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Ask HN: How do you convice a startup to bet on you?
6 points by anonymous_hner 929 days ago | 11 comments
Hi, So, I am a college student and I was looking for a cool start up to join. I recently got rejected down by my dream YC start up because they wanted college graduates with start up experience and they would find right candidate given some time. How do I convince them that I am the best bet? I am super passionate about their product but I don't have the start up experience. I have had two internships at big corporation and a small academic institution.

Please advise. thank you.

PS: Yes, this is a throwaway account.




It's easy to say you're passionate about a product, but how are you expressing that? Do you know the ins and outs of their product? Their market? Have you researched their competitors? The point I'm trying to make is that passion is great, but showing that you've turned that passion onto the needs of the position you're seeking is better. If you're looking for a technical position, get as deep into the technical nature and differentiators between their product and competitors. If it's marketing, talk about key demographics, key markets, etc. At the end of the day, you want to show them that while that college grad may come in and give them X level of production versus your (0.5)X on day 1, by day 50 you'll be at 2X while that grad is still at X. That's all you can do.

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Why wouldn't you just focus on graduating? If the startup is any good they will be there in a year or two. If they have an api build a startup of your own that uses their stuff. Maybe you can get acquired instead of hired.

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I am graduating next semester.

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Do something different like this: http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/12/this-guy-really-wants-to-wo...

Maybe: Start an ad campaign on Facebook, targeting the founders of the startup. Title it: [startup name] or [founder name]- Hire Me! and link the ad to a website that tells them more about who you are and why you are the best fit.

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I already had an onsite interview with them. Is this still a good idea?

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Build something. Design something. Contribute to something. Help people. Give and get feedback. The rest will take care of itself. Relax, start small, keep going.

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I'm also a student that is looking to intern/work with a startup.

There was a common application for startups posted on HN recently, and it seems very promising. I am definitely applying. The deadline is March 5th, so you have some time, but it would be nice to see who is interested in you.

Here's the link: http://www.university.firstround.com/

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If they have a github contribute to one of their projects. This will also help you figure out whether or not you would actually enjoy working there.

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Why not start your own startup?

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Build things that work. Repeat.

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Stop playing by the rules. The rules are for suckers.

How did I get into a startup with no college degree and no startup experience? Instead of sending in a resume, I redesigned their landing page and sent that to them - even though they didn't ask for it. That may sound cliche, but it's been more than 2 years since then, and nobody has applied with anything more than the typical resume. Everyone assumes they need to play by the rules.

Go build things. Build yourself a website. Build something you can showcase in lieu of a degree.

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