How To Find Work At A Start-Up

By Sky Ariella
Oct. 26, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

Many of the most impressive companies that exist today began as start-ups who needed to fill their team with bright and capable employees. Picking the right people to work for a start-up is vital because they’ll bring the company’s success to fruition.

Key Takeaways:

  • Connect with a start-up recruiter, or reach out directly to start-ups, if you are interested in working for one.

  • Go to start-up events to network.

  • Make sure to maintain flexibility, persistence, and a growth mindset as you look for work at a start-up.

  • Start-up recruiters are useful resources because they have the direct connections that get you networked with start-ups.

Startup Recruiter: What Is It And What Do They Do

How to Find Work at a Start-Up

Working at a start-up is an attractive opportunity for many job-seekers, especially those who are fresh out of college and looking to get their first job. There are many benefits to working with a new company, such as being awarded more responsibility or the ability to grow in success with the business. If you’ve decided that you’re interested in getting a job for a start-up, there are a few ways you can find work.

  1. Connect With A Start-Up Recruiter. Connecting with a start-up recruiter can be the best way to move towards being hired by one of these companies. Recruiters who claim the niche of start-ups are usually working with a lot of different kinds of companies. This means that they have access to multiple opportunities in varying industries and experience levels.

    You can find start-up recruiters to reach out to on professional networking websites, like LinkedIn. Make sure that your profile is updated and impressive to an inquiring eye.

    While it may feel a little awkward to reach out to someone you don’t know on LinkedIn, the website’s purpose is to connect professionals who can benefit each other’s careers. As long as you express yourself clearly and professionally, they’ll be willing to see if you’re right for any jobs they’re looking to fill.

    Even if they don’t have anything at that moment, they’ll keep you in mind as a driven candidate who reached out on their own accord when they’re working as a hiring manager for a position you’re perfect for.

  2. Reach Out Directly To Start-Ups. Another approach you can take in the pursuit of landing a position at a start-up is to reach out to the company directly. If you thought that messaging a stranger on LinkedIn was awkward, you’d probably be even more worried about cold-emailing a business.

    It may be a scary notion to reach out to a company out of the blue and suggest yourself for employment, but this is how many successful people get jobs. It demonstrates initiative and a passion for working with a specific company. It will also make your resume stand out because your correspondence will come individually, instead of with a stack of other applicants for a job opening.

    If you decide to go with the method of reaching out to start-ups directly in the hopes of landing a job, include a cover letter in your email. Within your cover letter, explain to them why you want to work for their company specifically. Employers are attracted to candidates familiar with their organization, especially in start-ups, where passion is crucial to getting the business off the ground.

  3. Follow Potential Companies On Social Media. Social media has a lot of potential benefits to job-seekers and young professionals looking to hit the ground running in their career and work for a start-up. Social media sites like Instagram and Youtube have created a distinctive environment where potential employees and businesses can interact closer than ever before.

    Do some research into start-up companies within your industry.

    Once you’ve compiled a list of potential companies you’d be interested in working for, follow their social media pages. Follow them across multiple different social media platforms to be sure that you’ll hear from them whenever they announce new information.

    Following companies that you want to work for on social media is like watching a news program centered around the happenings of their business. It keeps you educated about where the company is going. When opportunities open up, you’ll have the background knowledge you need to impress a hiring manager or start-up recruiter with your passion for the organization.

  4. Go To Start-Up Events. If you’re unsure about reaching out to start-up recruiters on LinkedIn or contacting companies directly, you may be interested in attending start-up events. Going to an event dedicated to networking with start-ups and other employees of these businesses takes a lot of the edge off cold-contacting. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet people who work in your field and can help you advance your career.

    Start-up events take place all over the country (although many may have become virtual). Find one that’s local to your area and get prepared to network.

