Conducting a job search using only “want ads?” You don’t have to and in fact, many people have landed great jobs by submitting the unsolicited resume. Read on for more info:
Want a job? Fabulous. There are two tried-and-true methods for achieving your dream job. The first, of course, is to find a job posting and apply. What if there aren’t any openings? You’re not out of luck, because according to a survey by HotJobs, 38% of employers say they consider unsolicited resumes for positions while an additional 45% say they will file resumes away for future reference.
Here are the five steps necessary to e-mail an unsolicited resume:
1. Think about yourself. Spend some time and ask yourself, what do I want to do? It seems simple, but when you really brainstorm, you might come up with a whole lot more than you thought you would. Think about the main industry(s) you’d like to enter, and pick out specific careers you’d want to take.
2. Do your research. Like all great endeavors, you have to do research to figure out where you’d like to be hired. Sure, you’re probably familiar with a number of companies in an industry, but a simple Google search can dig out many more additional companies worth applying to. For each viable company, investigate a little bit. Who do I contact? Does this company have an online application? Do they accept unsolicited resumes? I recommend jotting this information down in a database for easy organization.
3. Tailor your resume. Do you have a resume? Good, that’s the first step. If you’re like me, your entire resume does not fit on one page. Consider the industry/company and edit your resume to include information they would find most relevant. Save your resume with your full name and “resume,” otherwise you’re one of millions saved on an employer’s desktop.
4. Write a killer cover letter. I have bad news for you. Cover letters cannot be form letters. You can reuse the content, but this is your one chance to show an employer that you’re invested in them. Use your previous research to make sure your cover letter is addressed to the right email address and person (include Mr. or Ms. only if you are 100% sure of their gender!). Your cover letter is the door to your resume; you need to make whoever reads it want to open that door.
5. Don’t forget the subject line. It’s so simple and yet so easy to forget about. Take a second and write out a creative subject line. Do you want to be one of dozens who send e-mails titled, “Resume” or “Job Application”? No way! Stand out by making your subject line unique (while remaining professional, of course). Try out “recent graduate for rocket scientist position” or something that works for you.