3 things to keep in mind while applying for a role in startups
1) Know thy company. Figure out why you want to work there!
A startup is the largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future - Peter Thiel
Startups often try to solve big problems that can potentially to build a different future and in the process do many unconventional things. If you aspire to work at such a place, do your research and learn the company in depth. Try and understand the problems they are solving, their inspirations, how they are going about solving those problems, the company culture, and so on.
Then figure out what motivates you to be part of that journey, how do you fit in, and what value/skills you will bring to the table in the journey to solve the problems.
2. Make your application count
“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” - Guy Kawasaki
It is not uncommon that startups are stretched for resources when it comes to hiring. More often than not the top leadership of the company is involved in hiring and they may be wearing multiple hats.
Clearing articulating your thoughts and showcasing your passion, creativity, experience, skills, and inspiration in your application is an absolute must.
Articulating these doesn't mean writing the best/flowery language. You can bring these qualities out by giving examples of your past work, sharing your design portfolio, your GitHub repos or code samples, something you built, a program you ran and so on. These help the companies get a first hand understanding about you, your abilities, and achievements.
3. Prepare yourself for the hiring process, and really well!
When a startup is looking to expand its team, remember that companies are looking for leaders who can build on the vision & mission of the company. To find these leaders each company adopts a different (and often lengthy) processes to find the right leaders. Assessing your skills is very important but equally important is understanding the other aspects around culture, values, aptitude amongst others.
When you are going through such an interview process, make sure you are prepared for it and approach it with your best self!