You’ve decided you want to work at a startup. Good thinking. Now, where should you commence your hunt?
New York City is a good place to begin. The startup community in the big apple is booming. With companies popping up left and right, so comes the demand for fresh-faced new employees—perhaps you.
Know that startups have irregular recruiting schedules. They hire when they have an acute need, meaning they needed that person yesterday. If you’re serious about pursuing a startup opportunity after you graduate, don’t expect to have an offer fall senior year or even in the early spring semester. It’s likely that it will be closer to May graduation, if not after you graduate. And if you see a listing you are extremely interested in, get on that application because they’ll likely be looking to fill the role ASAP. The best way you can start your search is by getting a lay of the land. Immerse yourself in anything and everything that has to do with startups to begin understanding. We’ve put together a list of some tips and resources to have on your radar:
Network, Network, Network
The ultimate way to find a startup job? Networking. Coffee chats are the best way to get to know someone in an informal setting and put your name out there. Even at big startups, they have so many inbound resumes that they don’t even look at them. One of our companies we work with has 1000 resumes in their inbox, and as a result goes strictly through referral. To put it plainly, as many as 50-80% of hires come through referrals at startups, so take networking seriously.
The best way to approach this is by asking anyone in the startup industry to meet with you for coffee. Pick their brain for advice about getting into the industry, and also check to see if their company is hiring for any roles. Even if they aren’t hiring immediately, you never know who they might be able to put you in touch with if you make a great impression. People are willing to offer 30 minutes of their day—most of the time they’ll just be excited to get the chance to talk about their company.
Don’t neglect alumni connections and friends who can get you in touch with companies you may want to work for. If you establish a connection, when they’re looking, you could be on the shortlist.
Meetups & Events
Find one that appeals to you, then take a day trip to NY to check it out. GarysGuide is a curated list of meetups/events by city. Sign up for the listserv to get a weekly roundup of events. NY Tech Day, a giant exhibition of NYC-based startups at Pier 92, is coming up on April 24th. It’s free to register, so sign up now. On May 17th is Walkabout NYC: a day where startups open up their doors to the public and a great chance to peek inside the startup world.
Once you start attending events and meeting people in the community, make sure you solidify your connections by following up with a coffee or an e-mail.
Startup Job Fairs
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned job fair (except that these job fairs are a bit more forward-thinking than old-fashioned). Take a look at Uncubed, a recruiting event for some pretty cool tech companies. Then there’s the aptly titled NYC Startup Job Fair. Though it already happened this year, keep on eye on the startup jobs listed on their site.
Hackathons are basically fast-paced, weekend-long workshops where you team up with a cross-functional team to go from concept to prototype. If this sounds up your alley, take a look at Startup Weekend and Lean Startup Machine. (Sign up for the May 16-18th Lean Startup Machine in NYC here) These hackathons provide the opportunity for you to get a real taste of startup experience and make important connections with like-minded people. Plus, after little sleep and lots of group brainstorming, you’ll probably come out of the weekend with at least a few new friends.
Made In New York
Wish there was a compilation list of all the tech companies based in NYC? Look no further than We Are Made in New York. Their site highlights jobs in the sector and is an all-around great resource for a person such as yourself looking to get involved with startups.
Get ahead of the game by educating yourself through startup-relevant classes. General Assembly and Skillshare offer one-off classes with a ton of useful information for all of you self-directed learners out there. For the more serious student, look to Startup Institute. Their 8-week immersive program includes practitioner-led instruction and hands-on curriculum, all while introducing you to a vast web of startup founders, employees and other job-seekers.
Let Lynxsy Hook You Up
We can’t neglect to mention what we do. Here at Lynxsy, we’ve established connections with dozens of startups in New York City so we can hook them up with well-rounded recent grads. Sound like you? Apply now.
As you can see, the resources are out there, so you have no excuse not to get involved in the startup community immediately. Take the initiative to educate yourself and attend some of the dozens of events put on and you just might meet the job match you’ve been hoping for. Happy hunting!
- Startup Careers 101: Roles for Non-technical Backgrounds
- 5 Things to Expect at a Startup