You’ve been applying for jobs for months. You’ve exhausted all potential avenues. You’ve been turned away more times than you can count. You’re at your wits’ end. It’s time to make job opportunities where there aren’t any offered.
It can be a difficult task asking a company to employ you in a position they don’t even have, but people have done it before, many times, and succeeded. It’s all depends on how you go about it. In the end, what have you got to lose? Here are some tips on applying for jobs that don’t actually exist yet.
Send an email
It’s the simplest of ideas, but sometimes the hardest to start. If you have access to the email of someone in the company, that is your most valuable resource. If you don’t, use an online domain finder to find the email address of the person who started their website. Oftentimes that person is also the boss of the company. There is no set structure that makes up the perfect email, but if you have an idea, let them know. Put it in the subject line so they don’t even have to open the email to know what you’re talking about.
Nina Mufleh of San Francisco really wanted to work at Airbnb. So she did her research. She created a website in the style of an Airbnb host profile with a proposed marketing focus plan for the company. She then tweeted the website to the company CEO and other important stakeholders. After months of unsuccessful contacting, she had a response and a meeting organised within a day. While creating a website seems at the far extreme of job seeking, if you really want a position, there are a number of creative ways you can make yourself heard. Pay for an ad on their website or a billboard if you have to. If they don’t see you, they can’t want what you have to offer. There are so many tools to achieve what you want.
Use social media
Social media is only just beginning to be recognised as a tool for job seeking. Sites like LinkedIn provide the most obvious connection between people and their potential bosses, Nina Mufleh showed there are other ways to be seen and prove your worthiness for a position. Start hashtagging your relevant posts with the company you want to work for. Make a website portfolio of your work so far. Spend the time to make it worth looking at. Tweet your resume if you have to. Social media is expanded rapidly, and you never know who’s paying attention. Make your quest clear on all your accounts – what you want, what you’ve done, and that you’d appreciate any help in getting there.
Make them see why you’re needed
Not to ruin the illusion, but there is no job fairy. Jobs don’t grow on trees. And especially now, jobs don’t fall into your lap. You’ve got to put in the work to get work. Make yourself a killer resume. Explain in detail what is missing from their team. If they don’t see an absence, they won’t see any reason to need you.
Applying for jobs is hard – don’t give up! Email again confirming they got the first one. Send it in every few months. Call them up letting them know you are still available. Every now and again send them an idea with bullet points about why you’d be a valuable addition to the team. Be the first person they think about when an opportunity arises, and make your ideas so important they can’t not bring you on board to take credit for them.
Volunteer to help
While there comes a certain point where you have to know your worth and when you’re being taken advantage of, the easiest way for someone to know your capabilities and what you can do, is if they see you in action. Get involved in some way so you can be in the workplace. Give your time, energy and ideas for free – but only up to a point. When they have seen what you can do, let them know there is a place for you in the company, and you would be happy to accept money in exchange for that place (in a totally professional but firm way of course). If they won’t take you then, keep asking – but don’t give away too much of your time.
Know people they know. Become part of the loops where opportunities are heard about and passed around. Find out who needs what before it happens. It really is about whom you know.
All this takes a lot of work. Jobs really don’t just happen. The people who have succeeded and gotten to where they are have taken risks. They’ve spent hours late at night – unpaid, doing all the things other people wouldn’t. They’ve been seen in the right places and they’ve stood up when others sat down. Above all, don’t accept less that you are worth. 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs, but the average person spends 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime. It’s important to go after what you love, even if it takes a bit of time. Applying for jobs can be hard, but it pays off when you score the career of your dreams.