Have you ever thought you might be holding yourself back by only applying to publicly advertised jobs? If so, you could very well be right.
Your job search should not have to be so limited. When you apply to colleges, you send applications to all the colleges you’re interested in attending, right? Shouldn’t you be doing the same thing when it comes to companies for which you’d like to work? The answer is yes, yes you should.
There’s no telling what positions could open up or when. Enter the speculative cover letter. This shows that you’re both knowledgeable about and interested in working for a specific company.
Showing a strong sense of initiative and putting yourself out there may even help you land your dream job. Seriously, that enthusiasm can go quite a long way.
Here are some tips for applying to work for a company you genuinely know and love.
This time, it’s personal.
When contacting a company that isn’t actively or publicly hiring, it’s important to make your communications personal. In other words, try to avoid the dreaded, generic “to whom it may concern” intro at all costs.
Do some homework to find a specific individual you can address directly in your cover letter. You may have to do a little e-stalking to find the most relevant person at the company. However, it’s important to be proactive and address your correspondence properly.
The company’s website can be a great resource for this, as can LinkedIn. When in doubt, you can also call the company and talk to a receptionist about who’s who.
Addressing everything to a specific individual indicates that you’ve done your research.
Show your worth.
Try to be creative in your approach, avoid predictable wording, and really let your personality shine. Your enthusiasm will lack sincerity if you don’t put effort and originality into your correspondence.
It can also help if you’re able to demonstrate your knowledge regarding the company. In general, most hiring managers care far less about you and much more about what you bring to the table.
In other words, don’t just focus on yourself. Avoid overusing the word “I,” and instead let them know what value you can bring to a team.
Try to keep your cover letter simple and succinct. By getting straight to the point, you’ll avoid wasting anyone’s time.
In as few words as possible, explain what your strengths are, what skills you possess, and why the company interests you. Be sure to let them know why you’d be a good fit, but avoid rambling.
If your cover letter is longer than a single page, it may be time to rethink, revise, and re-do it. Remember, one of your goals is to demonstrate that you possess effective communication skills.
Don’t get your hopes up.
We don’t want to discourage you, but you do need to have somewhat realistic expectations. Your enthusiasm is huge, but if a company isn’t hiring, they might have legitimate reasons why they aren’t.
Your cover letter could be absolutely amazing, but if there aren’t openings, you can’t expect one to magically appear.
Here’s the thing though – even if you don’t get an interview, you’ve at least gotten your resume out there. If they think you’d be a good cultural fit, they’ll likely hang onto it in case something does open up.