Hi again, readers. I have to say, writing this has been an eye-opening experience for me. I have been in the position before of being unemployed and camping out on the internet trawling through hundreds of job advertisements trying to find work. There is a tip in this post that I guarantee will change the way you see the job-hunting process and will result in a much more productive job-hunting experience. The writing that follows examines why approaching an employer directly in search of a job can be extremely beneficial. Below are some useful points to consider:
Benefits to Approaching an Employer Directly:
1. Speculative Applications
Approaching an employer directly gives you the freedom to send out what is known as a ‘speculative application’. This is an application that isn’t responding to a specific job opening or advertisement, it is simply a way of expressing your interest in working for a particular company. You do this by contacting the relevant person within a company which sparks your interest and emailing them with an expression of your intentions. Your email is like a digital covering letter, and you should obviously always attach your CV to these emails. This way, you will be on file when something comes up in the future. Even better, you could be even more industrious and try to contact the person in question by phone. The more direct the contact method, the more impressive your enthusiasm will be; although I don’t suggest hunting down their home address! Don’t bombard their office answering machine with missed calls at three-hour intervals. With everything there is balance; don’t confuse industriousness with being an absolute pest. When you read the next tip you will see why this is so important. If you go through a recruitment agencies you can only apply for jobs that are actually listed.
2. It’s the Best Way to Find a Job
And here it is; the tip I referred to in the beginning. When I was researching this topic I knew there would be benefits to approaching an employer but I truly never knew the extent of it. I’m a recruitment blogger and it even came as a surprise to me. Yes, believe it or not, the statistics back me up on this one. According to a range of different sources (provided in the footnotes) between 60 and 80% of all available jobs are unadvertised. Yes! Most of the job openings out there aren’t even listed on job sites or in newspapers or anywhere else! This tip changes everything. It drastically reduces your chances of obtaining a job through traditional means. I used to guffaw and cringe at the word ‘networking’ but now this idea seems to be the way forward. Who you know, how you put yourself ‘out there’, your self-promotion skills…these things that I previously thought secondary to the conciseness of your resume now seem to almost overtake the importance of how powerful your opening statement is. Taking this into account, my advice is to do a complete upheaval of your job-hunting. You can do this by taking an inventory of your skills and education and being more assertive about promoting yourself. Don’t be afraid to contact the employer directly, particularly those in positions with the ability to recruit you if a future position becomes available. This is the most important reason to approach employers directly. Recruitment agencies don’t have access to unadvertised jobs, so by relying solely on them to find you one immediately reduces your chances of getting one.
From the two points above, it is clear that job-hunting is more of a pain-staking process than is usually assumed. It involves conducting research to find companies you can target, finding the contact information for the relevant people, presenting yourself as someone who is enthusiastic and professional, and above all, making sure that you have something to offer the company that will make them sit up and take notice of you. A common assumption is that only applying for jobs directly as opposed to using a recruitment agency will cause your application to disappear into the masses, but the statistics cannot be dismissed here. You can’t rely solely on recruitment agencies to find you work because there are quite simply too many missed opportunities; you can only access at most a third of the jobs that actually exist. The key to standing out is being incredibly serious about finding a job you want; tailoring each CV, and researching each company. With all the background effort that goes into one application when you do it this way, each application takes much longer to complete. However, as I have mentioned before, it’s all about quality, not quantity. It is better to complete five thoughtful applications a month than churning out fifty CVs with no sense of the company’s needs or the relevancy of what your CV says. All in all, what you put in is what you get out. Hopefully the advice here will inspire you to be less concerned about how many jobs you apply for and more concerned about how many top-quality applications you send out. Good luck. Until next month.
Copyright Gillian Rixey, Company Jobs Direct Ltd.
by Gillian Rixey
(Gillian is a PhD qualified freelance writer and scholar born in Ireland but currently residing in the United States.)