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THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF FINDING A JOB BY APPLYING ON SPEC

THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF FINDING A JOB BY APPLYING ON SPEC

23 Mar 17:00 by Alejandro Rodriguez Garcia

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Sometimes applying for vacancies on our website is not enough. If you really know what you want, you can boost your job search with speculative applications.

To increase your chances of success with a spec application, you must be systematic. Here are five do's and don'ts that will help.

Do:

  1. Work out what job you want. Employers are more likely to consider someone seeking a specific role rather than that someone who simply asks for any job.  It should be a role that requires skills and experience you already have.
  2. Target specific employers who offer the kind of role you want. Research the company's situation. If it has announced it is expanding or recently won a new contract it is more likely to be recruiting.
  3. Try to find a personal link to the company, such as an oppo who works for them, or a family member who knows an employee. This way you can get inside info about potential vacancies and find out who to call on spec about possible jobs.
  4. If you have a name, call them, briefly mentioning how you heard about them and how your experience and skills may help them solve their recruitment problem. Ask for a meeting to discuss it further.
  5. Consider sending a speculative letter. Send it to a named person, not just the human resources department, who are likely to get many spec applications. Your opening sentence should show you know something about the company (e.g., I see from the news that you have just won a new contract). Then give three pieces of relevant info about your skills and experience that could help the company. Then refer them to your CV (tailored to the job), which you have attached. Finally ask for a meeting to talk further.

Don't:

  1. Rely only on spec applications. You stand a higher chance of getting a job by applying for known vacancies.
  2. Send out dozens of emails to companies without researching them. Your messages risk being treated like spam.
  3. Apply without knowing what kind of job you want. Employers don't have time to search through their vacancies to see what might suit you.
  4. 4. Send the same application to every employer - they want to see you have researched the company in depth.
  5. 5. Go on about how brilliant you are with no reference to their needs. Show how your skills and experience can help solve their particular recruitment problem.