Applying for a jobLooking to get into the startup world? Get your first grown up job or maybe just looking to move onto bigger and better things in a new job? No matter the goal, writing a great CV and cover letter is key to securing that next job Those aren’t hard rules, but following […]
Applying for a job Looking to get into the startup world? Get your first grown up job or maybe just looking to move onto bigger and better things in a new job? No matter the goal, writing a great CV and cover letter is key to securing that next job
Those aren’t hard rules, but following these guidelines is a good start.
Read the advertisement I know this sounds obvious, but a surprising amount of people don’t read the job ads they are applying for. That results in not providing enough information to the employer or applying for something you are wildly underqualified for.
Aside from understanding the job you are applying for,
reading the ad properly makes tailoring your CV/cover letter so much easier.
Startups for example might need their front-end developer to do something more
than just programming. If you only want to do programming that job might not be
Create an easy to read CV Keep it clean, keep it simple. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager that might have to go through 100+ CV’s that day, make finding the key information easy. This is especially important if you are applying at a startup that might have limited manpower to go through your application.
Try to focus on your strengths that are relevant to the job,
if you are applying for a back-end developer role, your summer job at a grocery
store is unlikely to help. It might however help if you are looking for a
customer facing job.
Quality > Quantity, a hiring manager would rather receive
one-page CV filled with quality than a three page one with irrelevant
information. Keep that in mind and focus on information that supports your
Cover Letter The easiest way to start is by creating a generic cover letter with some background information and the hard/soft skills that apply to any job outlined. You can then use that base to create a tailored cover letter for each job you apply for.
Use the cover letter to explain how and why you are the
right person, the job ad will be asking for certain skills and attributes. You
need to show that you have what they are looking for and provide support for
Avoid using generic keywords like hard worker, multitasker
and great team player if you can’t provide any examples to support it.
And never lie.
Follow up Sending a short follow up message one or two weeks after sending in the application reinforces your interest in the job.
During the peak of the pandemic, it wasn’t just pandemic babies popping up. We saw startup growth doubled. One of these startups was Koia. Backed by Monzo and Freetrade co-founders, Koia shows a promising future. If you could explain Koia’s mission in one sentence, what would it be? Koia aims to open up access to […]
The Case Of Koia: How To Launch a Startup In a Pandemic 2021
During the peak of the pandemic, it wasn’t just pandemic babies popping up. We saw startup growth doubled. One of these startups was Koia. Backed by Monzo and Freetrade co-founders, Koia shows a promising future.
If you could explain Koia’s mission in one sentence, what would it be?
Koia aims to open up access to alternative assets. We want to provide access to new, exciting and rewarding investment opportunities that were previously only accessible to the very wealthy.
What inspired the idea behind Koia?
At Koia, we enable anyone to invest in alternative assets like fine wine, watches or Pokémon Cards. We fractionalise high-value collectibles so that our app users can, for instance, buy 1% of a €100,000 watch.
It’s a new concept, so we indeed often get asked how we came up with the idea. As founders, even before we got to know each other, we’d all been interested in getting more people to invest and getting more people engaged with investing. We came to the conclusion that in order to do that, we couldn’t build just another investment app that was slightly better than the ones out there. Instead, we wanted to build something that was truly unique, more engaging and that’d tap into people’s passions and interests. By allowing anyone to invest in what they know and love we believe we can attract seasoned and new investors alike and build something that excites our users.
How did you meet your co-founders?
We met here, on Work in Startups.
It wasn’t our first attempt at finding co-founders, as all of us had previously tried working with people from our personal networks or joining incubators. But, finding the right co-founders is not easy. There are so many criteria that you don’t want to compromise on: you need to be passionate about the same business problems and areas, have complimentary skills, have a similar vision for how you want to build a business and, last but not least, get along. Given that only a few out of many people you cross paths with might be a good match, I believe it only makes sense to cast the net as wide as possible and explore every avenue that’s available!
Do you have any tips for finding co-founders online?
The way I approached it is that I posted a rough outline of the business idea I’d been exploring, but I made it clear that this was flexible, because you want to be equal as co-founders and everyone wants to have their input.
Aside from that, I was quite clear on what type of skill set I was looking for and after initial conversations simply started working with people to see how it felt, before formalising things and putting contracts in place. During that initial period, it was very important for me to chat through all the important things, from practical matters like personal runway, to motivations for starting a business and the envisioned “end goal”.
