Job Seeker Advantage: Applying for Jobs That Don’t Yet Exist

Hidden-JobsUSA TODAY reports employers added an average of 246,000 jobs each month in 2014, the best year for job growth since 1999. Finally, for the first time in 15 years, it seems companies have started to hire in a meaningful way.

Welcome back, economy!

But all this hiring is happening the way it used to…

Just a few short years ago, you applied almost exclusively for the positions you found on job boards and company websites. Today, a relatively small percentage of open positions are posted on job boards… some estimate as little as 20%.

Which is why you should rethink how you look for new career opportunities.

For instance: What if you discover a company you love but find it’s not hiring, at least on the surface? Or maybe they are hiring, but don’t have a position relevant to your skills?

Spurred on by the positive job market, you should do the unusual: apply even when there are no open positions.

Why? Two reasons:

  1. You have nothing to lose? Nothing.
  2. Your compelling email pitch just may put you on the company’s radar (then, when the boss does need to hire, you are top of mind… which is exactly what happened at my own PR firm when a college student introduced herself even though we had not posted any open jobs… now the girl is high on our list once she graduates.)

To help you apply for a job that doesn’t (yet) exist, I created an email template:

Subject line: <Your Job Title (for instance, “Website Developer”)> Interested in Career Opportunities

<First Name of HR/Recruiter/Hiring Manager> –

My name is ________, and I am a <recent grad from _____ OR your job title and your expertise; for instance, a “web developer who specializes in small business websites.”> I hope you’re doing well.

I realize you don’t have currently have a job opening listed for a <Your Job Title>; however, I would still like to make introductions and explore ways I can help your team with <your value proposition; for instance, “developing user-focused website projects.”>

I checked out the <company name’s> website and like the projects you’re currently developing, in particular:

  • <the name of a relevant project with an explanation for why you are interested>
  • <the name of a second relevant project with an explanation for why you are interested>

For the past _____ years, I have worked with <your experience so far with examples of past clients; for instance, “various media firms in Houston to create sharp websites for a range of clients. I have completed websites for a veterinary clinic, auto body shop, 24-hour gym, family-owned grocery and a teacher’s supply store.”>

When time allows, please see a few examples of my work here:

  • <Link to Example #1 of your work, if available; you can also attach files if it makes more sense>
  • <Link to Example #2 OR attached file>
  • <Link to Example #3 OR attached file>

Note: If you are a recent grad with limited real-world experience, provide links to college projects, case studies, internship projects or volunteer efforts. Let the person see what you’re all about!

I have attached my resume to the email. Please let me know if I can provide more information.

Sometime in the near future, I look forward to speaking with you.


Your Email Signature with Contact Information

Your last step before hitting the ‘Send’ button?

Connect with the HR rep, recruiter or hiring manager on LinkedIn!

Then, step back and see what kind of response you receive. You never know what one email can do… and the result of your effort – demonstrating your research has been done, linking examples of your work, and reaching out proactively – just might surprise you!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!


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Danny Rubin headshotAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. In one short-and-sweet column, Danny recaps a top news story and explains how it can make us better at our jobs. He’s a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Business Insider, and his work has also been featured in The New York Times. Follow News To Live By on Twitter.



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