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How to Find the Perfect SaaS Startup Job

By Emily Smith on Wed, Nov 16, 2016

If you want to work in a SaaS startup, it can be difficult to know where to look: where to find job vacancies, and how to land the job once you’ve found one. Today I’m sharing how to land a job at a SaaS startup, whether you’re a developer, or looking for a non-technical role.

1) Know Where to Look

One of the first challenges you’ll encounter when looking for a job at a SaaS startup is actually finding a job to apply for. In early-stage startups, hiring will likely have a much less formalised process compared with established companies, which can mean that some job vacancies never get listed or advertised - anywhere.

However, some online job boards specialise in advertising jobs in startups - such as AngelList. These can be a great starting point for finding SaaS startup jobs, rather than traditional job-listing websites such as Monster or Indeed.

2) Show Your Skills and Interests

It’s important to be able to showcase your practical skills and experience when applying for a new job. For developers, a GitHub repository will be a great asset: it will allow people to view the quality of your code, your technical capabilities and recent projects. If you’re looking for non-technical roles, an online portfolio or blog will be a useful way to showcase your skills (both Ryan and myself had personal blogs that helped us get our jobs at Cobloom).

Additionally, one of the most important things startup employers look for in prospective employees is passion: for your work, learning and opportunities. Sharing and commenting on relevant content on social media is a great way to share your passion, and make contact with relevant people.

3) Network

It's common for early-stage startups to lack the time and money to invest in working with recruiters. In fact, quite often they will hire from their own personal or professional network.

As well as connecting online, you could attend startup or tech events, which will give you a fantastic opportunity to meet people and expand your own network. One of the most important thing to remember is to listen at least as much as you speak.

The most common mistake people make when networking whilst job-hunting is to make every conversation about them, and their skills, when what you really want to learn is what the other person needs – their struggles or problems they encounter day-to-day. This will give you useful insight to follow-up with.

Read more handy networking tips.

4) Use Their Products

If you’ve got a particular SaaS startup in mind you want to work for, it’s vital that you know their product. For example, Buffer prioritises hiring users of their product over non-users (that blog post provides some great insight as to why).

While it may not be a requirement for startups you apply for, it can certainly be a great way to differentiate yourself from other applicants: it demonstrates a real interest in their product.

5) Reach Out

Obviously, not all startups will be hiring all the time, but if there’s a company you really want to work for, let them know. There’s no harm in some speculative outreach, and some startups will be delighted to hear from you, and will keep your details on file until a position comes up.

If you do reach out, remember to focus on what you can offer this particular startup to help them grow. The more specific, the better: it demonstrates a real understanding of your capabilities, as well as the needs of a growing startup and this specific company.

Want to know more? Find out about how we hire at Cobloom – the actual hiring process I went through before I got my job here.

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