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How to Get Hired at a Startup

by | Oct 1, 2014 | Resumes | 0 comments


When you go to work for a big company—a major international player like Apple or Google or Coca-Cola, or even for a large law firm or medical practice in your town—you have to know that you’re not going to single-handedly change the company culture. You may, over time, prove yourself to be a key player in the organization, but these companies have identities that were shaped long before you joined the team. That’s not a bad thing, so long as you’re not out to leverage your influence over a company that’s still very much in its formative stages; if you are looking to do that, however, then maybe a small startup is what you need to pursue.

Startup jobs offer many benefits, not least the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and to shape a company in its earliest, more primitive stages. It’s no great surprise, then, that many hard-working, industrious employees—young and old—find great appeal in the thought of working at a startup. Startup jobs can be difficult to get, then, and the competition can be fierce—so what do you need in order to stand out from the crowd?

You probably already know the first thing on our list—a solid resume, one that clearly communicates your full range of achievements and your overall desirability as an employee. More specifically, though, you need to communicate—through your resume, your cover letter, your e-mails to the hiring manager, and your interview—that you possess the following key skills and qualities:

  • To get hired at a startup, you’ll need to exhibit some enthusiasm. Really, this could be said of any relatively small company. Small business owners very often feel like their business is their baby, and they prefer to work with people who can at least come close to matching their passion. If you seem ambivalent about the job, or fail to make it clear just how badly you want the job, don’t be surprised when you get passed over for someone else.
  • You’ll need to show some flexibility, because at a startup most employees will need to wear many hats. This is where you’ll want to have a really full and varied resume: The year you spent as a shift manager at Wal-Greens, or unloading the delivery truck at Chik-Fil-A, can go a long way toward showing that you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do whatever needs to be done, even if it doesn’t directly relate to your core business competencies.
  • You’ll need to show that you can collaborate well, because collaboration is the lifeblood for most successful startups. If you’ve successfully worked with your peers in past projects, be sure to note it in your resume.
  • You’ll also want to demonstrate that you can be taught; teachability is best seen through education and professional certifications or classes. Working at a startup will require you to master new skills and new ways of thinking, and employers will want to see that you can pick these things up fairly quickly.

More than anything else, you’ll need to show that you’re a good fit for startup culture—that is, that you can thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. To learn more about how to accomplish this—particularly via resume and cover letter—contact the Grammar Chic, Inc. team today. Visit www.grammarchic.net, or call 803-831-7444 today.