The unsolicited application

Even though a lot of job openings are posted, there is still an extraordinary solid reason to check out the unsolicited job market. The 3 main reasons are:

  1. Job adverts are often targeted at new employees with 3-10 years of work experience. That is hard to compete with when you just graduated - even with a relevant student job.
  2. If you apply within the public sector the institutions are obligated to post all job openings. Event though many positions are filled with internal applicants, unsolicited applicants are often used for hiring temps and holiday relieves, since these types of job positions don't need to be posted. 
  3. As a newly graduated you often have a broad palet of talents, competences and qualifications, that you can out in action in a company. The job description is often already decided on in the posted job adverts. Meaning that the employer is looking for candidate to solve an exact liste of tasks. If you apply unsolicited you can cover potential needs and enter the company this way working within your main field. 

Approaching the unsolicited application

It is often quite simple to send to send an application letter or an e-mail explaining why you want to work for the respective company. Today the companies are drowning in unsolicited written applications. Usually some HR employees then look through them and these are not the persons you want to reach in the first place. You want to get to the head of department or employer who knows what they are missing and how you possibly can contribute.

Call them

We recommend that you call the company when applying unsolicited. The employer's inbox is busy and your application can easily drown in the pile on unread e-mails. If you call, it is easier to make the employer make up his/ her mind about you and your interest in the company. 

The important thing is that you open up for a dialogue with a potential employer. That you discover what they need right now and that they get an impression of you and what you can contribute to.
Here is an example of how to approach it: 

The preparation

  1. Research the company: What are their products or services? How is it going for them (check InfoMedia, company databases and the company's website)? How is the company organised? 
  2. Optionally, you can find an old job advert via the archive on Jobindex (instructions further down this page). This way you can discover what they have previously been looking for within your field, like expected competences, which IT system they use, etc. You can also use the advert to find a contact person either the employer or a recruitment responsible.
  3. If you know who the contact person is, it might be a good idea to check him/ her out on LinkedIn. Besides the benefit of putting a face to the name, LinkedIn might provide you some useful information about the employer's pervious work places, education, network, etc. Furthermore, the employer will be able to see tha you have shown interest and maybe check out your profile. Last but not least, you can check out if you have any people from your networks in common, that you might contact to get more info about the employer and that might arrange contact.
  4. Write down your relevant competences, experience and examples of previous tasks and projects. This way you can easily present yourself best way possible and be prepared for potential questions from the employer. You can never fully hedge your bets in a phone conversation with a stranger. So most important: be yourself. Write down some personal qualities as well, like how you work with others, what you do in your sparetime, how you approach a task, etc.

The conversation 

The first impression is always important. Therefore always remember common courtesy: present yourself briefly, for instance: ”Hello [employer]. My name is XXXXX XXXXX, I have an education in XXXX and am interested in a future in your company. Am I disturbing you or do you have 5 minutes to talk?" If it is inconvenient then schedule a bette time. Be patient, the employer is busy. If they forget your appointment, then arrange a new one. Persistency pays of. 

Make a list with prioritised results of your phone conversations: what do want from the calls, except for a job, for instance: 

  1. Company visit or coffee meeting, where the company can be presented to me and I can have the opportunity to present myself and hear about potential future cooperation options with the company. 
  2. Present myself and clarify the needs (in case of a coffee meeting can't be arranged). I will present myself briefly and ask about their needs and where they potentially can see a candidate like me. Have they any recommendations if I want a future at their company?
  3. Ask if I can send my CV. If none of the above is possible then ask if you can send your CV and an unsolicited application. Remember to get the direct e-mail address if it is possible.

Search for knowledge

You can find knowledge for your unsolicited application several places. Here is a list of some of them:

  • LinkedIn: Find companies and organisations, check out alumni (where they work, etc.), gain knowledge through networking groups, etc.
  • Jobindex: Besides being ajour with all posted job adverts, Jobindex has an archive function, where you can find expired adverts, for instance within a specific company or through job descriptions and see what the companies have looked for previously plus their contact person, Furthermore, Jobindex has a special toolbox for unsolicited applications, where you can find links for recruitment websites at specific companies, contact persons from LinkedIn, etc. 
  • Events: There are countless of relevant events out there. Events within career, company, innovation or entrepreneur, where companies present themselves and their products. This is a way of meeting and get in contact with new and interesting companies.
  • Organisations/ associations: Gain knowledge within your field and your association. For instance through your unemployment fund (E.g. Magistrenes eller Akademikernes A-Kasse), your field association (E.g. IDA, Dansk Magisterforening, CA, etc.) or via organisations within a specific field like Dansk Industri, Landbrug&Fødevarer, Medicoindustrien, etc.
  • Your Career Counsellor at Natural Sciences or Technical Sciences

The unsolicited application

If you decide to write an unsolicited application make sure not focus on several types of jobs and tasks. Usually the employer already has the Labour the company needs for the operational tasks. However, if you present your competences broadly you might cover some of the solidary and odd jobs that have not been taken care of for a while and this way open up for a  project employment. It could also be that they need a temp or are at the point of beginning a larger recruitment process. 

Naturally, your CV and application should be in order for this. Check out our guidelines for CVs and applications