We all have a dream job, a company that you have been following on Linked-In and Twitter forever now. A company that you’ve set your heart on after graduation, and you have all the qualifications necessary! There’s just one problem.
They aren’t hiring.
So what do you do now? Don’t just throw the towel and give up, take the three steps this blog dives into to put yourself on a company’s radar. This way you’re not missing out on any hidden opportunities and at the very least, your qualifications and skills are the first to come to mind when work is needed.
But what’s the point if they’re not looking to hire right now? The initiative to reach out and introduce yourself to an organization itself shows employers that you are self-governing, driven, and passionate about the job. Submitting your resume for a job that’s not open can lead to an interview for a job you didn’t even know about, and at worst your resume can be at the top of the list when an open position does appear. The boss is going to know who you are, what you can give to their company, and your interest in their work. Never be afraid to mail, email, or even walk your resume into a company, because you may just be surprised at the response you receive in return.
Research, Research, Research
But how do I know where to start? Your first step in applying to a job, unposted or not, is researching the workplace. It is crucial to know about the kind of work the company does, who they work for, and what you will be doing, as well as who you will be pitching yourself and your resume to. This will give you many topics to discuss and questions to ask in your interview, as well as to relate to in your cover letter. Knowing who you’re talking to will also show the employer your respect for their company and dedication to the job. Mentioning and asking about things you already know about the organization shows the employer that you have done your research and do not need to have your handheld. This process should be just as much of an interview to them as it is to you.
Get Your Foot in the Door
Thousands of people submit applications to companies, agencies, and organizations every day. So what makes you so special? Why should the employer take the time to sit down with you? Employers are busy, and they only have so much time throughout their day to dedicate to searching through applications. A significant amount is bound to get tossed into the trash. So how do you make yours stand out? Well by applying to an unposted job you already have. Still, in order to avoid your resume getting dragged into the archives, you want to have a good attention-getter, and for a resume your attention-getter is your cover letter. For more insight, Dany Rubin shares the perfect cover letter guide for an unposted job in The Ladders: How to Apply for a job even if the Company Isn’t Hiring. (see link below)
Get Your Resume into the Right Hands
Did you know that most resumes submitted through online applications don’t even get sent to the company’s hire team? Much less the boss? Unless specific keywords are mentioned in the applicant’s application, the resume is pushed aside. This is called “ATS” aka “Applicant Tracking System.” In fact, according to Jobscan Research, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS, and according to Kelly OCG, 66% of large companies use an ATS system as well. There are many different types of ATS, but each of them serves the main purpose to organize, sort, and narrow down received resumes. So how do you avoid your resume getting thrown into the trash by a computer? Hand it in to a REAL human. You should know who is in charge of the company hiring from your prior research. When in doubt email your resume directly to this person. Better yet, if you’re still not 100% sure that your resume is in the right hands, walk it into the company and personally hand it to the employer. Okay yes, this may sound a bit excessive, but would you rather hire the person who went the extra mile to introduce themselves in person or the person who submitted their resume in a matter of 5 minutes via a quick online application survey. Separate yourself from the competition and control who evaluates your future. You worked hard to build your resume and it deserves to be in the hands of an actual human. A human who has the power to do something with it.
No Matter What, Leave an Impression
Job offer or not, always leave a good impression of yourself even if it’s something as little as following up with an email, thanking them for their time. A gesture like this can never hurt, and it keeps you at the top of an employer’s list for when a future job position does open up, it makes you an excellent recommendation to other companies in need for work, and at the very least it widens your network and positively affects your workplace reputation. After all, it is a small world and you’ll be surprised at the number of flies you’ll catch with honey rather than vinegar. Keep a positive attitude and apply for that dream job, good or bad all outcomes are bound to further your career, network, and communication skills.
The Ladder: How to Apply for a Job Even if the Company Isn’t Hiring
Jobscan: 8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems