Agony Lance: How to get hired by startups

How do I get noticed by startups like Xero and Vend? Startups get slammed with a lot of people interested in working with them, it's hard to differentiate yourself.

How do I get noticed by startups like Xero and Vend? Startups get slammed with a lot of people interested in working with them, it's hard to differentiate yourself. - Owen Williams @ow

The days of hiring off a CV and from standard job ads or agencies are numbered. All the action from Vend and Xero is on Twitter and in person at conferences and I’ve seen a steady stream of cool people I know through these sources migrate to each company.

So to get noticed in the first place, go and immerse yourself in Twitter and events like Gather and Webstock, technical or design web meet-ups and Girl Geeks Dinners. And be cool.

But getting noticed is insufficient. You also need to be good at what you do and the best evidence of this is a visible track record. So get of your butt and start developing, designing, writing or whatever it is you do. It may be embarrassing at first, but we all started somewhere. Make your CV your visible work. 

Companies like Xero and Vend are looking for a bias to action and the ability to learn, as they are still learning themselves, and they will always need people who just get things done. 

If Vaughan and Rod say no, then go start your own business, or look for a very early stage startup to join. If you are too early in your career, or too corporatised, then a spell in a very early stage company will at worst make you far more attractive, and dare I say it, cool, to the faster players. 

And for the startups – if you are really struggling for staff, why not get on a plane to the Philippines or Malaysia, as there is still plenty more potential for hiring smart immigrants from there and other places. 

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