During my undergrad, I was fortunate enough to work with three super interesting startups alongside some great humans (Tilt, Tayble, and most recently, Ofload), and each of those experiences have helped shape my personal paradigm for what defines meaningful work.
But how many had a job listing for a student role? Zero.
Okay, yeah yeah, so a generic university careers event in university told you to reach out to people on LinkedIn if you’re looking for a job, but hold up…
Who should you be messaging, and what exactly do you say???
Let’s dive in and look at the real-world process we’ve used to land roles in tech and startups through LinkedIn in the past.
In this Weekly Cheeky Tip, I’ve included real screenshots of 2 different techniques I utilised to find these student jobs without an official listing.
1) Add value to the company before your first message
tl;dr - Leverage a small favour to a company to get your foot in the door for hiring. It was in 2nd-year uni that I first came across Tayble, a restaurant ordering app for dine-in and takeaway well ahead of its time, through an advertisement that popped up on my Facebook feed.
Sold on the idea, I participated in their pre-launch referral competition to win free meals, and through posting my referral link across several platforms in a bunch of relevant groups, I was able to shoot up to the 8th highest spot out of over 3000 entrants in 48 hours.
I then reached out to their COO to tell them about my efforts, explain a bit more about why I was interested in their space, and ask if they had any upcoming intern positions. He put me in touch with their CMO to discuss further. Met up at Bondi Junction for a single casual interview as their first-ever Sales & Marketing Intern and boom! Hired.
2) Turn a full-time entry-level or associate-level listing into a part-time role
tl;dr - Just because a job listing says full-time, doesn’t mean they won’t consider part-time for the right candidate. Mindlessly scrolling through LinkedIn jobs (the usual), I happened to see an Operations Associate position at Ofload (previously Loadsmile), a digital road freight platform working to reduce waste and increase transparency in the Australian trucking industry.
The problem space seemed super interesting, the founding team looked really strong, and they were at an exciting early stage with pre-seed funding from Rocket Internet, but the role? Full-time. Hmmmmm.
I applied anyway, and upon initial reach-out from the COO, I was upfront about the fact that I was looking for something part-time with the view to full-time in a few months.
Sure enough, that COVID thingo meant part-time was actually quite suitable on a small startup budget. Three interviews later, I joined the team part-time and have since converted to a full-time role after graduating.
You rarely see ‘Product Management’ degrees in the tech world, so where the f*ck do all these product managers come from? One of the most common pathways is to first be a software engineer, but it’s no easy leap.
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