Get your foot in the door of a startup with these Linkedin tips

18 Mar 2019

Know you have what it takes to land a career in the startup or scaleup, but worried that you don’t fit the profile on paper?

You’re not the only one with this fear. In a world where collaboration and agility hold equal weight to skills, qualifications and recognised brand experience, it can be hard to know how to communicate your growth mindset and teamwork on a LinkedIn profile.

So, we sat down with recruiters from leading Melbourne based scaleups Zendesk, Redbubble, Envato to find out what catches their eye when they’re browsing through LinkedIn and Seek, and how you can stand out amongst the piles of CVs.


Here are 4 buzzwords to include in your LinkedIn profile to get a foot in the door:

Demonstrate a “growth mindset”.  When applying for businesses who want to scale exponentially, your undying dedication to improving and learning is key.

“Personal projects really are huge,” says Zendesk’s Senior Technical Recruiter Tyler Anderson, “self-taught developers, people who take night classes, an app you have built, a startup you have founded – even if it failed, [include] blogs that you write, talks you have given.”


  • Include credentials and micro-credentials – this not only demonstrates a growth mindset but are also a great way to plug any skills gaps (course providers like CourseraUdacity and edX have free ones to get you started).
  • List any meetup groups and conferences you’ve attended on your profile – and what you learnt from them.
  • Include any volunteering and hobbies on LinkedIn, and detail how those experiences relate to the job. Your chess club might sound irrelevant, but maybe it shows a competitive streak, or a proven ability to assess future risk.

Articulate “adaptability”

“The biggest thing I’ve learnt working at Redbubble is definitely about how to think about solutions not for the now, but for the future,” says Lead Product Designer, Simone Attanasio.

Showcasing your ability to adapt yourself and solutions is key if you’re going to impress recruiters at fast-growing companies.

Zendesk’s Engineering Manager Adel Smee agrees that this adaptability is vital in a job that’s ever-changing: “Here at Zendesk over the last 3 years I’ve grown my team from 1 team into 3 teams, I’ve seen the product evolve from a greenfields project to a Silicon Valley acquisition, and I’ve learnt so much about how to develop software.”


  • Talk about career pivots in your bio and how you learned to adapt when you changed industries, professions or companies.
  • If you’ve taken a career break, don’t leave it blank. Mention what you learned during your travels, or parenthood, or sabbatical – your experiences are valuable and showcase another side of your personality.
  • Include all the technical platforms you’ve used, even if they may not be relevant to the role. It pays to show that you’ve learned multiple ways of working.


Showcase “teamwork” and collaboration

Teamwork makes the dream work. But teams no longer consist solely of six people in adjacent cubicles. “You’ve got to be able to work in a global team even when you’re just working around the desk in Melbourne,” says Redbubble.


  • Include experience of remote working or cloud collaboration tech to show that you’re prepared for a global workforce.
  • Include times when you’ve worked in formal or informal cross-functional teams and what your teams achieved.
  • Any other examples of your experience contributing to diverse groups and collaborating successfully will get you a foot further in the door to the dream scaleup jobs Melbourne, Sydney or other capital cities have on offer.

Build a digital “network”

Connections matter. Every recruiter we spoke to said that their highest quality candidates come through referrals from their existing employee networks. People will reach out to people they know or post jobs on their own personal profile as well.


  • Build your presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, Medium and Github – this includes connecting people in your industry and contributing to online discussions.
  • You don’t even have to post original content. Engaging with relevant topics in public forums and comments sections can get you noticed as well.


After all, getting noticed is one foot in the door

If you can catch the eye of a scaleup recruiter, you have the chance to make a positive impact before you’ve even set foot in the interview room. So, use words and examples on your online profiles that will stop them in their tracks. And once you’ve secured a coveted interview, read our tips on how to leave the perfect first impression…

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