Applying for a job when there isn’t a job posted

Last time I talked about how we are hiring (and offering a $500 referral bonus), but we aren’t currently advertising a position in the places applicants too often look: newspapers and online job boards. I love unsolicited resumes and I think that 99% of small business owners ought to as well. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this and some of these tips will help you be successful in your job search.

As a job seeker, remember that everyone’s time is valuable. Most of us who work for a living, well, have to work. Wasting our time helps ensure you won’t get a job. Make a significant negative impression and not only will you not get a job there, but you may jeopardize your chances working other places as businesses do talk!

First, don’t waste a business’s time calling the main number for the business. That number is generally for customers. Failure to recognize that fact immediately says to a business “I care more about me than I do your customer”. Do your research. Find out who the owner or hiring manager is online. By doing so you are showing initiative to your potential employer and you are respecting their time. If I get an email that says “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom it May Concern” I think “really?” This a computer job and you can’t do a Google search to figure out to whom to address your inquiry? The business name is DoctorDave after all.

If you must call, be apologetic and direct and say something like “Hi, I know your time is valuable and I would like to know who to contact regarding hiring of technicians”. Short, sweet and to the point. You’ll hopefully get the name of someone to contact.

Next, that first contact is your only chance to make a first impression so make it good. Even though I’m in computers and love email, I think sometimes email is a terrible way to communicate. Your email that is applying for a position gets caught up with all the other email that is hitting their inbox. I try to effectively manage my email and have a good system, but it’s a chore and too often something gets lost in the shuffle or somewhere between “here” and “there” I didn’t get it. Send your resume (and cover letter) via snail mail. I apologize in advance to the trees killed doing so (try 100% post-consumer recycled paper), but a physical piece of paper demands the attention that an email can’t. Also, let’s face it, when an email is important, what do we often do…we print it out. Save your potential employer the time and trouble of doing so by printing it in advance.

Send your resume alone with an awesome cover letter to that potential employer and magic can happen. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but if you do it right you will get the call when they need someone. What’s an awesome cover letter? That’s for next time.

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