There is no typical route into the entrepreneurial scene but there are things you can do to get noticed. Here are our top four tips to help you on your way and don't forget to check Ignite for live job opportunities.
1. Stay tuned
Like most graduate recruiters, there is no structured application process for working in this sector. Whilst established businesses hire most of their graduates from penultimate year summer internships, start-ups very rarely do this.
Start-ups also recruit on a rolling basis for their entry level jobs, rather than a yearly 'graduate intake'. You'll need to consistently check the relevant company's job pages and/or LinkedIn pages to see if they're hiring.
Start-ups also tend to post details about open positions on twitter and facebook, and so be sure to follow/like them to help you stay in touch. It's also excellent practice to do this anyway - as it means you'll be able to keep track of what they're up to should you secure an eventual interview.
2. Gain some work experience
Any experience. Fresh graduates are a risk to start-ups. As talented as you are/were at university you may lack the skills needed to succeed in this new, often high-pressured environment.
Gaining relevant experience in small businesses will not only improve your CV but you'll also understand how you can add value to a small business. Are you a sales ninja or a coding whizz? You might be pleasantly surprised.
Get some experience and find out what you're really good at and how that's relevant to a start-up. By doing work experience, you'll also gain a greater understanding of what life is really like in a start-up and how well you cope/survive/flourish in that environment.
3. Compile your 'dream list' of start-ups that you would like to work for
Monitor start-up portals such as Ignite to keep an eye on which start-ups are growing quickly and who is raising money. If firms are raising money they are normally doing this as they want to hire more people.
Monitor these companies' jobs pages and if you see something that comes up, apply! Alternatively, do not be afraid of sending in a speculative application and following it up with a call/email.
4. Network, network, network
Referrals are the most successful way that companies fill their job vacancies (good people know good people), so go to events and network with people who may know a company that's looking to hire.
All start-up businesses need great talent to grow, so let people know you're in the market for a role and they may put a good word in for you. Lots of these events are free and while it can seem daunting at first, once you've done a few, you'll become even more confident.