“Breaking into VC”: don’t make it harder than it is

mfw applicants ‘would like to express interest in gaining experience at FUND XXX’. Image borrowed from here.
  1. There was a file named “finance-vc-pe-coverletter.pdf”, which was exactly as specific as you’d imagine;
  2. There were countless examples of “why this role would benefit me and why I want it”. What about the value you’d add, rather than just what you’d take away?;
  3. There were a few (yes, actually more than 1) in which the woefully generic CL’s *insert fund name* references hadn’t been updated properly (i.e., “…and this is why I would be interested in a position at FUND NAME XXX”. Literally.); and
  4. A few candidates wrote — at length — about topics, themes, and business areas that sadly bear no relevance to our (quite specific and very public) investment thesis.
  1. Read, re-read, and re-re-read the listing to make sure there aren’t any pesky hidden calls to action (or indeed any in bold written at the bottom 🙃);
  2. Be specific. Nobody likes to think of themselves as ‘one of’ your Tinder matches; and seldom do “Hi there xx”s progress to dates. To be totally honest, I did laugh when I saw that highly generic file name, but it was a pretty easy thumbs down;
  3. Be relevant. There’s no need to write pages and pages, even less so when the content isn’t even tangentially related to the application or the fund in general. Oboe Grade 2 doth not a good analyst make.

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Ferdinand Reynolds

VC at SuperSeed Ventures - a London-based early stage fund investing in the technologies changing the way we do business. Like getting hands dirty.