Not all jobs are advertised. Even if they are you might not see them. Sometimes an organisation may be at the point of thinking they need a hand, but have not thought about advertising. This is where a speculative approach can come in handy. If you know what type of work you want to do then you can start thinking about who to approach.
It’s more likely to work in the private sector and smaller organisations. Public sector & big corporate are more likely to have official recruitment channels that must be used.
Use the resources around you and think laterally!
Today’s example comes to you from a magazine supplement that landed in my in-tray. The Museum Services directory.
First assumption here: You are interested in heritage in some capacity.
This directory lists organisations that work with museums & heritage sites in just about every way you can imagine. Architects, conservators for just about any object you can name, curatorial assistants, legal services, engineers, web designers, recruitment consultants, planning consultants, education & learning consultants…. well you get the gist.
Many journals & professional body magazines & websites will have a services or directory section. Organisations in that profession or who offer service to that industry may choose to be listed – it’s a great ready made resource
- Each company has a little advert with a website and contact details.
- Look on their website – what do they do & where are they based. Do they interest you?
- Do they actually have any vacancies listed?
- Make contact!
How should I contact them and what do I say?
There are a number of options but before you pick up the phone or start typing be clear about:
- How you found out about them.
- Why they interest you.
- What sort of job role you are looking for. Are you looking for work shadowing, paid short term experience or a job after graduation?
- When you are available for a chat/interview/to start work.
- Often key staff members are listed on company websites why not check out the LinkedIn profiles of those you are interested in. (Make sure your profile is up to date and tailored first before trying to connect to them.)
- You could choose to make contact via LinkedIn messaging but it can be a little blunt, so you will need to write a carefully crafted message.
- It might be best to ring initially. Emails are quite easy to ignore.
- You can just ring the listed number and get through to a switchboard or in a small company it could be an administrator. Have your story ready who are you why are you ringing and what do you want?
- You could ask for a specific person, what will you do if they are not in? Will you leave a message?
- Is your CV ready? They may ask you to send something over asap to check you out. So have a tailored CV ready and be prepared to write a cover letter expressing again what you have told them verbally and including anything they have asked you for.
- Your interest in their company
- The type of opportunity you are looking for
- The skills you have to offer
- Availability dates
Will it work?
It’s not always going to work, but if the job you want isn’t advertised can you really afford to wait around on the off chance? Make your own luck (ps it’s not really luck if you made it happen is it :))