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How to land a job at a startup

Clearly stating your achievements in your résumé can get you a bigger chance of getting hired.
By Adiat Disu |

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There's no doubting the reputation startups have acquired over the past decade or so: the rock star-like young professionals; the hip offices; the (eventual) perks.

 

Startups are prime workplace real estate these days for every prospective new-hire, and they continue to set the trends in hiring tactics and practices.

 

The startup world is an attractive prospect for ex-entrepreneurs in that it allows them to work as pseudo-entrepreneurs--they still get to flex their entrepreneurial muscles while gainfully accepting the consistency of a paycheck. Although ex-entrepreneurs may not like to admit it, the need to re-enter the workforce could happen for different reasons.

 

Related: 3 ways to be constantly recruiting star talent through social media

 

Turns out new businesses have a high failure rate.

 

Startups need workers who are eager to take the initiative and make decisions that others won't. Only those that succeed in making these essential hires, who aren't afraid to set trends, have any chance of survival. Mark Zuckerberg once said in an interview, "I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person." This is where you, as an ex-entrepreneur, will be invaluable.

 

Here are three factors that have big impacts on who gets hired at a startup.

 

1. What have you done?

 

Clearly state what you've accomplished either working for yourself or for someone else.

 

Many candidates are guilty of overstating events and accomplishments on their résumés. On the other hand, many others make a different fundamental mistake: They never state, in clear language, what they've done for a previous employer or in their academic pursuits.

 

No one has the time to decipher the finer points of your résumé. You're trying to say why you're the best person for the job. If it's hard to read, your résumé will be thrown aside. Explain clearly, in as much detail and jargon-free language as possible, what you successfully did in a previous role.

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Related: Google's Head of HR: It doesn't matter where candidates went to college

 

2. Placement matters

 

Do list your accomplishments as close to the top of your résumé as possible.

 

How many prime candidates have made the fatal mistake of letting their finest achievements get lost in the clutter of words that is their résumé? As previously stated, a hiring manager at any organization is sifting through thousands of emails to find that one gold nugget--a daunting task.

 

If that's the case, you want your nugget as close to the top of that pile of dirt as possible. Let your finest achievements be listed as close to the top of your résumé as possible. Most hiring managers will spend less than 10 seconds on each résumé -- something has to catch his or her eye before that window of time runs out.

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3. Look the part

 

To swing things in your favor when meeting the hiring manager for the job, look like you fit the job.

 

Numerous studies have proven the human mind and eye have a bias toward more attractive-looking individuals, and it would be smart to take advantage of that small glitch in the human psyche. Startups have earned the reputation of being much more laid back in attire choice than your traditional corporate workplace. However, many candidates have taken this to mean they don't need to try hard to look their best at a startup interview.

 

No matter what the culture the organization favors, individuals that are more attractive will always be favored

 

when it comes to offers, salaries and compensation. Candidates need to make an effort to look their best to subconsciously influence the hiring manager's decisions.

 

Related: Do this and get hired: Weekly tips roundup

 

Copyright © 2015 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor. 

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Photos from Flickr (COD Newsroom and Eric Kim)

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