    Examples of websites you can use to find start-up events include:

Tips For Finding Work at a Start-Up

Finding work at a start-up can be challenging, however it is not impossible. Consider the following tips as you look for a job at a start-up:

  • Be flexible and growth-oriented. Things are always changing in start-ups and adaptability is key as they try to expand. Start-ups want to see their workers reflect the ever-changing dynamic that comes with the company. By being flexible and showing that you are interested in growing as a professional, you make yourself more likely to be a better fit for their culture.

  • Be persistent. Don’t let rejection stop you. Keep looking for opportunities. Start-ups face a lot of ups and downs. Also, even though a start-up may be interested in hiring you, the timing might not be right. Don’t be afraid to stay in touch with a start-up if you really like them. Your interest and motivation will help set you apart.

  • Volunteer. If you have the luxury to volunteer some time, then you can get your foot in the door with start-ups. This is especially helpful when dealing with start-ups that don’t have the budget for a new hire. However, do not volunteer so much time that you sacrifice opportunities elsewhere. Be mindful how much time you spend. Also consider how it can be a red flag warning when a start-up has budget constraints.

What Is a Start-Up Recruiter?

Start-up recruiters find properly-suited professional talent at a pivotal point in the company’s history.

Start-up companies provide an opportunity for up-and-coming professionals to attain a job. Since it’s so crucial for these businesses to build their team with competent and impressive employees that will drive company success in its early years, they often turn to start-up recruiters for sourcing people to hire.

Start-up recruiters are the networking aficionados of the start-up world. A recruiter who works for a start-up is in a unique position because they’re relied on more heavily than usual. They’re responsible for forming a full team that will strengthen a business during a fragile time in their development.

The people who are chosen to be hired during the start-up phase of a new company will make or break the business’s advancement in the future.

The responsibilities of a start-up recruiter involve:

Where to Look for Work at a Start-Up

With a rough idea of how to suss out possible opportunities at start-up companies, you might be wondering what places specifically you can go to look for open positions.

Review the following list of websites you can use to find job openings at rising start-up companies.

  1. AngelList. AngelList is one of the best websites available when it comes to finding opportunities to work at start-ups. They are known for being the world’s largest start-up community. The website currently offers 130,000+ open positions that you can apply to conveniently, with a single application.

    The other significant benefit of AngelList is that they show you the salary you’d be making at the position you’re applying for beforehand. It’s disappointing to go all the way through the job application process, only to find that their salary offer isn’t up to par.

    All aspects considered, AngelList provides the most opportunities and best format for candidates looking to get a job with a start-up company. This should be the first place you go looking.

  2. BeamStart. BeamStart is a unique website for accommodating all aspects of a start-up’s functioning. It has information for investors, open positions for individual job-seekers, and entrepreneurial and client communities for start-up businesses. They even provide online networking events for start-up companies and employees to interact.

    BeamStart presents as more of a professional social networking website than one to find jobs, even though that is an option. It can be a strong alternative to use when you’ve exhausted the possibilities of AngelList.

  3. Authentic Jobs. Most of the job listings on Authentic Jobs are for start-up companies, even though the website isn’t marketed to be a provider of only these kinds of jobs. Most of the jobs listed are for website designers and professionals in the technology industry. The positions listed on Authentic Jobs range from remote contract work to full-time.

  4. CutShort. Cutshort acts as a catch-all for businesses and job-seekers looking to fill positions. They provide listings for jobs, allow companies to search for candidates, set up networking events, and give you the space to meet people in your field.

    This is another website that wasn’t necessarily intended for start-ups, but many companies using their platform are. It’s unique because it uses artificial intelligence to match candidates with the perfect position for them and does the same for the respective business.

  5. F6s. F6s was designated to be a space for start-up companies to find the best people to pack their team with and upcoming professionals to find job opportunities. They provide job listings from start-up organizations worldwide for positions in web development, finance, and data science.

    F6s stands out from some of the other start-up job-search websites because it provides deals for potential clients to attract them to emerging companies. There’s a wide variety of these discounts and deals from well-known organizations, like Airbnb, to newer businesses that haven’t grown in popularity yet.

    This feature of F6s makes it a great website to check out whether you’re looking for a new job with a start-up company or to receive a new customer discount.

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Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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