well. Airbnb for example came out and really changed the world! Maybe you want to work in the next one?
For engineers check out: https://www.workatastartup.com/
Some VCs have a startup job feed. Check out their job feed.
Niche job postings. Some industry may have niche listings so check it out.
Your university career listings. This another resource to keep an eye out on.

What are some useful tools out there? 

Use Linkedin to see who is working at the company
Use Hunter (https://hunter.io) to look email addresses of the company
Did they open the email? Track your emails using Hubspot here.
Sales Navigator is another to check out. It’s a Chrome Extension.
Vidyard Govideo Chrome Extension is a nifty tool where you send in a short video using chrome extension and see when it was open. This can be good way to send in as a potential cover letter along with the resume. This is great if the company you are applying is Vidyard itself or some really innovative company where they value video a lot. If video is part of their culture do it, but if not avoid it.

Don’t Put Your Eggs in One Basket

Majority of people just keep applying and applying online from morning till night. Online application should be part of your plan of attack but should not be everything. The rest should be networking, events both online and offline, taking courses, and working on side-projects.

Lesson 8: Personal Brand – Create Your Blue Ocean

Personal brand begins with being self-aware of who you are. What are you good at? What are you not so good at? Here are some steps on personal brand:

Believe in yourself. Because someone else believes in you!
Always reinvent yourself. Have you seen Roger Federer at the age of 18 vs now? He constantly changed his new games and added new things. Sometimes you need to pivot!

Invest in yourself. Continue to learn and grow even when you’re on top of the game. Go outside your comfort zone! That’s where learning happens! Invest in getting a nice clean headshot images for your online profiles!

Lesson 9: Personal Portfolio

Whether or not you are in the digital space think about having a personal portfolio. Having a personal portfolio can be huge differentiator. It’s a little space for you on the internet to showcase your portfolio, expertise, and skill sets. Here are some tips on building up a personal portfolio

Invest in buying your own personal domain name.
E.g. yourfirstlastname.com.

Make the site responsive as no one wants to browse on mobile and find out they have to scroll left and right just to see your website.
Tons of frameworks to built on but WordPress is a great starting point. If you need help setting up your portfolio check out our course on building a website in one hour.
Serve on your own server so have full control of your site
Showcase projects
Start writing. Write about your experiences, tips, and where you see the industry going!

General Philosophy on the Search

Develop immunity to rejections. “You can only connect the dots backwards.”
Be persistent as hell. Like the gum that doesn’t give up.
Get comfortable with asking people. Want a job? Ask

Want a promotion? Ask
Want to make a sale? Ask
Want a better product? Ask
Want a date? Ask

Ask. Ask. Ask. Keep on asking and never stop asking!

Lesson 10: Talk to a coach

There’s a reason why world class athletes have coaches. Coaches can accelerate your progress at the speed of light. If you would like personalized support on your search or want to practice mock interviews you can book a time to chat with a coach here: http://foundersbeta.com/startup-coach

That wraps it up for this course. Become a member with us to get matched with the best opportunities.