The job market is incredibly challenging right now, and on some days, trying to can appear impossible to even the most optimistic job seeker. Common sense tells candidates to apply to a job only when they know that position is open, but there’s another strategy many job seekers aren’t aware of or are too nervous to try. This different strategy is to apply for a position that doesn’t exist yet. Here are some ways candidates can seek out a job a company hasn’t realized it needs:
Apply to Companies, Not Jobs
If you know your skills, qualifications and goals, you should begin to look for companies you’d like to work at, instead of focusing only on open positions you’re interested in. Get to know these companies’ structures, cultures and objectives. Researching the companies will give you a sense of the industry’s environment, and once you have a better understanding of the industry as whole, you can determine the place you would best fit within it.
Next, find the right people to talk to – meaning try to get face-to-face time with them. There’s no need to say you’re applying for a job that may or may not exist. Instead, this is your time to learn more about the companies you’ve studied and the employees that have done well in these workplaces. Ask these professionals to coffee and explain to them your goals and how you desire to fit into a business like theirs.
Attempt to Fill the Gaps
If you see a gap in a company or office, pitch to the business how you can fill that hole. If you’re going to present the argument that a company needs to create a specific position and hire you for it, do your research. Look at other businesses, their structures and how they would handle a similar job. Point out to the business its weaknesses and the benefits this position brings. Be sure to include in your presentation exactly why you’re the best person for this job – you don’t want them to create the job then hire someone else.
If you have special skills, consider contract work or temporary assignments. The skills you have and the projects you wish to work on may not lend themselves to being a full-time employee at your target companies. If this is the case, build up your entrepreneurial spirit and go out on your own. Instead of pitching to a company the benefits of creating a certain position, sell your services. This approach can offer you a range of clients and experiences while you develop your professional qualifications.
Finding a job is a difficult task, but candidates shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance. Getting the ideal job may not be as simple as applying to a posting online. Instead, job seekers may need to put themselves out there in their desired industry and pitch themselves to companies.
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