Like a lot of VCs, we get a lot of people contacting us looking for jobs and I am really thankful for that. We are so focused on helping our companies recruit and find the best people we possibly can. But I also feel an alarmingly high percentage of the meetings go nowhere for the job seeker. And this disappoints me.
These meetings are usually the job seeker meeting with us and hoping to be spoon fed information about where we think that person would best fit. That's really hard for us when we have so many companies going through our minds... not just the ones we have funded. We need direction! I've never been able to connect someone who doesn't know what they want to do or what kind of company they want to work for. :)
So, if you fall into this bucket that I'm describing, here are some very simple tips to potentially help make your experience more productive:
1) Do your homework BEFORE the meeting. Find out a list of companies that are in the region and narrow it down to the ones that interest you most. Need help finding a good list? Start with my list of companies hiring or check out the portfolio companies of all the VCs in your region.
2) Now that you have a focused list of companies you are interested in, is the person you are meeting with connected to one of those companies? Hopefully the answer is yes!
3) Be aware in detail of what the company does that you are targeting well beyond "they are a software company." Know their business cold, what position(s) interest you and be ready to talk about how you might be able to have a positive impact.
4) Always keep the meetings short, focused and to the point.
5) Kind of expected, but bring a notepad and pen and take notes in the meeting of leads the person you are meeting with gives you. I was blown away when I met with someone last month and gave him a bunch of companies and people to connect with and he didn't jot down a single note. He must have thought my ideas were garbage or have a REALLY good memory! :)
6) ALWAYS follow up and THANK the person you met with! A simple email later that day is a good idea.