Photo: Flickr / miss karen
Want to get a job at a startup?Justin Kan, who co-founded red-hot startup Justin.tv and is now co-founder of task crowdsourcing startup Exec, has some suggestions on how to get hired at a startup:
- Startups are looking for employees who are exceptional in the one key thing that they will be doing. That could be specializing in building a back-end server that will scale to a million users overnight. You don’t need to be a Jack of all trades.
- Demonstrate that you are exceptional at the thing you do, and don’t seem crazy or imbalanced. “If something on your resume isn’t achieving one of the aforementioned two things, leave it off,” Kan says. Startup founders won’t care if you worked in a retail job if you are applying for a programming job.
- Even more important than a resume is giving specific reasons why you want to work at the startup and are a good fit for that specific startup in an email. “Nothing is better received by a founder than reading about someone being passionate for his or her project.”
- Still, keep your resume short. Your resume is probably being read by someone who doesn’t typically read resumes as part of their full-time job (as in, an engineer or a technical founder).
- And keep your resume concise. Startups aren’t looking for the “alphabet soup” of every programming language and framework, Kan says. “We know you can’t possibly have mastery in all of them; no one can. Instead, you should focus on the things you do excellently, and demonstrate why you do them excellently.”