/mentoringPhotosAirplanesAbout Me

David Noël

Hi, I'm @David.
Hands up for all things tech, entrepreneurship, music, internet, remarkable people & ideas. Hands back down to type about it.

I'm SoundCloud's VP of Community. These are my favorites. Any questions? Right this way!

Airplanes & freckles!

Sound by SoundCloud

Recommended VC, Startup and Entrepreneur blogs on Tumblr

Going bananas on Twitter, Quora, Last.fm, Hype Machine and Flickr

Send me your sounds via my Dropbox below: Send me your track Email me: Here

Header picture by Jeffrey Milstein

  • April 3, 2014 11:33 pm

    Ten Tips for Getting a Startup Job (Even If You Have No Experience or An MBA)


    I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs, been ignored or rejected almost as many times, read thousands of applications, been on one side or the other of hundreds of interviews, and been part of hiring over a hundred people across three startups and in finance, law, and advertising.

    So, as a follow-up to my recent blog post: From Lawyer to Startups: My Poorly Executed But Successful Career Change, I wanted to share some things I learned about how to increase your likelihood of getting a startup (or almost any) job.

    Ten tips for getting a startup job:

    1. Know yourself. Write down what you’re looking for and why you want it. If you can’t explain that, you’ll have a hard time finding the job that’s right for you and convincing the employer that you’re right for the job.
    2. Get your name out there in every way possible and take every opportunity to learn. Blog, comment on blog posts, Tweet, reply to Tweets, Meetup, send emails to people you know and don’t know, Linkedin, attend events, ask for intros and intro yourself (an introduction from someone, if you have that option, is much better than approaching someone cold), ask for informational interviews, read everything relevant, network however you can. The more you’re out there, the more you’re educating yourself and meeting people who can help you. One warning, while doing these things, don’t cross the line between being persistent and showing initiative to being annoying and spammy. As you might guess, that does more harm than good. You’ll become that “crazy person who keeps spamming everyone.”
    3. Have an online presence. Having an online presence makes it easier for an employer to get to know you through your application, shows you’re interested in and very familiar with the internet, and sets you apart. Too many people apply for jobs at internet companies while having almost no internet presence. To work in the internet, you need to use it a lot.
    4. Know the market, company, and job. Start by learning what jobs are available are by finding startups you like and looking at their jobs pages and at their employees’ Linkedin profiles, and by finding people to ask questions (as discussed in point 2). After you find the companies and jobs you want, learn as much as you can about the company and that job. Read the website, press coverage, and social media. Get to know the culture and employees. Read their blogs and Tweets. Talk to people who know the company or have similar jobs elsewhere. If you know the company, you won’t get laughed at for wearing a fancy tailored suit to a startup job interview, like I have. “It’s an interview, obviously I have to wear a suit” is not always true.
    5. Tailor your application. One tailored application is better than a hundred generic ones. After you do your research, apply that to the application. Show your interest in that company and that job specifically. It should take a lot more than five minutes to apply for a job.
    6. Set yourself apart. What can you do to stand out? Use the company’s product. Do a project that they might need or be impressed by. Write a relevant blog post. Attend a relevant Meetup or conference. Join relevant organizations. Give them useful feedback through social media. At my last job, we saw one job applicant in various places around the internet talking and answering questions about us. He got hired.
    7. Present yourself in a quick and easy to consume manner. Long, formal cover letters accompanied by long resumes in small font are difficult to digest. Would you want to read that? I used to think I needed to squeeze in every detail because any of those tiny points could be the one that gets me the job. Now that I’ve been on the other side of so many hires, I think I was wrong. The employer should be able to get an initial feel for you in less than a minute, should be able to consume the entire application in a couple of minutes, and should be able to follow links you provide to really get to know you. Unlike Mark Twain, who said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead,” take your time and make it tight.
    8. Be likable. Few people will hire you if they don’t like you. Your other skills matter, but one very important skill is being likable. This may be easier to say than do, but keep it in mind. Winning an argument with the interviewer might not be the best way to win their endorsement. Likable people are good for company culture, productivity, work quality, recruiting, employee retention, and lots more.
    9. Focus on what YOU can offer to THEM. Ask yourself: Who will be reading this? What would I be looking for if I were hiring someone for this position? How can I show it’s me? Many job applicants focus on what the employer and job can offer them. The employer’s primary goal in hiring is to get the best person for the job, not to satisfy your goals and needs. Show who you are. Show you have skills. Show you have initiative. Show you’re willing to do whatever it takes to move the company forward. Show your persistence, curiosity, and ability to learn and problem solve. (MBAs: DO NOT use the word “strategy.” Almost none of you will start there and no one wants to hear that.)
    10. Get in the door, then do your best at everything. The rest will take care of itself. Be open to taking a job that isn’t at the level you think you should be. Startups are often true meritocracies. You’ll end up where you belong. And if not, you’ll move on to somewhere that you believe treats you more fairly.

    Hope that helps someone.


    This is a fantastic list. Nicely done, Jared.

  • April 2, 2014 3:19 pm

    Wild Child | Living Tree

    Another find from Thom’s HotSpotMusic Monday playlists.

  • 3:17 pm
  • April 1, 2014 12:26 pm

    Boy & Bear | Southern Sun

    This is a great album.

  • March 30, 2014 2:01 pm
    Just ran my first half marathon in 2:00:42 with my buddy @mitvergnuegen. #BerlinHalf (at Alexanderplatz) View high resolution

    Just ran my first half marathon in 2:00:42 with my buddy @mitvergnuegen. #BerlinHalf (at Alexanderplatz)

  • March 29, 2014 12:38 am


    Brandon Flowers, Father John Misty, and Local Natives play tribute to Johnny Cash with this beautiful string of covers.

    Johnny Cash fans: heads up, ears open.

  • March 28, 2014 12:39 pm
  • March 27, 2014 11:01 am

    Fink | Get Your Share

    If you’re into Junip and Jose Gonzalez, you’ll love Fink.

  • March 26, 2014 11:14 pm
    Knowing I’m a sucker for airplanes, sabine pointed me to Marc Trautmann’s exhibition in Berlin. These are great and I am going to go check them out this weekend, thank you!
Wondering if these were shot in one of the two airplane graveyards in Arizona or just outside of LA? View high resolution

    Knowing I’m a sucker for airplanes, sabine pointed me to Marc Trautmann’s exhibition in Berlin. These are great and I am going to go check them out this weekend, thank you!

    Wondering if these were shot in one of the two airplane graveyards in Arizona or just outside of LA?

  • 10:58 pm

    The $2,830 we raised together for my charity: water birthday campaign 18 months ago went to building a well near a school in Ethopia. If you donated (thanks again!), read the status report and find your name here.

    charity: water projects at schools like this one use clean water as a catalyst to improve the overall health of kids and the surrounding community. That means this school project includes not just a water source, but also latrines, hygiene training and a handwashing station.

  • 2:27 pm
    The First Magic Ninja Question (with @jerrycolonna) View high resolution

    The First Magic Ninja Question (with @jerrycolonna)

  • March 24, 2014 6:28 pm

    Stream Johnny Cash's lost 1980 album 'Out Among the Stars'

  • 10:22 am

    Fink | Hard Believer

    Meeting Fin aka Fink later this week so I caught up with his latest work on SoundCloud where he shares this bluesy gem. 

  • March 23, 2014 6:37 pm
    Discussing important things (boyfriends, maths, ponies, etc) View high resolution

    Discussing important things (boyfriends, maths, ponies, etc)