8 Tips that Could Get You That Venture Capitalist Job You Want
Venture capitalists come in all types, but just why become one? What makes this type of investment interesting for so many people? Truth is most VCs are average, every day people. They have usually either been entrepreneurs themselves, or they were surrounded by entrepreneurs at some point in their professional lives.
Suffice it to say, that this professional usually has a diverse breadth of experience. A VC works with many startups, all at once, as opposed to being a single entrepreneur who only works in one industry. They gain experience in a variety of industries, even though they don’t usually deal with the ‘ins and outs’ of the operations.
Still finding a VC position is no piece of cake. It requires a lot of planning, work and a diverse set of skills (preferably in tech related industries.) Whatever the reason and no matter how educationally prepared you are, finding the right VC job opening can be challenging. But there are ways to do justice to your efforts:
Understand the Personal Traits of a VC
VCs come from many different backgrounds, but overall, they are professionals that have either been successful entrepreneurs themselves, have worked closely with other successful startups or worked their way up through the venture capital ranks.
On average, the general characteristics of a VC follow along these lines:
- A person that is in his mid-thirties to forties
- Someone that has extensive educational background. Most existing VCs have an MBA or PHD.
- Someone with Prior experience in finance, past entrepreneurial organizations or financial consulting.
Understand What a VC Firm Looks For
Obviously, this is dependent on the firm, and each enterprise has different requirements, but as a general rule, successful candidates will have worked with other reputable VC firms in areas such as technology, investment banking, consulting, and media or as a key person in a successful startup. Most have either an undergraduate or MBA and have completed their studies within the last 5 years.
Why So Green?
VC firms want candidates that are familiar with cutting-edge high tech trends, and candidates who have recently received their degree are more likely to be familiar with these trends. A VC firm wants to know the future of social media, digital television and mobile computing. This professional has to be strong in finances but also needs to know everything related to the newest technology trends.
Competition is Fierce
There aren’t many job openings at VC firms, and when these do come up, the competition is tough. In most cases, it helps to show you have experience and are knowledgeable in the investing process. You may even want to demonstrate your abilities as a successful angel investor. Crowdfunding is a viable investment platform through which anyone can own a piece of a startup for as little as $15 to $20.
Build Up a Reputation
Start a blog and network through social media. Learn about great passion and put your ‘two cents’ in. Become active on LinkedIn, the preferred networking site for VCs. Firms want to see strong digital presence, and prefer this to the more conventional resume.
Learn Your Tech Products
You must build up a passion for great trending products. Test the new social network, that new digital product and know the difference between an outstanding product and a ‘blasé’ one.
Help other VCs get their job done. Do this through your blog and your social media presence. Connect with people and make the right introductions. Give more than what you get. Be generous with your time and help startups by teaching them for free. This not only helps you network but also keeps you learning. And in the world of the VC firm ‘constant learning’ is an essential element to being successful.
Even if you’ve experienced some investment success, stay grounded. Don’t assume you are an expert. Venture Capital requires constant knowledge and it is a long-term endeavor. Respect the VCs and the entrepreneurs you come across.
Remember the Purpose
Don’t let the profession go to your head. Stay grounded. Remember the world needs startups. Where would we be without Google, Facebook or Twitter? These were once startups and think of the number of people that now depend on these operations. Remember the next Startup that gets pitched to you could be the next greatest technological trend.