Monday, April 12, 2010

I [Heart] Union Square Ventures

They're hiring.  And they know how to write a job ad:
It's Spring in New York. The pear trees and magnolias are in full bloom and everyone on the street is smiling, reminded again of irrepressible rhythm of the seasons.

That's the good news. The bad news is that another rhythm that shapes our lives at Union Square Ventures has also come full circle. A little over a week ago Fred announced that Andrew was following his fiancé to Boston where she will complete her medical training. Eric Friedman is also coming to the end of his two year stint as an analyst here and moving on to Foursquare. The three of us are staring at the possibility of being on our own this summer. In some ways that is not all bad. We have always believed in building a partner driven firm, where we all do our own work and can fully represent the firm to the outside world. On the other hand, Andrew and Eric have done a fabulous job finding holes and filling them and I, for one, am worried about running out of fingers to put in the dike when they leave.

So we are hiring.


We are not flexible when it comes to cultural fit. We are a small team in a small office and it is very important to us that the candidates for these positions share our conviction about the transformational potential of the web. They should also be prepared to forcefully defend thoughtful positions on potential investments, but to also consider carefully the positions of others and to be intellectually honest and open to persuasion.

Perhaps most importantly, the successful candidates for these positions will be "net native". They will use web services in their personal and professional lives. They will ideally have an intuitive feel for what works and what doesn't on the web. We assume that they will have a web presence, whether that is a profile on a social network site, a photo stream, an academic paper on social media, a blog or tumblelog, a lead role in an open source project, a reputation on Stack Exchange, or a spot on the leader board in Mafia Wars.


Don't upload a resume. Instead, share your LinkedIn profile and use the "cover letter" to provide links to your web presence plus a way to reach you. We can't promise to respond to every inquiry, but you can be sure that if the links you share show off your contributions to the web, we will get in touch.

By the way, we are not prudes. We expect your web presence to represent who you are, not who you think an employer wishes you were, so don't waste a lot of time sanitizing your web presence before sending us there. It will just confuse your friends.

We look forward to comments on this post, including suggestions about the roles, the qualifications and the process!

And it is, essentially, a blog post.  This is awesome.

To be sure, this is not the sort of advertisement that just any company can post.  This is not going to fit the corporate culture of every firm, and the demands it represents are not going to properly attract the type of candidate every firm needs.

It's still great.

It's great because it's fairly unique.  It's great because it's honest.  It's great because it breaks so many rules, it's pretty forward thinking, and it reflects the nature of the company.  That final one is probably the most important.  I always tell job seekers that they need to have a strategy when conducting their search, in order to find the job that's right for them.  Well, we recruiters need a strategy, too.

And isn't it fantastic that they've told people not to sanitize their web presence?  We're all on the net all the time, it seems, and if you're going to be hiring someone under the age of 30, you better expect that they've cultivated a full and open online persona.  Personally, I've contributed work to a variety of web sites.  I have written about sports; I have interviewed politicians; and I have written about recruiting.  I'm on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo, Naymz and MySpace... sometimes multiple times.  I can't, completely, hide my web presence.

This is the world we're getting into.  This is a world where more and more of our lives are going to be public.  Where people used to go to extremes to hide their "real" identity online, we now trade pictures of our kids, argue openly about politics and trumpet our religious allegiances.  Employers will still Google us, but, more and more, employers will know that this candid picture is just that, candid.  We'll each have one, and it will be more extensive, more honest.  And we will be judged by it less and less.

(H/T: Fred Wilson.)

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