We’ve been to a number of campuses this fall. With an accelerated recruiting schedule, many of the big companies have already come and gone. There’s a feeling with some students that they’re running late in the process if they haven’t already secured a position (or are not close to doing so).
If you’ve set your eyes on joining a startup, two words. Chill and prepare.
While we have a number of current openings at companies, most startups haven’t even started the process of recruiting upcoming grads and interns. Some will begin later this fall. Most won’t get going until later in the winter or even the spring.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t be looking and pursuing opportunities of interest now. You should be, if you have the time and inclination. Getting more experience with the recruiting process and engaging companies on that front are good skills to develop. Plus, you may also land a position as a result.
We are saying to recognize where many startups are in the recruiting cycle.
In parallel, you should also consider how best to take advantage of this “window” to put yourself in a stronger position to land a role.
One approach is to think of yourself as the “product.” What can you do to make yourself more compelling for a startup looking for talent that can contribute to their team?
Some options to consider are expanding your body of work through side projects to further show passion for your field, finding a campus startup that you can contribute to and gain further experience, building out your portfolio so that it illustrates & demonstrates what you’ve done (and can do).
Taking this two-pronged approach may serve you well in the coming months. Searching for and applying to opportunities is the part of the process that everyone understands. However, consider what you’re also doing to further enhance “your story” and attractiveness to startups.