(Note: This post originally was written for the BostInnovation blog and re-posted here as part of my blogging portfolio.)
From the outside looking in, you may think getting a job at a startup is like getting a job at any other company – Starbucks, Staples, Macy’s, etc. I hate to burst that belief, but it’s a bit tougher than just filling out an application, having a formal interview, and hoping to get chosen among the multitude of applicants.
Getting into the start up scene is about who you know and how much you are willing to give to make a company succeed. Being in Boston adds another unique layer to this; we are a very tight-knit community. Although Boston is a relatively big city and it may seem like a large pool of companies and candidates, we all talk. Why? Because we all are on social media or go to events regularly!
Coming from a small town in Connecticut myself, I had to learn the hard way that getting involved in the startup scene in Boston was no easy task. However, it was the best journey I’ve ever been on. Being here a year and a half now, I want to share with you how you can go about getting a job in an awesome start up in Boston without wasting time.
1. Network – work the scene
Due to our tight-knit community, we all tend to navigate towards the same type of events. I find myself saying “Long time no see!” in a sarcastic manner to many people who attend the same events as I do. We all know the right events to go to, whether a casual beer and networking event or a knowledge-based event. Start attending events, talking to various people about the events they attend, look for patterns, and deepen your network.
This will allow you to become recognized in the area and allow you to learn from this group and get the ‘in’ on potential job openings.
2. Get involved on social media
Let’s face it – Boston is full of nerds. It is also full of social media enthusiasts – and we’re a bit proud of it. I highly suggest you create Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even YouTube accounts and start interacting with influencers in Boston.
You can find these influencers by noticing how many followers they have, how much they engage with others and by catching them in person at events. By following conversations and talking with other people in Boston, you will build up recognition of your skills and interests.
3. Create your own personal brand
Just like any consumer brand, it is important to distinguish yourself in the market. Making yourself both memorable and visible is crucial today. Chances are, if you are being interviewed for a job, the employer is Googling you to view your personal brand and digital footprint.
I highly recommend starting a personal website or blog that demonstrates what you are interested in, your past experience, and anything else career-related you want others to see.
For me, I blogged about digital marketing, posted videos on how to brand yourself online, and posted my video resume. On top of that, build out social sites like Twitter and LinkedIn demonstrating the same information on your site to create consistency.
People will come to expect certain content from you and will know where to get it. This is crucial when you are on the job hunt. Being visible and helpful online can go a long way.
4. Be yourself
It is important to first and foremost act like the same person whether online or in person. Your personal brand online should reflect who you really are. If you are a fun, bubbly person, write in a conversational, easy-going tone. That way, no matter which way a person is communicating with you, they know it is truly you.
At the end of the day, it is who and what you know that can get you into the Boston startup scene. Networking properly and demonstrating your expertise both online and offline are critical to getting seen and remembered by potential employers.
Most of us at BostInnovation have done these above four things to get jobs at really awesome companies and involved with this blog. Ask any of us, it was more than worth it!