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Unsolicited applications can land you that job

By By PETER KAMURI | November 22nd 2013


You have probably taken long polishing your curriculum vitae (CV) and writing customised cover letters. You have been keeping a keen eye on the adverts appearing in your favourite local daily — and faithfully sent your applications hoping that you will clinch that dream job.

Equally, you’ve tried to use your network of friends and relatives to spot that opening besides dropping application  letters to almost every recruiter in town. Regrettably, none of your efforts has yielded positive results. The job search continues.

Searching for a job can be a nerve-wrecking exercise. Although some are lucky to land on their dream jobs without any sweat, others have to wait for long before they succeed.

There are many reasons to this. Perhaps, the main one is that getting a job in the hidden job market is itself a daunting task. Experts say only a small fraction of all openings available are openly advertised.

Although keeping your job search on the fast track can help, speculative job applications can easily land you in your dream job. You might just be surprised at the high number of people working today who got their current positions through blind applications. “Sitting back and waiting for a job to be advertised in your area of specialisation can take ages. Actually, most of the available positions are hardly advertised. That is why you should try speculative application to get these hidden openings,” advises Haron Mahinda, a career adviser.

“Speculative job application is where you make applications blindly to target institutions or companies where you think your skills and qualifications fit well. You may have a hint that the opening exists or not.”

Making a speculative job application is not always easy. You require to have a focused approach that will enable you get the desired results.

Experts warn that blind applications should not be done without a careful plan.  “Ensure that you have customised your CV together with the covering letter. Each should be tailored to meet a specific need,” she notes. “Avoid open ended ones that are presumed to work for any opening available. Clearly state what you are looking for. Do you want a full time employment or to work as a volunteer?” advises Mahinda.

 Improved productivity

Experts advise that it is important to ensure that you clearly include your skills, interest and the experience. Most potential employers have high regards for employees who have the right skills and experience as these are vital for improved productivity.

Reaching out to potential employers can take time. Research on institutions or companies that you might be interested to work for.

This information is readily available in the newspapers, Internet, career events, special journals and publications or some professional magazines.

Mahinda advises, “Searching for information about an organisation you are interested in is important. Learn about their products, organisational structure, competition and their work ethics. This will help you to decide whether this is the right place for you to work.”

Applying for a job blindly can also be exasperating. This is mainly because the response rate can be low. However, it is always important to follow up your applications.

“You can make follow-ups by visiting the company or organisation, calling or sending an email.”

“This shows the potential employer that you are interested in the position you are pursuing. But always have an open mind if the response is unfavourable,” advises Mahinda.

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