As a growing startup, what was the biggest challenge you have faced thus far?
Every day there are new challenges! As mentioned earlier, the first big challenge was finding the right co-founders. After, given that we’re in the fintech industry and are offering a completely new service, it of course also took some time to find the right set-up and make sure everything was fully legally compliant. We’re now in a stage where we’re starting to look for product-market fit which I am sure will be another interesting challenge with some twists and turns!
How have you found recruiting?
Recruiting has so far been going well. We’ve done both job ads as well as a lot of direct sourcing on LinkedIn. Of course, it takes time, but that is expected. The fact that Koia is one of the first platforms of its kind and is bringing something truly innovative to the market is very exciting for many early-stage startup people, who like creating and building new things.
What are three things you would look for in your future co-workers?
Whereas many things depend on the role and the stage of the company there are a few things that I’d try to look for no matter what:
Biased towards action: in a startup it’s all about getting things done, typically with limited guidance, processes and resources. I look for people who’ve proven that they are able to execute and are great at solving problems.
Growth mindset: it’s important that people are willing to learn, are open-minded and always looking for ways to improve the company. As a startup, we have to be ahead of the curve, and not be afraid to experiment.
Data-driven: not everyone needs to be a data wizz, but what I mean by this is that we look at the facts and make decisions based on evidence, not opinions. Where no data is available, of course we may sometimes have to trust our gut or experience, but generally, being data-driven enables us to build a culture that is meritocratic and fair and where we can make the best decisions possible.
Where do you see Koia in five years?
We envision that in five years, investing in alternative assets has become completely mainstream. Buying a share in a Rolex watch will be as easy and common as buying a fractional share of Apple. Not only do we envision that the concept of fractionalisation will be applied to collectibles, but to anything of value: be that music royalties, land or NFTs with Koia playing a key role in enabling people to own a piece of and trade anything.
Sleep on it? The clocks turned back on Sunday, so maybe you caught some extra Zzz… (I know I did). However, many people continue to struggle with getting a healthy amount of sleep on a daily basis. Such news is concerning, considering the effects of poor sleep on your day to day living, even significantly […]
The clocks turned back on Sunday, so maybe you caught some extra Zzz… (I know I did). However, many people continue to struggle with getting a healthy amount of sleep on a daily basis. Such news is concerning, considering the effects of poor sleep on your day to day living, even significantly impacting your walking! Startups are known for helping us solve our day to day issues innovatively, and they’ve come to the rescue.
What Is SleepTech?
There is actually a term for this industry, you guessed it – sleeptech! The current ‘sleeptech’ market was projected to be $12.5 billion in 2020. Sleeptech contains wearables, SaaS/ digital tools or monitoring devices to mention a few. Although it may seem odd at first to have a dedicated industry to better sleep, considering we spend half our lives’ doing it, it may seem weirder why we aren’t investing and creating more in this space!
Who’s Making Moves In SleepTech?
SleepCogni has recently made headlines by raising a whooping £1.4 million, and is looking to break into the US market. Their website states that instead of medication or sleep monitoring, SleepCogni uses a device and SaaS to help users.
Your snore won’t be a bore with Smart Nora’s anti-snore pillow – which they state has been scientifically validated. This Toronto based startup has even been mentioned in a Forbes article!
This is what dreams are made of (well, technically on): Moona provides pillows with cooling technology. So no more mid-sleep, pillow-flipping nuisance-causing again! This French startup is close to getting a total of $1 million in funding too.
Lastly, we’ve got Lumos for all the jet setters or troubled sleepers. This startup creates an eye mask which uses biosensors, and transmits undetectable pulses of light which makes waking up easier. No more profanities directed at your alarm clock now.
Innovation in this sector is paramount. We invest so much in our food, clothing and lifestyles – maybe it’s time to invest in what we do the most. Or, at least, what we wished we did the most.
The job market is a bit odd at the moment. There’s a bit of a scramble: job vacancies are at an all time high, yet employers don’t seem to be employing (as much). To top it all off, we’re undergoing a ‘Great Resignation’. Yet, what we can extract from this is that many people will […]
Yet, what we can extract from this is that many people will be on the hunt for a job. From those who want a more fulfilling job at part of the Great Resignation to those who need sustainable employment after the ending of the furlough scheme. But searching for a job, especially in this confusing climate, is stressful.
