My Story: How I Got a Marketing Job at Lime
On Saturday, February 4th, 2017 my buddy Kyle and I decided to attend Hack Brown at Brown University. Kyle is a self-taught software developer and I am passionate about meeting people and building connections. Therefore, while Kyle was building the project we were working on, I started networking with all of the event sponsors.
Outside of the hackathon, I was building a startup called Shelfie Challenge and was always looking to meet corporate partners or future investors. When I went to meet up with my friend from Microsoft — who led a Shelfie & Microsoft partnership via a hackfest — I saw a booth for Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
When I approached the booth I asked a woman named Mariel to tell me more about a16z. Then I was asked about what I was working on and then went on to ask if I could be connected to the investment team. Within days our pitch deck was reviewed and we did not receive an investment — looking back, there was a -12% chance we were going to get an investment but it was worth a shot. Over a year I periodically checked in with Mariel to say hello and see what ways we could help each other.
Before I talk about how this connection led to my current job, I want to mention how to go about the job search in general.
How to Land a Job in Silicon Valley
All of my work experience is in consulting and entrepreneurship. Most payments were in cash or check and I have never received a pay stub. Therefore, trying to sell myself was going to be a difficult task to overcome. If you are switching jobs you can highlight your previous careers. If you are an entrepreneur, highlight your traction and how you impacted the team.
Silicon Valley is the hot spot for startups, therefore, you are competing with hundreds and sometimes thousands of applicants for one job. Business Insider even ranked getting hired at a Silicon Valley company can be more difficult than getting into Harvard. Within six weeks of my job search I ended up with 5 different job offers — ranging from 20 person startups to 1000 person corporations.
If I were to go back into the job search, here is what I would have told myself:
- Create a strong resume. You can have a general resume that highlights your top skills and careers, but if you are entering a new industry, change your resume to meet their lingo and use the company’s language from the description.
- Have your 90–180 second pitch ready. Have a solid, chronological story of your recent years and work ready to go. It became second nature to me after a few times and it definitely impressed people.
- Research the company. Before every call I researched the company on CrunchBase, the person I was talking to on LinkedIn, and any recent press. Be knowledgeable.
- Utilize your network. Warm introductions are everything in Silicon Valley. When a person that is trusted introduces you, there is a higher chance person you wish to speak with take the time to chat.
- Talk to people at the company. Message them on LinkedIn, hop on a call, and do whatever it takes to learn more about the company — and now you have a reference if you do well.
- Your resume is the foot in the door. Once you use your resume to understand what career to go after, you will complete phone screens and on-sites where you cover your experience. Make sure it relates to the position! I mention this again because your resume is the base and your conversations and ability to perform are what will get you hired.
- Never make a cover letter. Cover letters are a waste of time. If you network your way in all you need is a resume. If you want to apply through a job portal and compete with thousands of applicants and waste your time, be my guest.
- Keep relationships warm and stay in touch. Do not talk to someone one time, gain value, and never talk to them again. Find ways to create value for the other party and frequently stay in touch. Even if it is a “Hey, was thinking of you and hope you are well” or sending them an article they might be interested in.
Finally, How I Ended up at Lime
As I continued to stay in touch with Mariel, I decided that I wanted to stay in the startup world. Therefore, I started contacting talent teams at VC firms to connect me with their portfolio companies. Mariel heads college talent and since I graduated, she connected me with Garrett, who is a talent partner at a16z. Speaking with someone who has experience made my life a lot easier!
After our initial conversation, I let Garrett know which a16z companies were of interest and he, in turn, said he would circle back with an intro when there was mutual interest and fit.
One of those companies was Lime. I was introduced to a founding team member and within a week was on the phone. Within one month I signed an offer letter and was on the team! Other companies took as little as two weeks but it varies based on size and the teams current workload.
Lime viewed me as a team member, has rapid growth, and truly believed in me. The team is experienced, there is a great social mission, and I am confident Lime will be at the forefront of urban transportation and making travel more accessible and easier!
With that being said, I will be joining Lime on August 6th as the Northeast Marketing Manager! Monthly I will be traveling mostly between NYC and SF but will be all over the northeast as well.
- Use a professional picture on your resume. Lime receives 1000+ applicants per week and faces are easier to remember than names.
- Always go after a warm introduction into a company.
- Be persistent and patient. Not a nuisance.
- Provide real value to the people you talk to. In Silicon Valley value creation is crucial. Prove your worth and show what you can do.
- Be a hustler. Never give up. Find a way.
- Always follow-up to say thank you after every conversation!
Network. Network. Network. Get warm introductions to firms, show your value, be persistent, and always follow-up. I will never apply through a job portal again. I have a strong network and will continue to grow it! If I do not know someone, I will find someone that knows that person! Keep pushing forward and you will get a job at a high growth startup such as Lime!
If you want any tips: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author: Northeast Marketing Manager at Lime, took a small family business from $50k to $1m in revenue in 3 years, have a failed startup under my belt (lot’s of lessons), winner of the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, Babson College ’17 graduate who lived in eTower (houses top 21 entrepreneurs on campus, alumni have raised $500m), partnered my startup with Microsoft while in school, Kairos and Forbes fellow, and played competitive Call of Duty in high school and led my team to six championships.