As a millennial, I grew up idolizing startup culture. It was hard not to. I was surrounded by tales of internet success stories, movies like The Social Network, and inspiring influencers like Steve Jobs. Every day, it seemed like there was another young superstar creating a multi-million dollar app or company that was changing the world with a new innovative product. 

For some reason, opportunities at these startups always seemed unreachable. If you were lucky enough to work for one, it was because you possessed an ability or trait that very few people had or knew about. That's until recently. 

In an effort to demystify the secrets to landing a job at one of the top startups, LinkedIn analyzed over 3,000 job postings. Through their research, they discovered a data-backed strategy for landing a job at a top startup. I've added my thoughts to each. 

1. Learn to write in the language of the future. 

Many of the available jobs (almost one third) are engineering based. If you can build or code, you'll increase your odds of finding a job at a startup. Although each company has a unique approach, some of the top languages to learn remain JavaScript/Java, Python, C++/C#, HTML, SQL, and Perl. 

In fact, after analyzing the most applied for jobs among 2016-2017 graduates, LinkedIn confirmed that a "Software Engineer" was the most popular and highest paying position. 

2. Can't code? Consider operations. 

Outside of engineering, the second largest volume of top startup jobs fell into the category of operations. Primarily, "customer success" and "customer service." It makes sense; if you have all those engineers developing products and solutions, then you better have professionals to help sell and support them. 

These findings were also supported by LinkedIn's job research. Among the ten most applied for jobs for graduates, three fell into the operations bucket with an emphasis on customer service. 

3. Look at relocating. 

Although there are startups everywhere, there are certain locations with a higher concentration of opportunities. The cities with the most Top Startup jobs were San Francisco, New York, Palo Alto, Seattle, and Austin. 

4. Be intellectually curious. 

Creativity is fundamental to the startup culture. Not only is thinking outside-the-box an important startup skill but apparently, it's also a part of creating job titles. There are many unique and one-off job titles for which you might qualify. 

A good rule of thumb to ensure you don't miss an opportunity is to follow your favorite startups and routinely check their careers pages. Who knows, your dream job could be hiding behind a job title like "City Launcher" -- a current position at Bird. 

If you have been struggling to break into the startup world, then consider these strategies from this data-backed guide. You may just land a job at a top startup. 

Published on: Sep 17, 2018