During your job search, you’ll be busy looking at multiple recruitment sites, various Grad job opportunities and researching companies close to you for potential openings. But, what happens when you find a business that looks a perfect fit, but they aren’t advertising any vacancies?
Don’t worry, the good news is there’s still lots you can do to approach the company and increase your chances of an opportunity. That could be securing a role straight away, or simply starting a relationship so when the right job does become available, they’ll come to you.
Here are some of my tips for contacting businesses who aren’t actively seeking new members of staff.
1. Engage with them online
One of the first things I’d recommend doing is to engage with that business online. Start by following their social profiles, liking and sharing their content, and show a genuine interest in their company.
I’d especially highlight LinkedIn here, as many companies will often share insights into their company culture and staff ethos on their business page. You’ll be able to learn more about what the company offers employees and can engage with this great content on the professional social platform.
Not only will this confirm your fit with the business, it will also provide you with additional insights (which could help in future interviews) and could even potentially get you on their radar before you reach out more directly, such as through email.
2. Find the right person
If you do decide to reach out to the business more directly, through email or phone for example, make sure you spend some time researching who you should be contacting via their website or LinkedIn.
If a business isn’t actively seeking new employees, the best person to contact in smaller organisations is normally the Managing Director or the head of the relevant team/department in larger organisations. These are going to be the people who know if they have the room and resources to grow the department and hold the most leverage and decision-making abilities, so are the best to reach out to and start relationships.
Have a scout of the website, is there a team page where you can see department structures and members of staff? If not, do a search of the company on LinkedIn and see which individuals are linked to the business, perhaps you can find the best contact this way.
3. Connect with their values
Unlike when you’re applying for specific advertised roles, there’s no list of skills or traits that you need to match up to when proactively reaching out to a business. What’s going to be really important instead to these businesses, is the kind of person you are and whether your personality is going to be a good fit for the company.
My tip here is to focus on expressing your passion for their business and values, what made their business stand out? Why did you want to reach out, and what is it about their business that makes you want to work there and get involved? Showing this genuine interest and passion is normally enough to kick start the relationship.
4. Be clear when you contact them
You don’t need to overcomplicate why you’re contacting them, plus these people are normally really busy, so try and make it very clear and simple why you’re getting in touch. Whether you’re reaching out via email or phone, tell them very early on why you’re contacting them.
It could be that you’re looking to visit their office, meet for a coffee to find out more about the work they’re doing, or just to know whether there’s any job opportunities coming up that aren’t listed online yet.
5. Refer them to your online resources
As I’ve mentioned above, rather than sending a long email with lots of information, just say enough to show your interest in the business and to get them intrigued in you as a person. Then, refer them to your additional online resources where they can find out more about you if they’re interested.
Make sure you link through to your website, especially if you’ve created a portfolio or a blog relevant to the industry that showcases your personality. You can also direct them to your social media profiles (it’s probably worth giving them a screening if you haven’t already), as they’re likely to try and find them anyway!
Remember, even if that business doesn’t have any job opportunities at the moment, it doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship. You could ask them if there’s any skills they value or areas you could improve your knowledge on, that could increase your future chances.
Keep engaging with the business and keep up to date with their company news, alongside developing your personal brand online. All of this will hold you in good stead for gaining early access to new opportunities that come up down the line. Good luck!