Rebekah Campbell is an ex band manager & now tech entrepreneur. Founder of Posse.com. Also passionate about progressive politics (past and present) and various sports. The following post is from one of her recent newsletters and reproduced here with her permission.
For the past few weeks, I’ve focussed on recruiting more team members for our offices in Sydney and Manila. We’re hiring senior and junior engineers in both places, and Communications and Sales managers in Sydney. It seems as if everyone wants to work at a startup: I’ve been flooded with applications from qualified people for all roles. More than eighty applied for our Communications position.
Despite this, I find it hard to recruit good people. Landing a job at a startup offers a career breakout opportunity. You’re on the frontline, creating an impact, making a name for yourself, working with a small, ambitious team. You’re help build a product you love and will share in its ownership.
The ability to sell yourself seems obvious, yet I’m astounded by the inability of most applicants to achieve this. Most people approach the application and interview process with the same lacklustre indifference usually reserved for a job working for the government.
If you’re one of those who applied for a role at Posse in the past month, and especially if you’re one of the twenty or so who made it to the interview stage but didn’t get a call back, then you may see some of yourself in the stories I’m about to tell. Please don’t be offended — this is just my experience and I hope my feedback will help you in the future and lift the quality of applicants for other startups. I also hope it will save founders (including me) from trawling through time-wasting applications and interviews with people who just aren’t right.
When I think of the applicants who impressed me — particularly the ones I’ve hired, it’s clear to see a few simple things they did right. I can imagine most young job hunters would be intimidated to know that more than 80 people applied for the same position. Yet from the employer’s perspective, at least 75 of the 80 applications will be hopeless: misspelled, badly punctuated and so on, often to the edge of illegibility, so you’re really only competing with a handful of people.
Before you apply to work at Posse or any other startup, read these tips. They’ll help:
The rest of this article can be read at So you want to work at my startup on Rebekahs website.