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by Vault Careers | October 13, 2011


For job seekers looking for new opportunities at smaller companies, getting hired at a startup business may mean changing strategies on how to search for work at these young firms.  Here are some ideas to try:

1. Broaden search

Despite a new report by the University of Colorado that found job seekers who used the internet found work 25 percent times faster than those who didn't search the web, candidates looking for openings need to broaden their search beyond cyberspace. Technical writer Hannah Rose said that often startups do not advertise job openings, so candidates need to begin to look for "hidden opportunities" through word of mouth and industry connections.

2. Engage

Even if a smaller firm does not post current job openings, candidates should look on the internet for the company's social media pages, according to Business Insider. Job seekers should find out as much about a company as they can before approaching them about possible employment.

3. Think format

Business Insider also suggested that job seekers applying to smaller companies send their resumes and cover letters in a PDF format. Small business owner Keith Cowing, founder of Seamless Receipts, said that if a candidate sends in a resume in a word document, it shows that they didn't take the time to PDF it. He said many smaller companies are also looking for well-written LinkedIn profiles and relevant websites in addition to traditional paperwork.

4. Customize and edit

Many startup companies do not have a large human resources staff that can take the time to read over mounds of applications. Rose suggested that job seekers take the time to tailor their resumes to suit the company's needs, keeping it succinct with a brief mission statement or career summary at the top.

5. Think outside the box

Rose also suggested that candidates do something different to show their interest and individuality when applying to a young startup. Candidates may want to make a video application or find a creative way to attract a potential employer's attention in order to show how innovative they are.

6. Run, don't walk

Cowing said that speed and time can be crucial when applying to a startup company. Job seekers should make sure they learn as much about a company in the least amount of time and try to apply when it appears the business is beginning to grow. Applicants need to show they are quick to respond and willing to roll up their sleeves in order to help the new venture succeed.

--Published courtesy of Brafton


Filed Under: Job Search|Networking