Embark on the unsolicited adventure
When looking for a job, you do not have to sit around and wait for your favourite companies to post an advertisement. Take matters in your own hands by sending unsolicited applications.
“Job seeking is more fun when you add some volume to it. You increase your chances of finding a job, and it is easier to shake off the rejections because you are hedging your bets. So pick out 20-30 companies and launch a campaign of unsolicited applications,” says Ann Berry from Konsulenthuset ballisager.
Advantages of unsolicited applications
- You choose where you want to apply
- You choose which competences to focus on
- You become visible to many employers
- You are competing with fewer applicants
- You show initiative and drive
Conquer the challenges
You might feel uncomfortable contacting companies that have not asked for it. Ann Berry says not to worry: “Think of it as an adventure. Be curious. In the beginning, look for information instead of a job. Most people like to talk about their workplace and careers. And start building your network while you are studying. Those contacts will come in handy when you go looking for your first job.”
Another challenge is the sheer amount of opportunities – how do you find the companies to be included in your campaign of unsolicited applications? First of all, identify two to three job titles that are interesting to you. Then go to jobindex.dk or similar websites and read old advertisements for these job titles. There is much to be gained from this exercise. You can make a list of companies with positions that are interesting to you. You gain an insight into the competences requested by these companies. You see words and phrases that might be useful when describing your competences to other companies. Last, but not least, you get contact information for relevant employees who can tell you more about the companies.
Other ways to find companies:
- Use LinkedIn and your network
- Read the newspaper and follow the social media. Companies love it if you make a reference to something interesting about them
- Find industry-specific websites that are relevant to you
- Search for gazelle companies, Top 1000 and Great Place to Work companies
27% of employers use unsolicited applications*
In 2017, the number was 42%.* According to Ann Berry, one of the reasons for this marked drop is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was enforced on 25 May 2018. To but it briefly, it has become more difficult for companies to store unsolicited applications in a way that complies with the new rules.
This does not mean that unsolicited applications are a dead duck
You just have to work around the new challenge: Instead of sending your CV, send a link to your LinkedIn profile, which is public, or give the company written consent to store your information. Or simply contact the company and ask them how they prefer to receive unsolicited applications, and how you can help them tackle the GDPR challenge.