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Venture Capital Jobs Blog

Curated by John Gannon and Team

Posts Tagged ‘vc careers

How to identify venture capital firms that may be hiring

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It’s not always obvious which Venture Capital firms may be hiring.

In just 2 and 1/2 minutes I’ll show you how to find out. Check out the audio download here.

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Written by John Gannon

August 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Before you write your first eBook, here’s 15 things you need to know

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Years ago, when I was still working in venture capital, I committed to the world (ok, a small world ;) via my blog that I would write a book about careers in venture capital.

After I made that commitment, I left the VC world without having written the book (1st year of my children’s lives), went to a startup (no time to write a book), and finally last year…published the book!

Now that I’ve actually written and published the darn thing, a post-mortem is in order! Here’s what I learned about the world of book publishing, and about myself, during this process…with some additional tips and suggestions smattered in:

  1. You’re going to be self-publishing your first book, unless you’re famous (or at least famous on Twitter). Publishers expect you to bring a big following to the table if you want them to work with you.  Same goes with literary agents.
  2. If you still want to find a publisher, you’ll need to write a 50 page proposal — basically a big abstract — in order for them to consider taking you on.
  3. Just 1% of authors earn out of their advance.  (Are you still surprised about #1 and #2? :)
  4. Smashwords provides a great platform for converting your eBook (which needs to be written in a specially formatted MS Word file) and converting it to all of the major eBook formats.  I thought I would need all of the formats, but it turns out that the only format I’m actually distributing is the PDF.  Go figure.  Which leads me to…
  5. …Gumroad.  Gumroad provides a ridiculously simple platform to distribute and sell eBooks as well as other digital goods.  If you don’t need a lot of fancy features and just want a super simple sales and distribution platform, it’s a great service and they eat into much of your profit margin!
  6. Smashwords has a list of people who will produce book cover art using stock photos, and typically you’ll pay on the order of $40.  Now that I’ve discovered fiverr, I bet I could get a great cover for just $5-$10 the next time around.
  7. Luckily I had a very nice friend who proofread the entire 30 page eBook for me as a favor.  Other editors quoted me wildly varying rates (<$100 and upwards of $500).
  8. Long plane flights rock.  I wrote almost the entire first draft of content on a couple of cross-country plane flights.
  9. If you maintain an email list of potential readers of your book, share parts of the book with them as you go through your writing process.  It’s a great way to get feedback and your readers will appreciate being part of the creative process.
  10. No email list yet?  Get started today.  A great “give” is to provide a portion of your book to new subscribers to your list.
  11. Once you release the book, create a nurturing campaign (also called drip marketing) so that new subscribers to your list will be notified that the book is available for sale.  Ideally you’re notifying them after you’ve provided other value in the nurturing campaign.  I use Madmimi for my email list, which has support for Drips (their term for a nurturing campaign). BTW if you sign up, they’ll shave a few bucks off of my bill, too! ;)
  12. Write a blog post stating your intention to write a book, and repost it to all of your social networks so that you’re a liar if you don’t follow through! :)
  13. Not sure if you have a story worth telling or at what price to sell your book?  Create a poll on your blog (here was mine) to gauge demand for the book as well as potential price points.
  14. Consider giving your book away for free to your Tribe.
  15. There are actually services, like Hyperink, who will write your book for you in exchange for a portion of the earnings.  I applied to see if they’d write mine for me, but they never wrote back (*sniffle*)

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank a few people who were involved in different parts of this experience:

  • Keith Cowing, who inspired me to write this post
  • Carla O’Connor, my awesome friend and copyeditor
  • Lucinda Blumenfeld, for giving me a crash course on the world of publishing
  • Super-connector Chris Phenner, who introduced me to Lucinda.  (BTW, Chris runs a great email list where he talks about ad tech and social ads.  He’s been in the space for a long time and is a great guy to follow.)

Last, but not least, I recently finished my second eBook!  It’s called 15 Emails That Worked. 

In the book, I share the actual email templates and describe the best practices that helped me get meetings with hard-to-reach entrepreneurs and VCs during my last job search.  It will definitely be useful to you if you’re job hunting in the startup and VC world, but the tips and techniques also apply to anyone who is looking for more effective ways to connect with busy people via email.

If you’re interested in getting this eBook for free, simply click here to learn more.

Written by John Gannon

January 20, 2013 at 11:06 pm

What happens in a VC informational interview

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I originally posted this account of a VC informational interview on my Columbia J-Term Business School Blog in 2007.  You can view the original here.