Stressful to the extent that there’s a term for it – job search fatigue. ‘Job search fatigue’ refers to both the physical and mental exhaustion one may face when looking for a job. It’s often a process that does not get discussed much, and can further exacerbate feelings of isolation.
There are some methods to curbing potential job search fatigue, and the mental strain it can cause. In this article, we’ll share some of these said strategies.
However, it should be noted: long term unemployment is often to do with large socio-economic factors – structural unemployment. There is also cyclical unemployment which is the product of the economic downturn. Sometimes it’s better to seek professional help if your mental health is declining significantly.
People Need People
What often contributes to negative emotions is the sense of isolation the job search can bring. This is amplified by the fact that many choose to only share successful outcomes rather than their own failures when securing their own jobs.
In order to prevent the physical exhaustion caused by job search fatigue – it’s good to start with the mental aspect. One way in which you can achieve this is by remembering that others are in a similar situation. Starting this dialogue to someone you trust around you is also a good start. Exchanging and expressing experiences can allow you to feel that you are not alone, and the rejections/failures will eventually pass. This can contribute to a lesser sense of isolation and selflessness, learning to accept that initial rejections from the job search are not a reflection of you but a normal part of the process.
However, not everyone has the privileged to talk to people around them. Fortunately, there are alternatives. For instance, engaging with online communities/threads/posts. It allows anonymity, and doesn’t have the pressure of opening up on your side as with a one on one conversation.
You can find such communities on Reddit, which provide a bit more anonymity. There are also Facebook groups, and Twitter/Instagram pages that engage with this content. Some good links to check out are:
At work or school, you would most likely have a routine. This routine keeps you in check, and allows you to enjoy other activities whilst balancing commitments. The job search is the same. Letting it take over your life, or vice versa, remaining inconsistent in your search, disrupts other aspects of individuality. This does not necessarily have to mean you have to set up a 9-5 regiment. Overworking may become redundant if it leads to burn out and fatigue. Likewise, pacing out your job search actually opens up more opportunities for you. Every day, a new vacancy opens, and that could be the one for you! Of course, if you are already struggling, it might be hard to have an organised routine. However, boundaries can be vague. You might decide that you *only* fill out job applications in the morning. Therefore, you would not dedicate time during your afternoon and evening.
Make It… Fun?
A fun job search sounds like an oxymoron. But what if searching for a job was fun? Here’s where gamification can come into play. Gamification is the process of adding gaming strategy to non-game scenarios. It has been known to have many benefits in the realm of engagement. Searching for a job is stressful and boring, end of. Implementing some reward and structure systems, however, can hopefully make it more manageable. Why not get started on the fun by checking out 50 Ways to Get a Job? It’s free to use, and an excellent tool for helping you out on any stage of the job search.
Getting a Recruiter
If the job search is truly draining, it may be a good time to reach out to a recruiter or recruiting agency. These services should be free to you as a job seeker, as recruiters take fees from the employer not you. Working with a recruiting agency will decrease the effort in terms of searching for vacancies yourself, networking and so forth. Many offer additional career advise that can boost your prospects too. Nonetheless, it is important to research beforehand depending on the industry you wish to go in. Recruiting agencies might be more saturated in one industry compared to others.
Take a breather, remember it’s okay to take breaks and use all possible resources for you. Reaching out helps combat creeping low self-esteem, setting boundaries prevents potential burn out, gamification makes the process *slightly* more enjoyable and external agencies have lessen your work load. Finding a job is no easy feat, but you’re bound to find the perfect opportunity soon, making job search fatigue a low forgotten issue.
When you think of a startup, what and who do you think of? Is it the cast of The Social Network? Or that one guy from your university rowing team? Perhaps you imagine a ping pong table or two. Although such characters do exist, they aren’t the majority nor the monopoly. Startups aren’t just filled […]
When you think of a startup, what and who do you think of? Is it the cast of The Social Network? Or that one guy from your university rowing team? Perhaps you imagine a ping pong table or two. Although such characters do exist, they aren’t the majority nor the monopoly.
