Should you approach an investment firm for a job in tech?

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

There is no hard and fast rule to finding a new job. Those that are creative are likely to secure the best roles compared to those that simply wait for them to turn up in their inmails. That is not to say that being approached will not bear fruit, but if your intention is to be proactive in your search, then maybe this method might be right for you.

As someone who proactively uses this method on the recruitment side, by sharing this secret, I hope you will put it to good use and see similar results I do.

Before we learn the method, let’s take a step back and explore what I mean by approaching investment firms if you are in tech. A lot of the readers of these articles sit in one of our core recruiting specialisms: design, product, software, data or cloud. This method will work if you are outside of these, but this article will mainly be directed to these areas.

If like me, you are someone who enjoys researching companies you might have already know this. If you were to look at the investment eco-system in a specific city, say Amsterdam for example, you will start to recognise a pattern. A lot of the tech companies have similar investors.

Looking further, you might realise that investment companies have certain criteria for their portfolio (same industry, same tech space etc.) allowing you to identify companies that could be of interest to you from viewing their company portfolios.

With this understanding, we can create a simple method that will allow you to target the investors of multiple tech companies, which in turn could lead to securing a job… let’s see how.

Step 1: Find tech investment companies

There are several ways in which you can find them. The first would simply be to Google a phrase such as ‘tech investment company in (insert city)’ and a tidy list should populate your searches. This will give you usually larger and more generalised firms.

To find smaller or niche-focused companies, I suggest you find the companies you are particularly interested in working for, then research their investors directly. You can find this through news articles and press releases.

If you are still wanting to find more, then check websites such as Crunchbase or AngelList where they have investor portals.

Step 2: Narrowing your search to the right companies

With a large list of potential investment companies, next, you will want to narrow them down to ones of particular interest to you.

I am afraid there is no easy way of doing this other than exploring their portfolio of companies and seeing which they are connected to and out of those, who you personally would like to work for.

Some investment companies share their portfolio by round, industry, or tech, which should make them a little easier, but others will simply put a list, meaning you will need to click through them all.

I never said this method was quick…

Step 3: Identifying the right contact

Once you have created a smaller list of potential investment companies to approach you then need to identify who is the best contact.

Some investment companies have a jobs page where they house all the live vacancies for all of their investments, in this job page you might have a central contact. If not, then take to LinkedIn or Xing and systematically go through each investment companies employees to identify who might be best.

Someone in HR is usually a good option, but consider they are likely HR for the investment company and might have limited access to the portfolio. Someone from the investment team itself could be a good start as they will have the right contact but maybe not the time.

Like anything, there is no right or wrong answer here, if you cover Step 4 correctly, even if they cannot help directly they will hopefully be able to point you in the right direction.

Step 4: Draft and send your message.

The message you write and share with this person needs to express why you are reaching out to them directly and not the company. You need to showcase your personality and request for them to make a direct introduction of your skills to the right company(ies) which you can highlight in the message.

This part of the process is unique to each person. Consider that these companies are approached hundreds of times per day by companies looking for investment, therefore you need to draw them in with your small request of an introduction, do not write something that will be overlooked in a heartbeat.

You can share your request through social platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing, or if you have followed our previous articles and learnt how to find employers emails, you can follow that and email them directly.

Before embarking on this article, I sat down and researched thoroughly for something remotely similar to it. I came up short many times, therefore I felt it was a good time to share my secret, a secret that I have used as a recruiter for many years and one that has helped me work with some of my best clients on my books.

Having an introduction from the investor to a company is a golden ticket straight to the decision-maker, to get it however you need to be creative.

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