Applying in a startup? Here’s how your resume should be!

March 26, 2018 - 8 minutes read

Thinking of taking a career dip into the deep ocean of opportunities and creativity,  known as the startup. Well, with the change in time, more and more individuals, be it experienced or freshers are turning their career car towards the newly constructed path of startup. Why? Well, first of all, here the essential three – learning, exploring, and expressing opportunities are present in abundance. Second, there’s nothing better than being a part of the core team of a promising startup. Which if works out is incredible and if not, will still give you the much-needed experience and knowledge. Do you know, by 2015 ending, the growth in Indian startups was for 40% with more than 4200 startups.

Now, that you have decided to apply in a startup, you should be clear with the fact that here the work culture is utterly different from that of a regular MNC. Amongst the many factors is the strict employee selection criteria. Believe us or not, but when it comes to recruitment, startups are very choosy. Remember, the respective movies made on the today corporate giants Apple and Facebook – did you see how particular Jobs, Mark, or any other dreamer cum inventor for that matter is about his product and people who’ll be a part of it.

What is required is that they view you as a candidate how’s not just fit for the job but also shares the same passion. While the later can be best shown or expressed by meeting them in person, it’s the first aspect we are more concerned about. Because only if you look perfect on paper, you’ll be called for a meeting. And for that to happen, you need to work on your resume, see that it’s well drafted and includes all the right points to get you clear for the personal interview.

Enough said, let’s now get down to business –

1) Smart display of experience: 

Most startups are particular about facts concerning to their employees past, strictly professional though. For example, where their employees come from, which company or educational institute. For them, the deal doesn’t just end with a great personality and a so-so background. Because unlike the big corporates they don’t have resources or time to train an employee, work starts from the very first day, and a lot depends on you right away. So, where you came from, what all you have achieved in the past, all matters a lot. Let’s face it; startups are conscious about the ‘name’ attached to their employees, thus if you have a degree from an elite institute or experience from a big-shot corporate do highlight it.

2) Be as clear as possible:

Once again compared to the big corporates or MNCs, the startups don’t have an extended, full-devotional human resource wing. A small team does all the work from finance to hiring. Thus, making time a crucial factor and therefore it is advisable to enter information in the most precise and sorted way possible.

3) Give them what they want:

Working style of a startup is fast. They continuously look for efficient individuals who can fell in the gap and start delivering results without fail. So, if one of these days you came across a job offer from a startup exactly matching your work area or skill set, it’s a bang on!
And, in your resume be very clear and definite about the fact that you know your job very well. Also, let them know that you are currently working on the same job title.

4) Keep it result oriented:

Startups like achievements more than responsibilities. Therefore, while creating or revising your resume for a startup keep in mind to focus more on what you have done or achieved, rather than what all you were assigned. As a growing company, they are more interested to see your calibre. If possible try giving definite numbers and percentage, it adds more weight and value to the resume. It makes it look more believable.

5) Show your love towards your job/skill:

Big corporates don’t care about the fact whether or not you enjoy your work. They just want you to deliver assigned work on time with near zero errors. While, on the other hand, startups hunt for individuals who not only excel in their domain but are mad about it! They want someone who not just meet deadlines but pour in ideas, thoughts, and efforts to do things in a better/productive way.

6) Keep it fresh, fill it with energy:

Your resume would probably land on the desk of the startup’s founder, the one who left his/her long promising career to do something of his own or perhaps a fresher opting for the odds. Common being their spirit, the same sense they are looking for in their prospective employees.

Design your resume in a way that speaks for your willingness to give your 100% for the job. It can be through a well-researched resume designed based on the job profile and product. Or through a personalised note towards the end of the resume showing your interest in the job. Don’t be shy to express, as startup’s love unique risk-taking personalities.


Working in a startup is nothing close to going to a regular job. There’s no hiding from the fact that though it gives you creative freedom at the same time, it asks for a lot more.

To be a part of one such aspiring startup, to which you are willing to give all that you have first understood what they truly want. Combine it with the six-pointers, and there’s no stopping you and your resume.

Best of Luck!

Prince Kapoor 


Prince Kapoor is an Independent Marketing Analyst and Blogger. While not working, you can find him in the gym or giving random health advises to his colleagues which no one agrees on. If you too want some of his advises (on health or on marketing), you can reach him at @imprincekapur!