You know the job you are looking for, you know these jobs exist and you know the companies you would like to work for, you even know people who do a similar job but you just don’t see these jobs advertised? Research suggests that as many as 60% of all jobs are unadvertised – Welcome to the world of unadvertised jobs. Read on to see how you can find and apply for unadvertised jobs – this approach should not replace the conventional application to advertised vacancies but compliment it; as an additional avenue to track down the right opportunity.
To start with, make sure that all your family, friends, neighbours and associates know that you are looking for a job – they may be aware of opportunities within their employer and will probably be happy to notify you accordingly. Grow your network – a chance meeting where you mention that you are job hunting could lead to the suggestion of a name or a company to approach.
When you’re looking for work; your social network matters. On LinkedIn you can connect with people from a variety of companies and industries – it’s a bit like sending them your CV; your profile shows your career history, education etc. You can also join groups that relate to your industry, interests etc. and keep up to date with what’s happening in your network. Twitter is a useful web tool for networking and expanding your contacts base. Job seekers can use Twitter to learn about new opportunities and spread the word about their own experience. Tweeting information about your industry and/or your job search will also alert followers to your own professional skills. You want employers to take you seriously so make sure you offer valuable content.
Generate a list of employers that you would like to work for and find out more about them – their websites, blogs, Twitter & Facebook pages – have they recently won an award? Expanded? etc.
Advertised jobs can generate hundreds of applicants. If someone approaches a company directly the organisation can fill a job with just 1 application – it is quicker, easier and more cost-effective for them. So, increase your chances of finding employment by approaching organisations directly, bearing in mind your approach should be professional, considered and appropriate. Match your style to the sector and think about the language you are using and the examples you are providing. Target your CV and cover letter to make sure it is relevant. Sending a speculative application may well pay off, however it’s quality rather than quantity – don’t send out a blanket email or letter to hundreds of companies, each one needs a personalised approach where possible to a named contact. Even if they don’t have a current vacancy some companies keep CVs on file for a period of time.
Consider work experience, work shadowing or volunteering as a working interview. Don’t dismiss a temporary job – this could lead to further opportunities. 1 in 3 graduates get a job somewhere they have worked before. Make sure you attend careers events, trade events and conferences – take any opportunity to engage with employers. Investing time and effort in tracking down unadvertised jobs is a good use of time, not of course as a replacement to applying to advertised jobs but as an addition, which will enable you to be pro-active and take control of your job search. Hopefully some of these ideas will encourage you to look beyond the adverts. Good luck!