While graduate schemes remain the mecca for some students after university, many exciting jobs can be found in startups and growing businesses. The benefits of such roles are numerous: gain more experience (and do so quicker), work more closely with senior staff, actually see the impact your work has on an organisation.
But where can such opportunities be found and how do you go about landing a startup job? RiseHigh talks you through the process.
FINDING THE JOB
Arguably the most effective way to find a startup job is to identify interesting companies and applying directly to them. Startups appreciate this as minimises their costs and demonstrate your interest in the company. Industry awards, startup press (think Mashable, Startups.co.uk, Techcrunch), and investment sites (from Venture Capital firms to crowdfunding sites) are all great sources of interesting companies.
If you take this approach make sure you write a unique cover letter explaining how you found the company and why it interests you: don’t just copy and paste a generic list of your skills and achievements. Startups want you to show why them not just why you.
Startups do also advertise on standard job sites such as Reed and Guardian Jobs, so it can pay to keep an eye on these two and search specifically for roles which mention ‘startup’.
We would say this, but another great way to find startup jobs in London is RiseHigh. When you apply to our platform we learn a bit more about you then use intelligent matching to hook you up directly with roles and companies we think are a great fit. Very simple, very effective.
As already referenced, one key feature of your application to a startup will be a cover note. This is your chance to explain exactly why you are interested in the company and highlight the key aspects of your skills which match with the role. This must be personalised for each company; a generic cover note sticks out like a sore thumb and will invariably end up with a rejection. If you’re not sufficiently interested to write a unique cover note, it’s probably best to save your time and not apply in the first place.
When writing your CV, ideally make it just one page (or at the very most two). Work on the assumption whoever reads it is short of time and won’t spend more than a minute (and possibly less than half of that) skim reading it. If you had thirty seconds to get across the most important aspects of your skills and experience, what would you say? That’s what should go on your CV. Don’t include every single thing you have ever done – at best it will dilute your strongest facets and at worst it will mean the person reading will gloss over everything. The vast majority of students and graduates put way too much on their CV – be bold, stand out from the crowd, and go for a slick one-pager.
Finally, if you get to interview stage, do your research. This is true of every company you apply to but is particularly pertinent for startups. You should know what the company does inside-out and be fully armed with a number of questions about it. The more you know, the keener you are, the better your chances of getting the job.
Getting a job in a startup is a great way to start your career after university. You get more experience than you would in a traditional graduate scheme, you will likely learn faster, and you may not need quite as much experience to land a coveted role.
Remember to personalise each application, hone in on the key relevant skills you possess, and explain exactly why you want to work for the company in question. Do all this and you’ll be halfway there. Good luck!
RiseHigh is a platform for non-tech roles in startups, with a particular focus on marketing, sales, and operations.