How to find remote jobs at startups with AngelList

AngelList is a place where early and late stage startups list open job positions and information about their funding rounds. Because working remotely is more accepted in the startup world, many companies on AngelList have remote positions.

The way AngelList works is similar to how many dating applications work…

If you match with a hiring manager at a company, you’re introduced to them through AngelList’s messaging platform. You’re also given their company email. This direct connection makes it easy to set up an interview with the hiring manager.

Where I went wrong with AngelList before was treating it like Tinder instead of OkCupid…

With Tinder, you match with people without writing an opening message. With OkCupid, you don’t need to write a message to match but getting the other person to show interest is very hard if you don’t.

You need to treat AngelList like you would OkCupid…

You need to write a message instead of just clicking the “I’m interested” button for the jobs you like. And the message needs to be tailored to the company you’re applying to. It doesn’t have to be long, but it has to be punchy.

Today I’ll show you how to write a message like this. I’ll also go over other AngelList best practices. Before we get into it though, let’s discuss how AngelList is different than other job boards…

This tutorial is part of a free remote job course I put together based on my experience of landing three full-time remote jobs in my career.

What AngelList has that other job boards don’t

  • Salary and equity ranges listed for every job. This lets you filter jobs according to the salary you want. No more wasting time applying to companies that have no intention of paying you what you think you’re worth. Equity ranges are listed as well if the company has that as an option.

    Many companies are open to giving you more equity for less salary, and vice-versa. At the previous job I had, I was offered two options for compensation: $60K and 0.5% equity or $55K and 1.0% equity.

  • One-click apply for every job. In this post I discuss how job boards like ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn have a one-click apply option for some jobs. On AngelList, you can one-click apply to every job. I don’t recommend taking this Tinder-like swipe-right-or-swipe-left approach, but it is possible.

  • Direct communication with hiring manager. AngelList job matching works like most dating apps. If you and the hiring manager are both interested in each other, a match is made and you’re introduced via email. You can then immediately follow up and suggest a day and time for an interview.

  • Filter by “Remote OK” positions. You can easily see companies that are interested in hiring remote workers worldwide. And because only remote positions come up, you don’t have to waste time figuring out the context “remote” is being used in in the job description. (You have to do this with LinkedIn Jobs and other traditional jobs boards.)

Types of remote jobs on AngelList

Remote positions on AngelList are available for a variety of professions. You don’t have to be a developer, software engineer, graphic designer, or technical writer to find a remote job here.

There are companies with open roles that are commonly thought of as office-only positions. You can apply to jobs in sales, operations, marketing, management, and more.

Here is a full list of job categories on AngelList…

Software Engineer

  • Mobile developer
  • Frontend developer
  • Backend developer
  • Full stack developer
  • Engineering manager
  • QA engineer
  • DevOps
  • Software architect

Designer

  • UI/UX designer
  • User researcher
  • Visual designer
  • Creative director

Operations

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Human resources
  • Office manager
  • Recruiter
  • Customer service
  • Operations manager

Sales

  • Business development
  • BD manager
  • Account manager
  • Sales manager

Marketing

  • Growth hacker
  • Marketing manager
  • Content creator

Management

  • CEO
  • CFO
  • CMO
  • COO
  • CTO

Other Engineering

  • Hardware Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Systems Engineer

Other

  • Attorney
  • Business analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Product manager
  • Project manager

Don’t see your profession? Don’t worry — you can enter custom job keywords in the search field of AngelList. Just because your profession isn’t here doesn’t mean it’s not being sought after in a remote-friendly capacity.

Filling out your AngelList profile

Before you apply to a remote job on AngelList, you’re going to check out the profile of the company that posted that job. That company is going to do the same with you whenever they receive your application – so your profile better be good.

Because you already have a badass cover letter and resume, filling it out will be easy. It should only take 15 minutes.

Here’s what my AngelList profile looks like:

AngelList profile example

When filling out your AngelList profile, everything is self-explanatory, but here are a few things to pay special attention to:

  • Make branding consistent with your resume. My AngelList profile has a striking resemblance to my resume. This is not a coincidence. To have hiring managers remember you better, all of your job application assets should have the same branding. Your tagline, career accomplishments, picture, and background color should all be the same or similar. (My LinkedIn profile also looks like my resume.)

  • Your official profession doesn’t have to be accurate. I’m a content marketer, but because AngelList doesn’t have “content marketer” in their database as an official position, I chose the next closest thing: content creator (at the top by my profile picture). If your profession isn’t listed, just get as close as you can.

  • Add all possible personal web presences. Companies on AngelList are interested in learning about the actual people who are interested in them. An easy way to show them an unfiltered view of yourself is to add all of your social media accounts to your profile. They don’t have to be clean – just clean enough. Also add your website if you created one. You can also add your VisualCV resume link in place of your website. Add whatever you think is more powerful.

  • Add a service. Below my headshot is a section called “Offering Services.” Even though I didn’t want freelance work, I still filled this section out. It gives people an idea of what my target salary is ($6K per month) and presents another opportunity to tell people about what I do.

  • Fill out all possible fields. It’s tempting to cut the profile creation process short and skip right to applying, but this hurts you in the long run. Hiring managers want to see a complete profile. It shows that you care about quality and are willing to invest time into completing projects.

