How to apply to jobs that aren’t open yet
Forget “personal branding” - this strategy will put you directly in front of companies that are hiring.
Don’t sit around waiting for the perfect job opening. Here's how to show a company you’re interested, without cold-emailing or pitching, and to position yourself for roles that haven’t been posted yet.
First, put yourself out there
Be visible to thousands of employers by uploading your resume to a job board. This is an important first step for building your online presence, easing the job application process and serving up your resume to hiring managers who are searching. Make sure you have more than one version saved in your profile, each tailored to different positions or to highlight certain skills.
Speaking of skills, optimize your job seeker profile to expand on your proficiencies, share more about yourself and your interests, and use your profile as a living, breathing resume with more personality than what one resume page allows. Share your social media profiles, professional accomplishments and anything else you’d like a future employer to know. Your profile is about connecting you to the right job on the right team, and a detailed profile can speed up the overall hiring process, as well as making it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to proactively find you.
Your resume and profile on a job board serve as an extension of your network, connecting you to the companies on that site.
Job qualifications of the future: your skills
More and more, employers are searching for and interested in an employee’s skills above specific job titles or tasks. Career paths are no longer a simple “ladder” and job titles aren’t always the best indicator of someone’s ability to perform a job.
For example, if you consistently work with teams outside of your department to complete major projects, and you want to pivot to project management, highlight how you are already completing similar work.
Help hiring managers better understand how you’ll fit on a team through demonstrating your skills and positioning your past roles in the context of what you learned or mastered. Sharing that information in your resume or profile connects the dots faster for potential employers and increases your chances of being seen by the right people.
Then, research companies
After creating and optimizing your digital professional footprint to be found in search results, take your job search up a notch. It's time to get proactive about finding roles that aren’t open yet and positioning yourself to get hired with the right employer.
Make a list of places where you think you might like to work. This can come from googling the top employers in your field, or maybe you’ve kept a running list of companies that align with your interests or values.
Research a potential employer’s company culture and check out your options for applying. Some people come up with creative pitches and don’t mind sending a cold email. Other employers actively solicit ideas for how to expand their team. But most companies take one simple approach – establishing and maintaining a network of job seekers who are actively interested in working there.
This is good for both sides of the hiring equation. A hiring manager can have a list of people who are likely to be more responsive throughout the hiring process, have learned about the company and took initiative to be considered.
As a job seeker, you’ve got a leg up. Maybe the exact job you want is actually available but not posted yet, and you’ll be the first one to it. Sometimes hiring managers look at the resumes they already have for a potential new position before posting anything online.
Uploading your resume to a job board, optimizing your job seeker profile and joining a company’s candidate pool are three ways to apply to jobs that aren’t posted and position yourself to get hired quickly.