Startups aren’t just filled with people who repeat that pen selling scene from the Wolf of Wall Street (you know what I’m talking about). In this blog post, I’m going to debunk some startup stereotypes – and confirm some too.
Stereotypes that are false
1. Startups only offer tech jobs
Some startups seem very techy, and some of them are. In fact, being tech-savvy is quite important in this day and age. Yet, like any other business, you can’t survive on tech alone to be a functioning organisation. Startups actually offer a plethora of roles – marketing, sales, human resources, operations, finance and many more. Of course, you can’t be completely illiterate in your digital skills. However, working in marketing at a tech startup won’t require you to code and working in finance doesn’t mean you need to handle the social media accounts.
Thus, don’t feel discouraged by the world of startups if you don’t think you’re the next Mark Zuckerberg (apparently he’s the Elon Musk of people over 30). Perhaps you could be the next Kris Jenner of marketing or that overzealous HR recruiter on LinkedIn.
2. Startups are full of hedge fund bros
There’s nothing wrong with these bros. However, they can contribute to a sense of gatekeeping or inaccessibility in the world of startups. There are many within startups that have been helping to contribute to diversity and inclusion.
One way in which the startup world has tackled the traditional lack of diversity is through AI, as demonstrated by Talenya – which has a diversity AI to create a more level playing field.
3. Startups don’t pay well
There are startups that do pay well, and some don’t. There are a lot of startups that pay competitive salaries and industry standard. For startups that don’t, the positions they offer often require a lower threshold of experience. Thus, they are great for graduates, those wanting a career change or those with less experience to secure a job. This is also a good opportunity to plug our other latest article, how to find a job as a graduate.
There are also stock options, where the employee then has the option to buy equity at a significantly reduced price. A good guide to compensation in startups can be found here.
Stereotypes that are true
1. Startups prioritise impact over hours
At startups, there tends to be a priority of your impact or efficiency over hours. This is in comparison to *some* traditional office jobs that may require you to clock in/work certain hours even if you aren’t being productive with your time. As a result, working at a startup can provide greater autonomy with how you use your time and energy.
2. Startups have a defined culture
Startups tend to be seen to have a different culture than other office jobs. Usually, this consists of smaller teams, more of personal culture, perhaps even working closely with the CEO. There are often perks such as snacks and fancy coffee. Being valued by team members and unlimited fancy coffee? No thank you! I’d rather be exploited at a corporate job.
3. Startups provide flexibility, flat hierarchy and a real say in the business
Being a valued member of a small team? Being able to have my opinion and actions valued? Not being cut off by a C-suite structure? Gross. No wonder startups have a bad rep.
All jokes aside, the structure of most startups allow all employees to develop and improve skills. Moreover, there is a real sense of ownership as employees can single-handedly shape the business rather than be another number at a desk.
To conclude, there are stereotypes of startups that simply are not true. Startups provide many perks and challenge traditional office roles that are stuck in the ways of rigid structure, schedule and impersonal culture.
Every few months Work in Startups do an in-depth analysis to check out what the latest hiring news is amongst the top UK tech companies. In September 2021, we revelaed that they are continuing to hire at record rates post-pandemic, with a 128% increase in jobs on offer since September 2020. These companies are currently […]
Every few months Work in Startups do an in-depth analysis to check out what the latest hiring news is amongst the top UK tech companies. In September 2021, we revelaed that they are continuing to hire at record rates post-pandemic, with a 128% increase in jobs on offer since September 2020. These companies are currently making up around 5,000 vacanies within the UK, which can be viewed here!
The switch to online services that accelerated during the pandemic has been fueling the industry, creating an abundance of opportunities right across the UK. The Office of National Statistics reported almost 20,000 new tech companies had registered on Companies House during the pandemic, so the record growth in tech jobs comes at no surprise.
Which tech companies are hiring?
The UK Foodtech scene remains very well-positioned and has continued to show the largest growth in hiring. The pandemic has notably accelerated the online food delivery business, with London creating a strong foundation as a global hub for FoodTech innovation. Foodtech giants, Deliveroo (239 vacancies), Gousto (117 vacancies) and Hellofresh (41 vacancies), continue to flourish post-pandemic with huge increases in their number of vacancies compared to this time last year.
Citypantry, the UK corporate catering marketplace who were acquired by Just Eat in 2019, has seen the largest growth in number of vacancies (75 vacancies), indicating employees returning to the office and is now in full swing.
