What are some of the unusual/creative ways to apply for a competitive startup?

There’s this company that’s hiring and I’m really curious about my chances of getting hired. The thing is that it’s really competitive and my resume will not be special compared to thousands of other black and white resumes that nearly have the same format. Any ideas to stand out/be noticed and pass the filtering stage?


This isn't very unusual or creative, but really go down every path you can to connect with someone who works there. It's the best way to get your resume past the initial gatekeepers.

Some ideas:
- Are you connected to anyone at the Startup on LinkedIn - invite them out to coffee

-Does any alumni from your college or High School work there reach out and introduce yourself

-Is anyone from the company speaking at any local events or meet ups go and introduce yourself.

Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago

Im an investor who has founded several companies. If you really want in, figure out how to stalk the people you are interested in-really. Write your pitch and practice it over and over so its sharp and perfect. Do your homework, know what they need and why you can provide it. Then find them at their coffee hangout or where they surf. Be brave, and introduce yourself and give your pitch. Its a high risk strategy, but its a far better way to get to someone than chasing them on Linkedin or at a conference. Dont be creepy, and dont break any laws. And remember the sale is about them and their needs, not you. Good luck.

Answered 9 years ago

I have never been hired by a startup via a resume.

Not once.

In fact, it is usual years down the line when the HR department is finally officially set up that they ask me to submit my resume so it can complete my file.

What you need to do is "stalk" the company you are interested in. Find out who is there, what positions they have already, what their values are, what kind of people they are (does everyone go out to a bar together after work, or go hiking together on weekends? If that ain't you, wrong company - at least for now.)

Then, figure out what you can offer them and contact them with your plan. Don't ask, tell them how they can't live without you. Offer them a trial period of your services and give them the plan you have to make their company better.

Works every time.

Answered 9 years ago

A friend of mine wanted to work at a tech startup that was hiring. The position was a few steps above her experience level, and in a completely different vertical from where she'd been before.

She knew this, so she went WAY above and beyond to stand out.

1. She did a ton of research on the company and figured out their values and personality as much as possible.

2. She built a quick website with a URL similar to — it was her resume, but customized to the company's needs. Making the site was easy for her, but it showed that she wasn't shooting resumes at every company she could find; she put both time and money into this site.

3. She figured out where the office was located, then found a local bakery (the company has a big focus on keeping things local) to deliver enough cupcakes for everyone who worked at the company along with a note thanking the company for reviewing her resume and considering her.

The effect of this was really noticeable. Especially the cupcakes: now everyone in the company knew she was an applicant for the job, and they — of course — liked her quite a bit because she'd already given them a gift.

She ended up being offered the job, despite her lack of experience and comparatively unimpressive resume.

The key is to do something that will keep you top-of-mind. If you can get the rest of the company to know who you are, that means they'll be asking, "Hey, did we hire the cupcake girl? We should hire the cupcake girl."

Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago

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