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Thread: Applying for a position with a place that might not be hiring

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Applying for a position with a place that might not be hiring

    Have you ever applied for position with a city or firm that does not have an opening advertised in hopes that one will become available in the near future? Is this looked at as a “He (or She) is a Go Getter” or is it looked at as a waste of time. Is this something that would hurt or help the applicant’s chances of employment at that particular firm?

    Part two of the question, how would you suggest saying, “I am impressed with the work that your firm does and I think that I would have a lot to contribute to the long term success of your firm” without sounding like an idiot in your cover letter?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Have you ever applied for position with a city or firm that does not have an opening advertised in hopes that one will become available in the near future? Is this looked at as a “He (or She) is a Go Getter” or is it looked at as a waste of time. Is this something that would hurt or help the applicant’s chances of employment at that particular firm?

    Part two of the question, how would you suggest saying, “I am impressed with the work that your firm does and I think that I would have a lot to contribute to the long term success of your firm” without sounding like an idiot in your cover letter?
    I don't think that makes you sound like an idiot. I would think that it makes it look like the person is a go-getter, but I don't have a lot of experience in that. PM if you have ideas, and I might have a contact!!

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I got a great job doing this in the private sector - go for it!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    It really depends on the firm that you're targeting and whose hands your resume lands in. I've been in the private sector for over 5 years and none of my positions have been advertised. However, I didn't just randomly send my resume either. I've always managed to be in the right place at the right time and knew the right people who could refer me to the right job.

    Keep in mind that your resume won't be the first or only unsolicited resume that they'll receive. It'll probably go into a file for later use/reference, and when a position becomes available, they may or may not revisit it. I think the best way to ensure that your resume gets noticed is to get to know someone on the inside.

    As for your second question, no, that line won't make you sound like an idiot. However, I suggest a little tweaking such as:

    “I am impressed with the work that your firm produces and believe that my skills and abilities would help contribute to the long term success of your firm”
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Do your homework about the employer and the work they do. Show the firm what you have to contribute: specific skills, experience, etc. There's nothing wrong with being a go-getter, but if you really don't have any applicable skills, you may look foolish.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    I also obtained a job this way, although not with the place that I had sent the letter. They had forwarded it on to another nearby jurisdiction that needed someone, and it worked out very well. The only thing I'd caution you on this is to not mass-mail it to everyone in an area. At least in the public realm, that looks horrible - be selective and pick one or two that sound promising (with obviously unique cover letters). We tend to get a bit concerned about an applicant that has contacted everyone around. You had mentioned a firm, and I think the same holds true in private practice - I'd be selective. Good luck!

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    I would call the person you’re addressing the cover letter to and ask for an informational interview. Say you are impressed by the company and would like to work for them sometime in the future. As personable as you are I think this will get you much farther than an unsolicited letter/email.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian
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    Ditto the informational interview. A friend of mine used a series of informational interviews to find a particular job she was looking for (she works in marketing and wanted to work at an art museum). Some of the people she spoke to enthusiastically refered her to colleagues.

  9. #9
    In general, I think this works better in the private arena. There are many public agencies that simply will not accept resumes for positions that are not posted. There tends to be a set workflow for applying in the public sector. Still, it is not impossible. My advice would be to make direct contact with the department & don't waste your time with human resources (who IMO can be some of the most worthless, unhelpful people you will ever encounter).
    In the beginning there was nothing...then Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked that nothing in the face and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Your best bet is to network and schmooze with people in the community or company that you want to work for. Its really simple, have a positive attitude and be helpful without overbearing or injecting personal beliefs that may sharply contrast with anothers.

    That being said a letter of interest with a resume could be a great way of introducing yourself and letting them know that you would like to work there. Don't forget to put on the table what it is that you think you can bring to them without being too prescriptive.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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