Can’t find a suitable job? Write a speculative application
Have you ever had a dream company that you want to work for? You look on the website but there does not seem to be any suitable jobs? If you are faced with this you have a couple of options; you can: a) follow the organisations’ careers page like a hawk, checking frequently for the dream job to appear or b) apply for jobs you don’t really want to do.
Both options are good but there is a more direct way of being on the radar of your favourite company; writing a speculative application. Speculative applications are simply a way for you to introduce yourself to the organisation of your dreams, highlighting your suitable skills experiences and passions. Many organisations will welcome applications from those who show interest in their company.
There is a so-called hidden job market, it is not an area where HR departments and recruiters sit around hiding jobs in their pockets. The hidden job market is a phrase that describes the jobs that are not advertised externally, and there are many of them. This hidden job market may be due to many things like some smaller organisations not having the financial means time or resources to advertise jobs.
To begin to think about approaching an organisation speculatively it is important to think and plan. The first thing you can start off with is your CV. Make sure you have figured out your preferred area or areas that you want to work in and tailor your CV to them. Also, use the language of the organisation and mirror it. Make sure you introduce yourself in the best light, showcase your skills but highlighting projects that you have completed or spearheaded.
Write a cover letter that grabs attention
There is a previous post about how to write and structure a winning cover letter for advertising applications. For speculative applications, you can follow the same format.
Alternatively, if you want to turn heads and make an impact you can record a video detailing your suitability for the role or devise an additional document around your key skills related to the values of the organisation you are applying to.
Use social media to uncover key players
Social media is one of the keys to uncovering the hidden job market. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways find who the main thought leaders on topics, get involved with discussions and be aware of key personnel.
Kathryn Minshew the CEO of job listings site, The Muse, received an email from a prospective employee in the form of a LinkedIn message. She was not thinking about hiring a new head of marketing. The message that he sent changed Ms Minshew’s mind and the sender ended up working for the Muse as head of marketing for four years. The message was short but included information about how the sender admired Kathryn, and that he had seen her speak at a conference and would like to work with the company and see how he could benefit the organisation.
This is a great way to approach an organisation, sending a speculative email or message may seem a bit random, but what does a person have to lose? The worst that can happen is that a person may get ignored but the best is that you may get a reply. The only thing you can do is try.
Network your way to success
One way to access the hidden jobs market is to network, (read a previous post about networking). Attending meetings, conferences and events can be a great way to boost your knowledge of what is going on in your industry. At the same time, networking events provide you with a way to talk to key influencers and important players the industry.
Following these simple steps will enable you to present yourself in a clear and structured way and increase your chances of landing an interview.