    I didn’t fill out the “Project” field but this is worth doing if you have a project that lives online. All you have to do is enter a title for the project and the web link.

    There is also a new “Q&A” section. Answer some of these questions to beef up your profile. Doing so may help you rank above other job seekers when hiring managers are searching AngelList for people with your skills.

And just when you thought you were all done with this profile stuff, there’s another little step…

Because AngelList and AngelList Jobs are slightly different, you have to add a little more information to complete your AngelList Jobs profile. Fortunately, most information you filled out for your AngelList profile is carried over to your Jobs profile.

After you complete your AngelList profile, go to your Jobs profile here. Fill out every field you can and then click Save.

Do you like how you look?

The profile I showed you above is my AngelList profile, but that’s not necessarily what hiring managers see first. Usually they see a preview of your profile on the Jobs page. To see what that looks like, go here.

When you arrive to the page, click on your profile picture to collapse your profile so it looks like this…

AngelList jobs profile preview

This is how you show up in search results for hiring managers. If they want to learn more about you, they will click on your profile to expand it. To make sure they’re seeing what you want them to see, click on your profile preview to expand it.

Make any final changes needed to make you feel confident when applying to jobs. Remember: the more fields filled out, the better.

Action Step: Complete your AngelList profile and make it consistent with your resume.

Applying to jobs AngelList

  1. After creating and completing your profile, go to the job board.

  2. In the search bar at the top, perform the following actions, moving left to right across the search filter menu…

  3. Leave the “In Network” box unticked.

  4. Select the role closest to your profession in the “Role” dropdown menu. If there isn’t an option available that’s close to yours, click the search box, enter a keyword related to your profession, and click enter.

  5. Select the “Remote OK” option from the “Location” menu.

  6. Select “Full Time” and “Contract” from the “Job Type” menu if you’re looking for a full-time remote job. (Some companies hire full-time contractors. You don’t get benefits, but you can ask for more pay to compensate for this. I’ve had full-time employee and contract jobs and I don’t prefer one over the other.)

  7. In the “Compensation” menu, select your minimum acceptable salary by dragging the cursor. Leave the “Equity” option as is.

  8. To get the maximum amount of results, leave the other search filters as is for now. As you become more familiar with the platform, you can return and tweak them.

  9. Finally, click Save and enter a title for this job search in this format: Remote Job – {{Job Role / Keyword}}. If you chose a role from AngelList’s menu, enter the job role and if you entered a custom keyword related to your profession, enter that.

    You should have something like this so far:

    AngelList job filter alerts

    Now click Save Filter and you’ll receive email notifications when new jobs are added that match your search criteria.

  10. Go through the jobs in the search results. Click on the hyperlink for jobs that sound interesting. This will take you to the full job description. Read the job description and visit the company’s website.

    If you like the job and the company, check to see how the company wants you to apply. If they want you to do something aside from applying through AngelList, they will tell you at the bottom of the job description.

    You might see something like this: Interested candidates are asked to send their resume and salary requirements to name@company.com.

  11. If you’re interested in a role and the company wants you to apply for the job outside of AngelList, continue through the application process. Once you have applied, return to AngelList and click the “Yes, I’m Interested” button.

    If you’re interested in the role and the company wants you to apply for the job inside of AngelList, click the pencil and paper icon to the immediate right of the “Yes I’m interested” button. (A company wants you to apply through AngelList if they don’t mention that you should apply elsewhere in the job description.)

    After reading the job description and checking out the company’s website, write your opening message in this format:

    Hey {{Name}}!

    I love what you’re doing at {{Company}} and am interested in the open {{Role}} position.

    Paragraph about why you like what they’re doing at company.

    Paragraph from your cover letter regarding your professional background and accomplishments.

    I’m free this week to hop on a call. Does {{Day}} at {{Time}} work for you? Let me know, and in the meantime feel free to check out my resume: {{VisualCVLink}}

    {{YourFirstName}}

    If I was applying to a content marketing position at a startup called CafeX that specializes in creating and selling coffee alternatives, my message/application might look like this:

    Hey John!

    I love what you’re doing at CafeX and am interested in the open content marketing position.

    First let me say that I’m a big coffee drinker. I probably won’t ever stop drinking coffee – but I drink too much. As I grow older I’m noticing that more than one cup negatively affects my body and productivity. Your coffee alternatives seem like a great solution for people like me who want to sip on something throughout the day without getting the jitters and then crashing.

    To give you a little background about myself: I like having hard-number goals (i.e. responsible for generating $100K by end of quarter), I was the content marketer at a content-driven company that got acquired, and I created multiple pieces of content that stayed at #1 on Hacker News.

    I’m free this week to hop on a call. Does this Thursday at 10am PST work for you? Let me know, and in the meantime feel free to check out my resume: http://robertgibb.me/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/robs-content-marketing-resume.pdf

    Rob

    Tip: Try to find out where the company is located and put the call time in their time zone. In my example, I assumed that the fictitious company was located in California so used PST.

  12. When you’re happy with your message, click Send and update your job application tracking sheet.

    If the startup is interested in you, you’ll receive a notification via email and in your AngelList account.

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