How to Get a Job at a Startup; What Employers Look For

by / ⠀Blog Entrepreneurship / December 12, 2022

Everyone knows startups are the future. But not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. However, even if you feel you cannot be the founder of a startup, it doesn’t imply you cannot be a part of it too. Considering the scope of growth and future, working at a startup can undoubtedly be beneficial for your career. But how to get a job at a startup?

After all, entrepreneurs are pretty different from the usual business owners. They are visionaries who do not like being confined in a box. And they want people with the same zeal to become a part of their startup. So how to get a job at a startup and provide employers with what they are looking for?

Getting a Job at a Startup: Everything You Must Know

Before we start, let’s make one thing clear. Startups are not like regular 9 to 5 jobs. Keep in mind that these are companies that have just stepped into the market with a fresh vision. Hence, you must be prepared for some setbacks, uncertainties, and problems if you join a startup as an employee. So, how to get a job at a startup? Here are the traits you must have!


Startup employers are looking to make a strong and reliable team that will help them establish their company in the market. Hence, they look for employees who have the drive. They want people who will help them take their company forward.

How to get a job at a startup? Prove that you are willing to work in multiple capacities to help the company. Startups are launched with a lot of dreams and hopes. But more often than not, funds and resources are pretty limited. And founders want employees who will work with the available resources creatively to fulfill the requirements of the company.

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But how can you convince employers that you have the drive and creativity? Show them proof of it! No, you don’t have to launch something extravagant as a company. All you have to do is prove to them that you can plan things from scratch even with limited resources, and they will definitely consider you for the job.

Showcase Your Creative Thinking

Startups seldom follow a set path. After all, the whole premise of startups is offering something new. Therefore, you cannot expect someone to dictate the terms to you. Instead, you have to work with the rest of the team to figure out your path. When you are working in a startup, your critical thinking comes to the forefront.

Startups don’t want employees with high grades. They give more value to people with raw intelligence. For them, it’s not about degrees but about practicality.

You have to prove to your employers that you can solve problems. But how? Use your cover letter for the purpose. You can also drop hints about the times you have solved a big problem during meetings and interviews.

They will also gauge quite a bit about your critical thinking via the way you interact with them during your interview. So make sure that you ask relevant and insightful questions during your interactions.

Humility Is Invaluable

Of course, when you are looking for a job, you have to ensure that your employers see what you are capable of. You must flaunt your skills and abilities. But at the same time, you have to show humility too.

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And that’s because a startup is a place where you will have to learn a lot of things. You will make mistakes, and you must learn from them. So employers look for people who they feel will be able to recover from setbacks with optimism.

Therefore, don’t hesitate to talk about your weaknesses during your interviews too. Employers at startups prefer people who are realistic about their strengths and weaknesses and who show a commitment to learning. Make it clear that although you are not without flaws, you are willing to do whatever it takes to learn and grow.

Passion Matters The Most

This one’s the most obvious. Most startups are launched with a great deal of passion. The founder is someone who believed in his idea even when the world ridiculed it. Entrepreneurs give it all to their startups. They leave stable careers, empty their savings accounts and spend many sleepless nights establishing their career. And they do it all for passion.

This is precisely what they want in their employees too. Startups don’t hire people who are merely looking for a job. They want people who have positive energy, who have a passion for achieving something, and who believe in their vision.

So it’s best to apply to startups you genuinely want to be a part of. You should be excited about working there, and your employer should be able to see that. The hiring manager must feel your passion. Talk about the company and why you want to become a part of it.

The Right Fit

Startups are companies just starting out. Hence, employers are focused on building a team. And no one wants an employee who stands out in a team sorely. Therefore, your employer will only consider you if they feel you will be a cultural fit in their organization.

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Teams at startups have to work closely. Therefore, it’s vital that everyone gets along well. They want people who are easy to work with and can contribute to the company’s growth.

How to Get a Job at a Startup? Do Your Research!

We can’t stress this enough! If the employer feels you know nothing about the company, they are unlikely to give you a chance. And that’s because they want people who share their vision.

So if you want a job at a startup, show drive, humility, and passion. But at the same time, put in the effort to learn more about the company, its vision, and its values.

About The Author


Tauseeq Magsi has been a writing geek for the past six years. He has written about Tech, Finance, Leadership, Business, and more. He loves helping others achieve their goals, and he hopes to continue helping people through his writing for many years to come. In addition to writing, Tauseeq Magsi loves to travel and learn new things.


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