Great advice Dharmesh...Now, just where to look for those start-up positions is the question.
I would also suggest you visit a twitter that I've setup about 3 months ago: http://www.twitter.com/currofile. The idea is to post jobs related exclusively to the online/digital/mobile sector in Europe.
Initially, I started it to help out friends looking for work, but now it's a source of job openings for everyone and anyone who's interested. It's also a way to help companies find candidates. I get notifications from companies that are hiring and also do a large amount of scouting for interesting jobs myself.
The reason I mention it, is because a large percentage of the jobs I post are in fact in European startups, or US startups that have since grown and expanded internationally. Of course there are big brands as well, but as I said large percentage are startups.
Take a look and be sure to send me offers you run into or have.
It's a non-profit effort. I'm doing it for the fun of it and for the rewarding feeling of helping people find work and discovering interesting companies myself.
Take a look and contribute if you can: http://www.twitter.com/currofile
This is a site run by First Round Capital, of jobs offered by their portfolio companies.
Here's another great place to look:
Ventureloop has all kinds of jobs listed, but not all are small startup's (just to give you an idea, eHarmony, Facebook are on there also). But it's a great variety to go through.
Anyone have similar places to look?
Sorry to comment so many times!
I completely forgot about:
Great source of startup jobs!
LOVE this post, Dharmesh! I especially enjoyed #1. I feel people don't even consider this (especially if they haven't worked in a start-up before). As a recruiter, I tend to advise folks on dress - and moreso than not, I'll get a "really???" after I tell someone that Client X won't offer a job to someone who comes in a suit. It's really all about research, company character and "doing your homework" - which I feel you so eloquently pieced together these points in this article!
The only additional thing I have advised folks to do in the past...is to actually network their way through (with confidence, obviously). For example, I know a bunch of start-up folks (especially HubSpot employees) - regularly attend the WebInno meetings here in Boston. If a candidate shows the effort to confidently (but not annoyingly) - approach an employee of the start-up you're trying to get into during an event and ask questions, they may just have a bit of an advantage during the interview process because they have some insight and hopefully made a good impression (a lot of the time, this act can lead to an interview you would have never otherwise gotten).
Amazing article! I will pass on to all my friends and candidates!
Here's a few good ones:
Another new and great resource for start-up jobs iswww.startuphire.com.
This website is exclusively devoted to VC-backed startups looking to hire.
Great tips especially tip 6 - get things done factor. As a recruiter, this is crucial as we often generate lots of work to deliver Enterprise MasterClass prog. The key is timely delivery(as payment is output based) rather than weekly innovative albeit un-necessary ideas.
Great stuff Dharmesh. Love the culture that you have built over at Hubspot. Fun, professional and extremely dedicated to product. The wealth of talent over there just boggles my mind (yet they all work as a cohesive unit).
Point 6 is dead on! Getting things done! Every company needs a "go to guy" and few businesses have one. I'm going to use this approach in my next consultation.
This was well written and on point, great article
Firednetwork.com is another helpful resource for entrepreneurship. For people looking for a start-up job, I would recommend searching the network for entrepreneurs and connecting with them on the site.
I am not sure I agree with #1. Dressing up or down during interview has any bearing on "true" cultural fit. Maybe superficially. In fact, I would argue that both interviewer and interviewee should dress right that conveys respect for each other. I am not saying we have to ware tie or black suite. At least business casual.
Startups are serious businesses with real customers and requires professional image. It should not be equated to some cowboys doing their wild things. I have heard some Startups interview in shorts and sandals. I had a similar experience as an interviewee. I don't think that is appropriate even if the company culture is to allow people to come to office in shorts.
I would definitely not turned down a candidate just because he/she dressed up. Although, I would be concerned if someone comes in a shorts...:-) Again what do I know. I am just working on my first startup
This is great advice Dharmesh. We set up enternships.com precisely to connect students/grads to start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses around the world and many of our 'enterns' ask for advice - we'll be sure to point them to your blog post!
For me, it's all about the cultural fit. Whenever I hire anyone, I always look for how they interact with the rest of the staff. The cultural fit is so important that I will pass on the brilliant "hot shot" higher life-form if they don't fit in.
Another important factor is flexibility. People who only want to do one thing or have the "it's not my job" attitude will never make it at a startup. The "can do whatever" attitude is just as important as "I get stuff done."
Great tips! I've also found that start-up jobs are hard to get partially because they aren't easy to find. Often, start-ups need help but don't have the infrastructure in place to find great talent. Also, they tend to want to hire people who've already worked at another start-up.