This afternoon I met with a principal from a late-stage VC here in the city. This was a follow-up to a meeting I had last week (which was made through a connection on LinkedIn via a woman I used to work with prior to business school). I thought it went very well and I think I had a good rapport with the person I met with. He told me to keep in touch and that there may potentially be either an internship or a full-time opportunity in the coming year. So we will see.

Here are some of the questions I was asked, in case you are curious what sorts of questions might be asked of you in a VC interview…

– Why do you want to get into VC?
– What opportunities for investment do you see in the space you worked in prior to business school?
– How did you do academically in your undergrad program?
– Discuss your involvement in vendor selection at your previous jobs.
– Talk about leadership experience you’ve had.
– Tell me about what you perceive to be the functions of the job.

If you liked this post, and are interested in careers in venture capital, think about subscribing to my mailing list. I promise not to spam you and will only send information related to venture capital jobs and careers. Please input your email address in the field (and click ‘Submit’) below if you would like to subscribe.

Written by John Gannon

November 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

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Upcoming venture capital job hunting class online

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I’m teaching the VC Job Hunting Hacks class again, but this time (for the first time!) Online (October 16). In this interactive course, you’ll get actionable tips that will help you accelerate your venture capital job hunt, and get you off on the right foot if you’re just getting started on your quest to become a VC.

In the class, we’ll cover:

  • How to secure interviews (Hint: It’s not by asking for a job)
  • How to identify which firms may be hiring (when they all say they’re not hiring)
  • How to stand out from a ridiculously competitive pack of applicants
  • How to follow up like a pro
  • How to negotiate an offer
  • How to build a powerful network that will benefit you for the rest of your career, even if you don’t end up working in VC

Note that the course content will be heavily focused on how to secure a job in venture capital, but many of the tips will have applications to other kinds of job hunts. Click here to see what other students have said about the class.

Registration Info:

If you are interested in careers in venture capital, think about subscribing to my mailing list. I promise not to spam you and will only send information related to venture capital jobs and careers. Please input your email address in the field (and click ‘Submit’) below if you would like to subscribe.

Written by John Gannon

September 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

Bay Area VC associate (post-MBA) role

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Looks like a Bay Area multi-billion dollar AUM firm is looking to fill a Bay Area post-MBA Associate role (consumer internet focus). Posting indicates they could be open to a mid-career non-MBA as well (4-6 years experience) as well.

Posting also indicates that the hiring firm “has actively partnered with entrepreneurs to build great businesses since the earliest days of venture” … which narrows things down somewhat (I’m thinking Sequoia, Greylock, or NEA).

Click here for more info via Glocap’s site: Senior Associate, Venture Capital (Consumer Internet)

If you liked this post, and are interested in careers in venture capital, think about subscribing to my mailing list. I promise not to spam you and will only send information related to venture capital jobs and careers. Please input your email address in the field (and click ‘Submit’) below if you would like to subscribe.

Written by John Gannon

September 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

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Is Thrive Capital hiring?

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VC job hunters, take note!  Thrive Capital in New York City just closed their 3rd fund ($150MM) and it’s a much bigger one than the last (they had only raised a total over $50MM across their 1st two funds).  When you see a firm raise a new fund that’s >$50MM than its previous fund, it signals that they may be looking to add a partner and potentially a junior staffer.  If you’re looking for a VC job, you’d be smart to try and reach out to these guys.

If you are interested in advice and tips on getting into the VC industry, feel free to join my mailing list via the form below.  No spam (I promise!) and only super relevant content to a VC job search.

Written by John Gannon

September 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

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Venture Capital Job Hunting Hacks class slides

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Below are the slides from my most recent Skillshare class, “Venture Capital Job Hunting Hacks“.  I have been teaching the class in NYC (twice now).  Have been thinking about expanding it, so if you’d like me to take it to another city or in an online format, please leave a comment and let me know.

By the way, if you are interested in advice and tips on getting into the VC industry, feel free to join my mailing list via the form below. No spam (I promise!) and only super relevant content to a VC job search.

Sign up!

Written by John Gannon

August 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

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When to quit your venture capital job hunt

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Recently, a few people have asked me: “When do I know if I should quit my venture capital job search?” Because the VC job hunt can take a very long time, with few signs to show you if you’re heading in the right direction, it’s especially important to understand when you might consider quitting your search for a VC job (and instead evaluate an indirect route, like working for a portfolio company first), and when you should press on with your search.