Amazon remains the highest advertiser (1,571 vacancies) amongst the top UK tech firms with their number of jobs doubling from last September.
Deliveroo is notable for a further reason, which it shares with FTSE 250 cyber security AI business Darktrace: both were among the thirty tech and consumer internet companies to list their shares on the London Stock Exchange so far this year and both raised money when doing so. They therefore have enhanced funds to drive expansion, including by recruitment. Darktrace is actively recruiting across all roles, with over 70 vacancies in the UK and over 250 globally. The growing popularity of the tech IPO has demonstrated the vital link between strength in stock markets and the real economy.
What tech jobs are in demand and where are they?
Tech vacancies have been analysed by the most popular searched job titles within the industry to indicate where the demand is. With online presence being more important than ever, it’s no surprise that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has seen the largest year-on-year growth, at 274% and a creation of 6,997 jobs.
Programming and Developer jobs continue to lead the way with 74,000 vacancies currently on the market. This growth has continued right through the pandemic and isn’t showing signs of slowing.
London and South West England remain to be the strongest regions with the number of tech jobs available however, Eastern England and the West Midlands have seen a similar growth (130%) since September last year, with an additional 10,000 jobs on the market between them.
In March 2021, we celebrated the milestone of hitting 1 million vacant jobs in the UK after seeing a real low last May, with just 350,700 on the market. There are now over 1.2 million jobs on the market with tech jobs making up 13% (150,000) of the total UK vacancies according to Adzuna data. Comparing this to May 2020, that is a 348% increase.
Table 1: Vacancies & Growth rate by Job type
September 2021 vacancies
YoY % Change
Front End Developer
Social Media Manager
Table 2: Tech Job Vacancies, Growth rate and Average Salary by Region
September 2021 tech vacancies
Average advertised salary
South East England
North West England
South West England
Yorkshire And The Humber
North East England
Vicky Vitkay, general manager at Work in Startup comments: It’s exciting to see UK tech unicorns and startups continuing to thrive. We can certainly celebrate the UK being the global capital of innovation, however efforts and focus need to go into ensuring diversity and inclusion are fulfilled within this huge ecosystem and importantly, we need to be providing more entry level job opportunities for graduates who are entering the market.
For further data, please contact email@example.com
Being at university during 2020 and 2021 was tough enough, but now you need to find a job. As much as your over-opinionated uncle claims you can ‘walk right up to the boss and say, “I’m your guy!”, it doesn’t really work like that anymore. So how does it work? The job process To get […]
Being at university during 2020 and 2021 was tough enough, but now you need to find a job. As much as your over-opinionated uncle claims you can ‘walk right up to the boss and say, “I’m your guy!”, it doesn’t really work like that anymore. So how does it work?
The job process
To get your foot into the door, you need a CV to send. One common misconception is that recruiters and those in HR actually read your CV. However, for many larger companies, this does not happen. In fact, many use software that pre-scan your CV. Ever got a rejection email at 2:45 am? That’s not Susan from HR – that’s their prescreen CV software.
What comes next in the job process depends on the company. You should expect at least one interview and or competency-based test along the way. Nonetheless, even finding the right job or getting your foot in the door can be the main challenge for grads. So, I’ve compiled 3 key tips below to help out my fellow grads:
Realising what skill set you already have
What is commercial awareness? Breaking down the buzzword
Reject tradition, embrace modernity
Realising what skill set you already have
As a recent graduate myself, the task of finding a paid role was daunting. Especially since I was in the mindset that I was competing with hundreds of others – those who had internships through family friends, those who didn’t go to university who now have professional work experience and so forth. Yet, what many of us don’t realise is that we already have skill sets we aren’t aware of. Employers aren’t necessarily looking for solid experience in their graduates.
If you have just graduated, you are most likely part of Gen Z. Compared to our predecessors, we’ve never not been immersed in technology.
[Unlike her, I was a whizz at WordArt and Paint by year 6]
As a graduate, you have been exposed to and used software that employers are looking for. The basics are your Outlook packages: Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. It is a given you’ve used them, and for some, mastered them. You have probably used social media before too – you understand engagement, posts and trends. This is another skill within your digital literacy. It is worthwhile to have a think about what other specific software you might have used in the past couple of years. Maybe even give your typing speed a check to subtly flex on your CV next time.
