5 Tips For Landing Your Dream Startup Gig

By NextSpace on May. 10, 2017

Written by Christine Dang

Andy Tran, a new member to the NextSpace San Francisco community, is overflowing with career advice. For over three years he has worked to place the perfect candidates in startups across multiple industries. We had a chat earlier this week about preparing yourself for success in a highly competitive job market, and Andy shared some tips on how to shine as a potential candidate for your dream gig.

What is the best way to reach out to a startup I'm interested in?

Apply directly! Beyond the obvious, reaching out directly to the team should greatly increase your odds of getting noticed. Find either someone on the hiring/recruiting/HR team or if it’s a really small startup, then don’t be shy to reach out to one of the C-level employees.

Should I still apply even if I don't qualify for all of the job description?

Absolutely. Job descriptions are written as general guidelines and often describe the “perfect” candidate that doesn’t exist. Teams like to have their ground covered and write nearly everything they can think of on the job descriptions, and sometimes it’s quite the opposite;  you may have a skill they need, but forgot to add! Take the plunge and apply, you have nothing to lose.

The talent pool is so large in the tech scene where I'm from - any tips on how to stand out?

Are you working on or have worked on any side projects? Whether it’s a simple script or weekend project on your GitHub, or some volunteer work that’s connected to tech -- make sure to highlight this on your resume. It’s one thing to have experience in the tech field, but demonstrating that you’re truly passionate about it by spending time out of working hours to the cause really impresses the hiring team.

I have a phone screening! What can I do to prepare?

Scour the internet for articles about the company: rounds of funding, who the founders are and where they came from, any notable names that work there, current team size. Try to really understand their product.

Be ready to talk about yourself! Highlight notable projects you’ve worked on and how they relate to this company’s product or scope. Talk about how your skills are transferrable.

Prepare for typical interview questions to show your interest and commitment. A most common question is “Why do you want to work for X-company?” Typical answers are: “because it’s a cool product!” Some things to think about:

-What makes it exciting to work there?
-How can you contribute?
-How can you grow there, how can you help the company grow?

What recruiting services do you offer?

I help startups of all shapes and sizes with their technical hires! I'm a consulting recruiter, so it’s great to be part of NextSpace and assist a few smaller startups who are up and coming but don't have the time or proper resources (ie recruiting team) in finding the right persons to build out their products. It's mostly on a contingency basis where the startups don't actually pay upfront until we make a hire, so they've got nothing to lose, essentially, and it takes the risk away from having to pay before a hire is made.

On the candidate side, I am there throughout the entire process. Preparing for a phone screening is a big deal, and as much as I trust candidates to do their own research - I like to send them as much relevant information as possible. I'll normally send the interviewer's LinkedIn profile so the candidate can understand his or her background along with a couple of links to articles that highlight how the company has been doing and exciting things they're working on.

Want more tips from our community of experts? Swing on by for a tour and meet some of the startups at our various NextSpace locations!  

Next Post

You Can Learn Everything About NextSpace From The Drawer of Mugs

May. 10, 2017