It took me 16 months of active searching while in business school (+ a couple of months after graduation) to get my first VC offer, so I’d like to think I am somewhat of an expert in knowing how to evaluate when to quit – because most people in their right minds would have quit if they were me (jobless immediately post-MBA, with twins on the way that summer)! However, I had a couple of major data points to suggest that I was getting close and that I should keep pushing. If you are seeing these data points in your VC job hunt, you might want to keep pushing, too…

Point #1: If you are in “final round” interviews with a firm or on a very short list of candidates (< 5 candidates remaining),  you probably have what it takes to get yourself in that position again with another firm. I remember on the day I graduated from business school, I received a voicemail from a firm with whom I had conducted a final round interview. Unfortunately – it was a “Ding” call – I did not get the job. However, I knew that if I was that close, I had a reasonable shot of getting to final round interviews with another firm. And that’s exactly what happened – with 3 different firms over the next couple of months.

Another example — a few weeks back, I met someone last week (pre-MBA) who has been searching for a VC job for the last several months. He was trying to get an indication from me as to whether or not he should quit his search as he had become frustrated with his perceived lack of progress. When he told me that he had made it to final round interviews with a firm, but didn’t get the role (the firm chose to hire no one, incidentally, even though they were running a somewhat formal hiring process), to me that was a big indicator that this guy had a shot at cracking into the industry, so I encouraged him to stay the course. And I definitely won’t be surprised if he gets to a final round interview with another firm soon.

Point #2: Do you know which venture capital firms are hiring? Do you know which VC firms have junior staffers who have just left their jobs or who are leaving soon?   Do you know which firms have recently raised a new fund?

If you’re not able to answer these questions pretty readily after a few months of serious searching, this could indicate any of the following things:

  • You’re not searching hard enough!
  • You’re not approaching VC firms in the right way (e.g. via warm intros through their trusted networks)
  • You don’t have a background that fits the firms you’re approaching

If you’re challenged by the 1st item, you need to do a gut check.  As I have mentioned in other posts, it is very hard to break into the venture capital industry and so you have to have a tremendous passion for the subject matter as well as the job search process.

The bottom line:  If you think you have a realistic shot at breaking into the venture capital industry, be relentless, polite, and persistent in your search!

If you are interested in advice and tips on getting into the VC industry, feel free to join my mailing list via the form below.  No spam (I promise!) and only super relevant content to a VC job search.

Written by John Gannon

August 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

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I think Greylock or Sequoia may be hiring

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Glocap just sent out an email blast about a big firm in the Valley looking for a post-MBA associate to cover enterprise software. Here’s a link to the posting. Sounds like the hiring firm wants someone with operating experience in the software space.

Glocap always tries to be mysterious in these job postings, which is pretty funny because then they describe the firm in a way that’s a dead giveaway. For example, in this post, they describe the firm as follows: “Our client is a global, multi-billion AUM venture capital firm with over 40 years of history and success in partnering with entrepreneurs.” There are only 3 firms that come to mind in the Valley that fit that profile – KPCB, Greylock, and Sequoia. And one of them (KPCB) doesn’t hire associates, so that leaves us with two – Greylock and Sequoia. If I were a betting man, I’d say its Greylock, because they just brought on a new General Partner (who may need some associate(d) bandwidth).

My recommendation: if you have some enterprise software chops, and are post-MBA (or soon to be), network your way into these firms and don’t go to Glocap. I don’t have anything personal against Glocap but if you’re looking for your first job in venture, recruiters (in my experience) are not typically very helpful. You’re better off expending some networking cycles to find someone who knows someone at the firm.

By the way, if you are generally interested in advice and tips on getting into the VC industry, feel free to join my mailing list via the form below.  No spam (I promise!) and only super relevant content to a VC job search.

Written by John Gannon

August 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

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Teaching VC Careers Class in NYC in August

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I’m offering the VC job hunting class again in August here in NYC.  Hopefully we’ll have another packed house for this one.  It’s a great opportunity to network w/fellow VC job seekers and hear me share stories about what tactics worked (and didn’t) in multiple VC successful VC job hunts.  Click here if you’re interested in attending this VC job hunting class.

If you’re not up for the class, but are interested in advice and tips on getting into the VC industry, feel free to join my mailing list via the form below.  No spam (I promise!) and only super relevant content to a VC job search.

Written by John Gannon

July 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm

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