04 Aug How to write an Unsolicited Application: 5 Tips
What better way to find your dream job than to directly contact your dream company? Many consider writing an unsolicited application a futile attempt at finding a job with slim chance of success. However, when done right, an unsolicited application can be the best chance to get the job that you want most. Instead of having to wait for the perfect job advertisement and competing with maybe a lot of other candidates, the unsolicited application gives you the freedom to select the company you wish to work for and to contact them directly. Sending an unsolicited application gives you a great opportunity to bypass the competition. Taking the initiative will also help you to make a great pro-active first impression on your future boss. But an unsolicited application is often a long term effort. When you are writing an unsolicited application you are not just asking if there is a position for you available at this moment, you also ask to be considered whenever a suiting position will become available in the future. We have gathered 5 tips to optimize your efforts at writing an unsolicited application.
Do your research
When you reach out to a company, you must display a strong motivation to work for the company and show that you know the company very well. You cannot just write that the company seems like a fun company to work for, you should show a more profound reason why you want to work for this specific company and why you could add value to the company. To make the best possible first impression on your unsolicited application it is necessary that you show that you understand what is important for the company. Not only is it important to fully understand their products or services, the sector they are operating in and you also need to identify the company culture. Thorough research is necessary to find out what they think is important. Research on the company website and their communication on social media can give you a great insight. The company’s mission statement or keynote speeches or interviews from their CEO can also give you great information about the company’s culture and how they see their role in their operating field or in the world. Looking into other job openings that are advertised on their website or on other websites can also help you to find out what their requirements for candidates are what they think is a valuable candidate. Research is not just important to show that you know and understand the company, it is also crucial to find the right person the address your application to.
Find the right person to contact
When you are applying of an advertised job post it is often very clear to who you should address your job application, the contact person or contact details are clearly stated within the job advertisement. When you are sending an unsolicited application you should do some research to find the contact details and to find the right person to address your application to. Most often the best person to focus on is the company’s recruiter or hiring manager. The contact details are often shared on the company website, on other advertised job openings or on their company LinkedIn profile.
An unsolicited application also gives you the freedom not to contact the recruiter or hiring manager but to focus directly on your future manager. Most managers really appreciate the pro-active character of the unsolicited application. This is particularly effective when the position you are applying for requires very close cooperation with the manager. Most sales managers for instance are always scouting for new talent and they take great pride into discovering new sales talent. This might not always lead to a direct job opportunity. But most managers, when positively impressed with your application, will surely file your CV and remember you when a new job opportunity presents itself in the future.
Make a stellar first impression
The first impression you make at your job application is very important for every job application, but when you are sending an unsolicited application it is crucial. You want to make sure that every aspect of your unsolicited application is impeccable. When you contact a company for a job out of the blue, you cannot just present yourself as a random OK candidate. You need to make sure that they will remember you when a suitable job opening presents itself even maybe many months later. The unsolicited application gives you a lot more freedom to control your first impression. An unsolicited application by itself is proof of your pro-activity and initiative. It is also important to let your boldness, courage and self-confidence reflect in your application.
Unsolicited applications are very suitable to present yourself in a creative and or bold manner. A bold and creative CV design can really draw the attention to your application. You want to make sure that every document of your application will appear professional and neat. Even an infographic CV is very suitable for an unsolicited application. The creative design and the cleverness of presenting your information will surely leave a lasting first impression when done right.
Use your network
Networking is one of the most important career development skills. It can open doors for new job opportunities. A good network can point you to job openings that are not yet advertised. If you have a contact in your network that can, and is willing to, introduce you at a company or manager this can really pave the way to a successful unsolicited application.
If possible always mention the name of a shared contact or a friend that already works at the company you are applying. Of course you need to ask this shared contact or friend for permission to mention their name before you send your application. When you use a name in your unsolicited application that the reader recognizes it will directly improve your chances. Not only will the reader be more open towards your unsolicited application, it will give the reader a good reference to check your skills, personality and experience for a possible open position.
Focus on your skills and experience and not on a job title
The most important aspect of your unsolicited application is that you show what value you could add to the company. Focus on your skills and your experience in your cover letter and your CV. You can mention that you are looking for a job in a certain department, but it is best not to focus on asking to get hired for a very specific position or job title. Your skills and experience should make it very clear in which department and at what level you will perform best. Focussing on a specific job title can narrow down your chances of a successful application. The first objective an unsolicited application is to get you in touch with the company and to have a conversation about what you can do for the company.
Sending unsolicited applications might sometimes feel like taking a shotgun approach to job hunting but it offers a great opportunity to get yourself on a company’s radar and get a foot in the door. When you take the effort of serious preparation for each unsolicited application and you follow up on your application, you can create a great advantage over your competition. When done right the unsolicited application can even create opportunities over a long term period.