3 Tips When Applying to Tech Startups in Oslo and Landing Your Next Job

First Engineers1

Published by Oslo Business Region, 17 February 2021

In connection to the "Let's go Oslo" campaign, we partnered up with who knows best about matching talent and the Oslo tech ecosystem. This week, recruitment consultancy First Engineers is our guest writer:

It’s no secret that Oslo has become a center for tech startups. As a result, Norwegian and international startups alike have set their sites on Oslo. But an influx of companies also means an influx and candidates from around the world looking to make this northern capital their new home. If you are one of these candidates, how do you stand out from the crowd?

As a tech recruitment company, our consultants are well-versed in hiring for Oslo-based companies of all sizes. While every company is different when it comes to what they are looking for in their next hire, there are a few underlying factors that nearly all startups value. The following tips can help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to landing your next job.

1. Know Your Strengths

One of the most important things you can do when applying to tech companies in Oslo is to be specific about your skillset and tech stack. More often than not, candidates list any skills they are even the slightest bit comfortable with. As a result, their strongest skills may get overlooked while their most underdeveloped skills become the focus. Not only does this make them seem underdeveloped on all fronts, but it also deprives them of the opportunity to talk about and showcase their true talent. Moral of the story? Focus on and communicate what you’re best at. While a broad skillset is valued at a startup, it shouldn’t be the focus of your application.

Startup Office

2. Own Your Personal Brand

The next tip might seem rather obvious but is nonetheless important - update your LinkedIn profile. With nearly 40% of the Norwegian population using LinkedIn, having an up-to-date and relevant profile is the foundation of your job search. Not only does having an up-to-date profile help you get noticed by Norwegian startups, but it also is the ideal platform for showcasing your personal brand. A well-articulated personal brand should clearly represent where you are in your career, as well as communicate how you would like to grow. Cultivating your personal branding on LinkedIn does not have to be a huge undertaking, but small changes including a professional (and current) profile picture, keeping your professional and educational information up-to-date is a good start. Additionally, it helps to have recommendations and skill endorsements from those who have worked with you in the past. So, don’t shy away from asking, as well as giving, professional recommendations and endorsements. These small changes help employers better understand how your interests and skillset fit into their company’s roadmap.


3. Have a Long-Term Orientation

Lastly, it is crucial to showcase your understanding of the company and what it is trying to achieve. While this is important with any company, it is essential when applying to a startup, given that profound impact early hires have on the company’s direction. Rather than simply researching the company and industry, try to think as to how your specific skillset resonates with the company’s mission and vision in the long-run. It is important to remember that working for a startup is a marathon - not a sprint - so showcasing your long-term orientation in the beginning may be advantageous. Once you have a concrete understanding of the connection between the company’s direction and your own skillset, try to think about how this connection can help shape the company’s early-stage development. Resonating with the company from a future-oriented perspective will help you stand out from other candidates.

Applying to, and eventually working at, a tech startup is a unique and exciting experience - one that should be approached with equal parts curiosity and proactiveness. We hope that the tips above help you polish your profile and eventually make Oslo your new home.

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"First Engineers is an Oslo-based recruitment consultancy scaling the tech companies of today and tomorrow, as well as matching candidates with their perfect career fit."