Companies like Propel Careers help MBA students, science graduates, and post-doctoral fellows find internships at small and medium-size start-ups. Getting an internship at an entrepreneurial firm is a great way to get a foot in the door of the start-up world.
great insight into the start-up culture. I believe getting the right TEAM in place (right people on the bus) is the most important for start ups, selling them on the vision, coach them along the way and measure their commitment/ progress on the TEAM. Speak to you soon linked-in
CEO Social Networking San Diego
Getting things done is certainly important. Good article.
Very good advice; came at the right time (any time is a good time for such stuff).
Is it true that you should always be looking for a startup/job that satisfies your passion to be benevolent (in a proportion greater than you currently are)?
How important is the resume? I often get misleading impression about this particular aspect.
I definitely argee about the culture. If you mistakenly hire someone who can't do the job technically, it is easy to justify firing them. ( Though it's still not easy to do the actual firing ). If you hire someone who doesn't fit the culture, they can do just as much damage to your startup, but it is much harder to recognize that they need to go.
I'm a big fan of StartUpHire. They list thousands of jobs and send me email alerts of new jobs matching my defined criteria. http://www.startuphire.com
Great article Dharmesh. I would also add the following:
BE NICE. No one wants to hire a jerk!
I wish i read this post before my last interview. The company did a lot with blogging and I didn't even think to look for that online. They started questioning me on that topic and I didn't know anything. Didn't look to good.
Thanks for the advice. Next time I’ll be prepared.
Excellent article Dharmesh. The best part I like about your articles is the quality of the content. They are authentic and to the point.
One point I'd like to add to the list is - candidates should also believe in the business model of startup. If you do not believe that the idea will succeed, do not join the company. Otherwise you'll never contribute the way you are expected to.
Couldn't agree more! I was part of an interviewing panel for my work (a startup) recently, and these things really do come across in a resume, cover letter, interview, phone calls, emails, etc etc.
For those who have made a career in start-ups, getting the fit right is as important to the candidate as it is to the start-up. Someone with start up experience is going to get a vibe from the CEO, from how the people interviewing them are dressed -- it's always good to remember it's a competitive market for the best employees and both parties need to demonstrate they are serious about "getting stuff done."
Dharmesh, I completely disagree with you on point 1. You should dress smartly for your job interview.
This demonstrates at least 2 things:
#1. Respect for the people interviewing you (rather than assuming you are such a hot-ass that you don't need to bother with your appearance).
#2. Proof that you do know how to dress smartly should you be required to. This is important: some people haven't a clue - you need to know that before the first time they meet an important client (even if they are a developer).
It doesn't matter that the interviewers may be casually dressed.
I'm in the UK, so maybe its different here than in the US. If you tried your approach here you'd almost certainly create a bad impression. I've worked for a variety of startups, most of which was jeans and t-short stuff, but the interviews are always suit, shirt and tie, even in summer (and I dislike wearing suits as they are impractical).
Just over a year ago I went to a meeting with a chap about some funding etc. Email, then nice chat on the phone. First time I met him, I wore a suit, tie etc. We did a deal, signed a contract etc.
Since then I never have worn a suit when I meet him. We did discuss this very topic. To him, like me, the first meeting, it was important, as it demonstrated what I've just listed above.
I'll make an exception though, if the interview is held somewhere unusual, like the pool room in a pub (which believe it or not, has happened to me in Cambridge). On that occasion I turned up wearing jeans and a t-shirt, which was correct for the situation.
I especially agree with #6. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a small team of people who can get things done. Not sure about #1, though. As someone who's interviewed a lot of people for startups, I wouldn't exclude anyone who wore a suit unless they also had the "big company" do as little as possible attitude to go along with it. I probably wouldn't want to work for a startup that would exclude someone purely on that basis, too. People should dress a little nicer when going on an interview. An interviewee wearing shorts and flip flops shows a lack of respect to me, even though I might be wearing them as the interviewer.
We all like to impress people, especially the hiring managers. Many resumes are written that way. When EVERYONE
is fantastic, the meaning of fantastic is no longer meaningful.
My recommendation is to be real
. We're all human and we all make mistakes. None of us a re perfect. Show your imperfections (if they are not detrimental), came across as trustable
Bottom line, if the hiring manager can't trust that you'll do a good job, s/he can't hire you.
I like your third point: "read, read, read!" I've never thought about actually following CEO's tweets to understand them better. Great ideas! Thanks!
Dhramesh, excellent post, could relate to it 110%! from personal direct experience in running a SW product startup...could you kindly explain what you had in mind when you wrote "Price discrimination (in an economic sense) is a wonderful thing. Except that it often ignores the real costs in terms of organizational complexity. Every time you add a new product or product option a small part of your company dies." cheers
particularly interesting to me since I look forward to meeting you on Friday (so far I think I am following a bit of your advice:)))
I'd like to suggest one other Tip --> Demonstrate Curiousity & Ability to Learn FAST. We can talk about it live:)