Looking for a new job?
If you’re not desperate to leave your current place (IE. you don’t hate it) then I have one piece of advice for you…
Seriously, life is far too short to move from one job you don’t really enjoy, to another and then another. You’re in the unique position of having time (and choice) on your side: so use it.
How? Have you ever thought about sending a speculative application?
Let’s take a look how it works…
Come up with a “Dream List.”
Can you think of any companies you would really love to join?
- Perhaps a local company that you’ve used/ visited since you were younger?
- Or a huge, global corporation that you’ve always admired?
- Or even a charity, that do great work in a sector that really means something to you?
These companies can form your “Dream List;” (a list of companies that you really, really want to work with).
That’s where your speculative job application comes in. Offering to work for a company, even though they have “no current vacancies.”
If you’re not sure who on earth you want to work for, it might be worth checking out Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work List.
Do some (serious) research.
Throughout this process, you must always remember that the potential employer isn’t expecting your application, so you’re going to have to work that little bit harder to get them to read your application.
That’s why you must do your research and find out as much as humanly possible about each company, before sending anything across.
(I know this is obvious, but you should check on their website that they don’t actually have any relevant vacancies before sending your speculative one – you’ll look a bit silly, otherwise).
Still interested in the company? Time to…
Not sure what to research. Check out this blog post: 8 Things You MUST Learn About the Company, Before a Job Interview
Personalise your cover letter and CV.
There’s no point sending a generic CV across and hoping for the best – you need to show them that you have a genuine interest in their company and industry.
And that they’d be mad not to consider you for potential vacancies.
Both your CV and cover letter should reveal all of the reasons why…
- You’re passionate about the particular company and industry
- You’d be a great cultural fit (similar values, interests and experiences).
- Your skills and knowledge would specifically help their business.
If you’re going to do it; do it right!
Not sure your CV is up to scratch? Check out what the experts have to say.
Keep your cover letter short and sweet.
Don’t put your recipient off by writing an essay.
Keep is simple:
- State what you are currently doing.
- State what your aim is.
- Explain why you have chosen to contact them, with regard to your aim.
- Summarise your skills and reasons why you’d fit in well.
And keep it to 3 or 4 paragraphs, at most.
Check out our blog post “How to Write a Compelling Cover Letter” for more advice on this.
Send it to the right person.
To go the extra mile, try to find out exactly who you need to be contacting; not just a generic info@ or even HR email address.
You may be able to find this information online, within other job adverts the company have live or it might be worth ringing up and simply asking “who is the right person to email about recruitment?”
If you send it to the wrong person, you run the risk of it being completely ignored.
About a week after sending your application, it is worth following up with an email or phone call.
This will show you’re genuinely keen and also give them a nudge to read your application, if they haven’t already.
Don’t pester anyone! This might burn bridges for the future. Just be polite and simply say “I’d love to know what you think.”
Not sure what to say when you follow up? This blog’s “How to Follow Up a Job Application To Make a More Lasting Impression.”
And if it is a no…
I know, this approach is long-winded and hard work – and honestly, you may not get the response you were hoping for (if a company aren’t hiring, they’re simply not hiring).
But, even if it is disappointing news right now, when that company is hiring again, they may well remember you and get in touch.
You’re laying the groundwork, so don’t give up.
I know, this is easier said than done; job searching in general can be really overwhelming. But you have to STAY POSITIVE.
Speculative job applications are a great way to find your dream job, particularly if you’re working in a competitive market, where jobs get snapped up within seconds.
It does take more work and you do have to be fussy, but if you’ve got time – why not?
If you’d like some more tips on finding the job of your dreams, subscribe to this blog here.- Charles Trivett