FAQ on unsolicited job-seeking
What does an unsolicited job application consist of?
An unsolicited job application is not just an application you send to a company, who has not posted a job advert. Or of course, it can be, but you have to send it at the right time, professional competence, and/or the context hast to match.
There are many ways to approach this process, where you also benefit from it.
A really good way is coffee meetings – and no that doesn’t mean that you go out there and sell yourself. On the other hand, you have to see yourself as an anthropologist who is doing a field study. Read more about coffee meetings here
Why should I apply unsolicited?
- 42% of organizations used an unsolicited job application with the last hiring. Or said in other words: more than 4 out of 10 employers are actually looking through the stack of latest unsolicited applications when they hirer .
- 7% of employers ended up hiring a person, who had applied unsolicited, the last time they hired. This is almost every 14th hiring.
- 30% of the small private organizations ended up (with the latest hiring) with hiring a person they were approached by through their network – and you should, of course, use your network, when you apply unsolicited.
Which pros are there with applying unsolicited?
You decide yourself, which organization you want to apply to (geographically and industry-wise)
- You are not competing with hundreds of other candidates.
- You can draw the employer’s attention to a bigger or smaller demand in their organization.
- You show commitment and motivation when you apply unsolicited.
- Many organizations use unsolicited applications actively I.a. because they save resources such as time, advertisement, and wage costs.
- You can bring more opportunities into play, which can give you the foot inside the door if you don’t have a job currently e.g. internship, wage subsidy, and innobooster-agreement.
Are organizations even allowed to accept unsolicited job applications according to GDPR?
There was a big drop in the use of the unsolicited applications in 2017 because the organizations were unsure if they could accept unsolicited applications. The numbers are slowly going up again.
Does that mean that you should stop sending unsolicited applications?
No! – it demands that you give your consent (you can do this by stating it in your application/CV) and that you don’t state sensitive data (e.g. religion, statement of health, political viewpoint, etc.).
When you ask an organization today if it is possible to apply unsolicited, 92,5% of private organizations answer with a YES. This number is 61% in the public sector (source: Ballisager)
Give it a go!
Can I apply unsolicited in the public sector?
Approx. 61% of the public employers have according to Ballisagers recruitment report agreed to the option of applying unsolicited at their organization.
There is one main principle, that the position must be posted but there are situations in which it is not needed.
This could be:
- Short-term position/temporary employment and
- Estimation of difficulty attracting qualified applicants and
- When you know a person, who is estimated to have the necessary qualification for the vacant position.
Therefore, there are good chances of being considered for an e.g. maternity leave, etc.
Where should I send an application to?
If you choose to send an application without speaking to someone previously e.g. at a coffee/network meeting (link to network meeting), if typically have options (depending on the size of the organization).
At smaller private organizations it would be a great idea to get in contact with the owner or contact them via the joint mail address.
At the big private organizations, there might be the possibility to upload your application to an HR-system. You can otherwise write the head of the department or contact them via the joint mail address.
Employers from the public sector typically prefer that you contact the head of the department when you apply.
Will my application be read if I sent it unsolicited?
The short answer – Yes! The places which accept unsolicited application will read them.
How do I find an organization?
When you have chosen to go the route of unsolicited applications you often have an organization in mind – but maybe you don’t. You can try to follow the following advice if you don’t have an organization in mind:
- Use LinkedIn as a search engine. You can search for anything from education over job titles to hashtags.
- Use jobbanks to acquire knowledge about various organizations. It is possible that they don’t look for somebody like you, but it could be that they just didn’t know that they need you. You can also use Jobindex’s archive service. You can e.g. search for the organizations, which previously have had job postings that fit your profile.
- Use your current network – invite them for a cup of coffee and ask them about which companies they know of. Also, look at how you map your network and how you start to appreciate coffee meetings (link to network meetings)