The soft skills
In a nutshell, think of soft skills as your non-technical skills. 97% of employers said soft skills are essential, yet, 54% of the employees say they have not included soft skills in their CV. Evidently, these play a key role in your job search.
The obvious examples might be that you can display teamwork through playing on your university’s netball team. Yet, your soft skills go beyond that. You have researched for your dissertation project, showcased time management through your deadlines, perhaps enhanced your administrative skills through being part of a university executive team. The options are endless, and as long as you have evidence to back it up, you’re set up for success.
2. What is commercial awareness? Breaking down the buzzword
Now enough of the self confidence boost. You may have come to the realisation that you are a master of many skills but there are still areas you need to work on. Most importantly, everyone’s favourite buzzword: commercial awareness. However, Google-ing and grasping the definition of commercial awareness is not sufficient, putting it into praxis is.
Not literally, just… internet-ly. LinkedIn is a good place to check a company’s contemporary updates – some tend to have either outdated websites or websites that only cover basic updates. Knowing specific details about a company’s place in the landscape of their industry… get ready to sign that contract.
[Joe from You was clearly about that grind]
Learn the buzzwords within the buzzword
Learn the lingo of the field you’re interested in. Solely knowing about the company you are applying to can only get you so far. For instance, say you want to take on a marketing role. You’ve researched the latest company updates, work culture and CSR policy.
Yet, what comment can you give on the general landscape of the industry? As soon as you throw in an ‘SMS’ ‘Google Analytics’ and ‘SEO’ – you sound like you know what you are talking about. In fact, this little trick is great if you’re in a pinch. Sounding like you know your way around the field, understanding the basic concepts, shows a willingness to learn. Or help you fake it til you make it.
3. Reject tradition, embrace modernity
Most importantly, it is paramount to remember that for many graduates in our current climate, we might not need or have to follow the traditional path. You do not specifically need to get a summer scheme at firm x, then become a junior and then senior at the same company.
Instead, a good way to get started in your career path is to think a bit outside the box. One way in which you can do this is by working in a startup. Startups often provide internships and junior positions that don’t require tons of experience – great for grads.
Moreover, you don’t have to get into the field you want straight away if you can’t find the right opportunity. Open your horizons! To become an operations lead, a temporary customer service job will help you build transferable skills. Alternatively, you might really enjoy working at a startup, and decide you prefer the work culture it sustains rather than your original career path. It’s good to get a taste of occupations you haven’t considered before; why buy an ice cream before asking for a sample?
Extra resources: If you’re rearing to go, check out the websites/resources below:
QR-ious about the rise of QR (Quick Response) codes? These little boxes of matrix barcodes have been around for 20 years but haven’t really taken off until the pandemic struck us. They’ve been incredibly useful in preventing virus contraction and obviously, made it super convenient to order pints at the pub. In fact, QR code […]
QR-ious about the rise of QR (Quick Response) codes? These little boxes of matrix barcodes have been around for 20 years but haven’t really taken off until the pandemic struck us.
They’ve been incredibly useful in preventing virus contraction and obviously, made it super convenient to order pints at the pub. In fact, QR code downloads have soared 750% over the last 18 months, according to Bitly.
The pandemic widened the gap in the market and we’ve seen many QR startups be born out of the pandemic. According to Traxcn, there are over 100 QR code companies now.
Flowcode (who have recently worked with JLo) has been revolutionising the consumer marketing industry by building a connection between online and offline. Imagine seeing an advert for a brand you like on the Central line. A QR code could allow you to scan the barcode and be taken straight to the product, genius! While that sounds pretty cool, they don’t appear to have reached the London Underground yet (prioritise some air conditioning on the Central first please).
QR code startups don’t yo-yo around either, except Yoyo Wallet that is. A London based start-up, Yoyo Wallet concerns itself with payment and customer rewards. This start-up gives us the taste for the future of hybrid physical-digital shopping interactions.
Yet, with great QR codes comes great responsibilities. As positive as the rapid growth has been for this niche industry, potential questions might be raised on its impact on the occupation of service staff or security.
To end on a lighter note, instead of picking the red or blue pill, pick a QR code! Have a scan of the QR codes below.