5 Skills To Impress A Startup: From Maggie to Monica…

Startups are after the best employees on the market. It’s an intense environment on a very limited budget where performance is everything; they can’t afford to have dead weight.
Not to worry though. We all know you are the best candidates (as you’re using Enternships) so here is my 5 skills you need to practice and show off to bag your dream startup job.



1. Maggie Thatcher work ethic
A strange example, but the former Iron Lady was famed for only sleeping 4 hours per night – that is a work ethic.
Startups go hard and push themselves to the limit. This involves long hours, weekends and holidays, but if you choose the right startup you will be doing something fun, exciting and interesting.
Startups look for people that have a passion and work hard to make sure that passion is done to the best of your ability.
To highlight work ethic in an application show your hobby (knitting, rugby, air fix models etc) and show what work you have done over a prolonged period of time with the results that were achieved. As a side note please don’t tell a possible recruiter how you did no work all term but managed to cram for 48 hours solid to pass your exam; not cool.


2. Take a leaf out of the Friends cast personal lives
Probably the best example of a group of friends that kept an active social life. Follow their lead and show a startup you have a group of friends that you spend time with outside of work (despite my last point you will have a social life).
Startups appreciate you need a social life and will be impressed by an active one. It shows that you are happy outside of work, and this will effect your performance at work.
Highlight trips / travelling that you have taken with groups of friends, show events that you go to, or hobbies that you do with your friends. The more you show you are an active and sociable person the more value a startup can see in you.


3. Organise yourself
99% of startup founders will be in the 1% of the most unorganised people in the world. It is in their DNA, they can’t look after themselves as they are constantly chasing dreams and trying to execute their amazing ideas.
If you can show them how amazingly organised you are they will be stunned beyond belief and will not be able to comprehend what you have just shown them.
Highlight how you manage your amazing social life with your dedicated work ethic through a series of notebooks, calendars, and to-do lists and you will get any startup founder begging you to look at their mess of filing system and personal to-do management.


4. Bet the business, but know what you’re doing
Startup founders are inherent risk takers, they like to take chances and reap the big rewards.
Startups look to their people to take similar risks in ensuring the business moves forward and delivers. Highlight your risk threshold through examples of when you have tried something others were too afraid to try.
However, a word of warning, you will be betting the startup founders money so be prepared to be accountable and show that you can rescue any situation.


5. Move from tech nomad to tech know how
Please don’t reach for the the closest computer science text book to learn about database management.
However, an understanding in the basic technology concepts will do you no harm. Show that you understand HTML, CSS and basic Javascript and could talk to a hardcore developer about basic website design and structure.
There are tonnes of resources on the web to help you get started and this will demonstrate to any startup that you are dedicated to the online world.


Plus one
The above 5 points should help you bag your dream startup. The final point is that a startup will look favourably on startup experience. No one understands what it takes to work in a startup like someone that has been involved in a startup already.
No, you don’t need to rush out and start a startup. Instead come to the next London Launch48 Weekend in October and start working with startups. You will quickly learn what it takes to launch a startup and how to create an action plan to take a startup forward.
Not only that but you will meet mentors that have launched dozens of businesses between them and have made over $200 million between them. It wouldn’t harm any interview to say you have met these people, some of them may recruit you directly as well.
To find out more about the London Launch48 Weekend go to london.launch48.com

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