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Many companies are beginning to sprout rapidly in different locations. However, some candidates find it difficult to gain employment into startups. This is perhaps because startups are relatively close-knit and are adamant to admit as much into their usually comfortable arrangement.

Generally, tricks to earning a job at startups are not clearly stated. Founders may not even know they need you unless you show off just how reasonable and useful you are to their company. And then there’s the interview where the questions are so abstract it cannot precisely be guessed. Sometimes, it may even be a question totally unrelated to the expected questions. It throws one for a loop.

Well, the struggle is understood. Hence, here are seven top tips provided by founders themselves that will get you that dream job.

Troll Their Socials

Dear reader, this is the right time to be a stalker. You need to know all there is to know about these companies and the one way to do this is through social media. Startups do not always have their HR and hiring network so firmly set up, but if there is one thing they always have up and running, it their social media accounts. So, one way to get the acknowledgement you need to and earn yourself a spot in that startup would involve you actively getting engaged in their posts, especially on Twitter. Most times, for startups, the founder may just be the one handling the company’s Twitter account. So find that Twitter account and send a ping today.

Attend Events

Founder networking with potential new employee
Founder networking with potential new employee

Next up, we have the actual showing up. You know how I had said most startups are close-knit. Well, this is where access comes to play as a solution. Fine, they are close-knit, but then there are sure to be what I like to call open days when these startups come together during networking events. It is a bid in their interest to associate with other startups for partnerships and such. The perfect opportunity for you to put on your smart cap and your best suit and sell yourself to that one company you want to be a part of. Get in there and dazzle them with how knowledgeable you are. I should also warn you to remain polite and courteous with an air mystery. No one likes a blabbermouth in a suit—or any outfit sincerely.

Think Deep, Think Clear

There are so many startups out there, but there is always that one that stands out to you. Then comes the actual choosing part. Remember, you are also choosing from a millage of startup choices. I always advise you not to choose based on the flashiness of the job in the question. Remember, these are startups, so there is definite room for improvement and upgrades. When picking the startup of your choice, you should be looking out for the alignment of dreams. By such, I mean you should pick a company whose mission and vision you can match with–one whose dreams you understand and can work towards achieving, which will aid your personal growth in the long run.

Skills, Not Degree

Of course, your degree means something, but you need to do more. Therefore, you must be ready to show your work and not just a degree showing what you supposedly know how to do. So, as a supposed web developer, coder or designer, for instance, what is sure to get you the job would be obvious proof of your skill. Be ready to show off your best work.

Be Professional

Startup founder speaking with employees in workplace
Startup founder speaking with employees in workplace

Many people make the mistake of believing being overly familiar or forging a form of overfamiliarity will do the trick. This is usually the case when you are trying to prove your ability to be a good team player. Can it just yell how cringe-worthy that is? I can hear some wondering what it matters since they are, after all, a close-knit company, so why would it matter if one gets really open with their employer. It may seem okay to you, but it screams unprofessionalism to them; it doesn’t matter that they are a small company. They have standards, too, and may have them assuming a plain disregard for their tag of company. This also applies to the kind of information you give away. They do not need to hear of your grandmother and all her illnesses. Keep it professional!

Keep It Real

Startups do not need or appreciate copycats. They don’t necessarily require you to say all they need to hear. What they need is authenticity and personality. By personality, I don’t mean showing off characters really unacceptable or being obnoxious. Instead, I mean showing positive characteristics acceptable to the company, which will facilitate their growth and possibly prompt an even quicker accomplishment rate knowing fully the fast culture that persists amidst startups.

Think Out of the Box

One core thing most startups look out for is a fast, free thinker. Of course, they expect you to follow the rules, but they also expect you to show some form of intelligent, sharp thinking. Don’t be too forward in your input; you should also not take it to heart if your ideas are turned down, but it tells that you have more to offer. So next time you are before that core job opportunity, ensure you have enough background information to speak about and if you have some ideas, offer them subtly. Keyword being subtle because:

1. You do not want to come off as a busybody

2. You don’t want to give away too much information and risk your idea getting stolen with no acknowledgement to you.

There you have the seven core check-ins you should look out for when searching for your dream startup job.

Have any more tips for landing your dream job at a startup? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.