Finding freelance jobs on AngelList and Angel.co
We’ve all heard about the wonders of various freelancer platforms—Upwork, Freelancer, ProBlogger, and so on. But one of the most overlooked opportunities for finding freelancing gigs is AngelList over at Angel.co.
AngelList is a platform for startups, entrepreneurs, job-seekers, and investors to connect, democratizing the process of business growth. At no cost, investors can invest money, founders can seek fundraising, and freelancers can find work.
And believe me, there’s lots of it! This is why we love AngelList, yet unfortunately it’s an underutilized job platform for most freelancers out there.
Today, we are going to change that. Here’s exactly how freelancers can find better paying and long-term jobs on AngelList.
AngelList: Creating your freelancer profile
As with anything potential job-seeking platform, you’ll need a kickass profile. Register on Angel.co, upload your portfolio, and document your work history in a way that highlights your experience.
Creating a profile is straightforward, and not unlike other social platforms like LinkedIn. The basics of your profile include:
- Social profile links
- Mini-resume (160 characters)
- Previous work experience
- Previous achievements
- Your specific skills
Once you have spent a few hours developing your basic AngelList profile, now it’s time to start applying for jobs.
How AngelList works for freelancers
After you register for their platform, you can immediately search for jobs.
There are three important sections to the job search function—search box for keywords, filters, and total jobs available. As of late July 2018, there were over 20,000 jobs available on AngelList.
Let’s say you’re someone with sales experience, looking for work in the fashion industry. You can use the filters to narrow down your search on AngelList.
Below, you will see that under the Role filter, you can select all Sales positions, and then type in the keyword fashion to give you the 200 or so results.
As freelancers, we are typically only interested in contract work, so you can also filter by contract, which will exclude all full-time and internship positions.
This now gives us 20 jobs to search through.
How to apply for freelance jobs on AngelList
Once you’ve found the right search string and jobs, you’ll be ready to submit an application. This won’t take long, as your AngelList profile acts as your resume.
- Step 1 – Find the right job search filter
- Step 2 – Find the right job poster that applies to your skills
- Step 3 – Review company before applying
- Step 4 – Personalize your note to the hiring manager
It’s worth a brief mention here about reviewing the company and personalizing your interest statement. Once you’ve found the right job, you will get a chance to personalize a message to the hiring manager before sending the application.
You should send a personalized message!
This shows the hiring manager that you care about the business, have something to offer, and aren’t just blasting out applications—even though you probably are!
Something like, “Hey Mark, love what you guys do at company X, I recently worked on XYZ and have experience doing ABC. So I’m really excited about the prospect of working with you. Let’s connect!”
Simple as that. OK, back to our application steps for freelancers on AngelList.
Step 5 is to monitor your email for AngelList matches. Once a hiring manager likes your submission, a match will be made and you will be alerted. The hiring manager at this point has only clicked a button saying they’re interested in you, and nothing more.
So don’t get too excited!
At this point it’s really important that you respond immediately. This is where more personalization is needed. Thank them for the opportunity to connect with them, and outline again in a few more sentences your experience and why their company excites you.
You should also make yourself available for a voice or video call at the hiring manager’s convenience.
Now, it’s time to do a lot more due diligence on the company ahead of your phone interview. Review their website, products, media mentions, and come up with some notes on what they want in the role they posted, and how you can meet and exceed their requirements.
Turning a full-time job post into a freelance opportunity with AngelList
A few of you are already screaming at the computer, but AngelList isn’t built for freelancers, it’s mostly for full-time work!
That’s true. The majority of the 20,000 jobs available on AngelList may not be for freelancers—many are for full-time in-person jobs, internships, and part-time in-person work.
But, not only are many of them for contract or remote work, others would be open to the possibility of remote and contract work for the right candidate.
I’ve applied for a number of full-time jobs on AngelList, only to get on the phone with the hiring manager, explain my expertise, and then be offered a flexible contract as a freelancer.
The truth is, many startups aren’t exactly sure what they need. If you can clearly explain to them how you, as a freelancer, can fulfil their requirements on a freelance basis, at a much lower cost than a full-time employee, you’d be surprised at the positive reception.
Don’t rule out positions simply because they are full-time. Review the job poster, and if you believe this is something you can do on a freelance basis, then apply.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Top tips for freelancers applying for AngelList jobs
Above are the basics for applying for freelance jobs on AngelList—but there are still a number of best practices and tips to help you land a few more freelance clients.
Tip#1: Applying on AngelList like a boss…I mean to the boss!
Because AngelList is composed mostly of early-stage startups, the likelihood is that you’re speaking directly to the CEO or Co-Founder. So act accordingly!
Tip #2: Be responsive
Because you’re dealing with startups, and possibly the CEO and Founder, be quick to follow up, and make sure to be flexible.
If you are the first to respond to a match, you will stick out in the mind of the hiring manager. If you craft a thoughtful email, it shows you are responsive and want the job.
Remember, many of these job postings receive dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants. Make sure you stand out by being responsive and thoughtful.
Tip #3: Explain your interest
Explain why you’d like to explore this opportunity with the company. People love serendipity. Have you heard of the company before? Have you used their product? Did you read a recent news story about them and then happen to fall on this job posting? Does their product solve a pain point in your life?
Explain to the hiring manager why you are the best fit, and why you are interested. Don’t be like 32 other candidates who just need a job. Be memorable in your explanation as to why you want to work with the product and company.
Tip #4: Google is your friend
Before applying or jumping on a call, Google the startup. Find out if they’ve received funding, read their press releases, and digest any news that mentions them.
This will give you positive ammunition when you speak with the hiring manager, and shows you’re not only resourceful, but well informed about the company already.
Hey, congrats on your recent partnership with company Z, I read about it a few weeks ago on TechCrunch and believe that…blah blah blah…
Music to any hiring manager’s ears!
Final thoughts on AngelList for freelancers
As freelancers, we are always on the lookout for new contract opportunities. And, high-growth startups with funding not only pay well, but can provide you with valuable experience working in the world of startups.
Who knows, if it’s a good fit, it may even lead to an equity position down the road. It’s happened to many Casual Capitalist readers, including myself!
So get excited, and jump on AngelList now to start prospecting. You never know where you’ll find your next six-figure freelance client.