When most people enter the working world, they sign over around 35 hours of their week. A depressing thought but it doesn’t have to be. Working for a company you believe in makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable. Don’t be put off by the fact that a company isn’t advertising for the job you’re after; there is no harm in sending over your CV & a cover letter that demonstrates your enthusiasm and why you think you’d be a great asset to the company. If you can get your passion through to the right person you may get an interview at the very least. Any foot in the door helps!
Word of warning though, manage your expectations. More often than not you won’t receive a reply, however persistence is key (but don’t spam!) Follow up on your application by calling the person you sent your CV to and if they don’t have a role for you ask if they can keep your CV on file for any future positions. This way you will remain at the forefront of their mind.
Proof that it works:
Sanjit Deb – Account Executive, Mindshare
"I speculatively sent an email out to the CEO of Maxus, which is part of Group M boasting some of the top media agencies within the UK. From this tenuous email, I was informed that there were no roles available at Maxus, however my CV had been forwarded to one of the graduate recruiters for the group. From here I was invited to a 'graduate morning', which comprised of a brief about all the agencies and the roles that were available within them. I was fortunate enough to be put forward for a few of the roles, and after interviewing I managed to land myself a job within Mindshare."
Tim Gardner – Account Manager, Spotify
“I have always been passionate about music and was a huge Spotify fan and user. It seemed like a very cool place to work so I sent my CV and a cover letter to someone who I had been told worked there on the off chance. It turned out they were looking for someone and after a couple of email conversations and interviews I was offered the job.”
Jon Mitchell, Spotify
“I have hired lots of people in my time, not least at Spotify where we have grown rapidly over the past few years. To date I have not used a recruitment consultant at Spotify. That is not to say I won't but through a strong network and a great product and great company people have been keen to join. I have also had many direct approaches and hired some of our best people as a result.
Why do I hire people who approach direct though? First and foremost it shows a real desire to work at our company. I therefore know the person is motivated by what we are doing. This will make my job easier in the long run. Second of all, if someone has bothered to work out who I am, and how to get in touch, it shows ingenuity and problem solving and I don't mean randomly connecting on LinkedIn! If they have not got a response and continue to chase me then it shows tenacity. All these traits are what I look for in people. Of course the person needs to be at the level we need and have the right experience but that is filtered before an interview.
However, there are some downsides to this approach. One is a huge amount of CVs to go through. It is laborious but ultimately worth it. Stand out is crucial. One of the best I ever got was actually a digital CV, and being a tech business it grabbed my attention. Another downside is irrelevancy. Find out what kind of roles are available and then see if you are suited. Tenacity becomes irritation very quickly if the person hasn't grasped what roles are on offer and what we do.
So do go direct, makes sure you are aiming for the right person and make sure your CV is relevant for the role and company. Great talent is hard to find and good employers should always be looking for those stars no matter how they get in touch.”
Aggie Jones - Brand Partnerships, Spotify
“I hated my last job - work began to seep into my personal life and I found it harder and harder to get a happy work-life balance. I knew that my role was about to change significantly due to an internal re-shuffle and rather than be excited by this prospect I felt nothing but dread, as what they would deem a ‘promotion’ actually meant 12 hour days of doing a job that wasn’t for me! At this point I knew it was time to start applying for other roles. So I found a company that I respected, one which really excited and inspired me, looked on their website and learned that they were only hiring for a job unsuited to my experience level. I wrote them an email saying that although I didn’t have the relevant experience for the role they were looking to fill, they had to meet me so that I could persuade them that I am the sort of person they would want working for them. They did, I was, and very fortunately they created a role for me!”
As you can see, the testimonials from the people above supports the argument for being bold and passionate when seeking a job, especially in an industry where both being bold and passionate will lead to success in your future career.
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