Job seeking can be a frustrating and overwhelming process! It can be especially discouraging to see hundreds of online job postings, and either not feeling you’re a fit for any of them, or applying to many and not hearing back. Though cruising online positions is an important component of today’s job search, there are additional methods of attaining success when looking for work.
If you’re drained from going through the motions of the traditional job search, why not try a different angle? Instead of strictly applying to job openings employers post, skip the middle man and convince an employer to create a job just for you. Though this brazen endeavor can be challenging to pull off, for the determined candidate, this method of job seeking may be a welcome change of pace.
If you’re feeling bold enough to go the unorthodox route, follow these suggestions to uniquely market your skills and be considered by your potential next employer.
Get to know yourself
In order to search with purpose, you’ll first need to quantify your skills and aspirations to gauge which types of roles are the most feasible for you to pitch to new companies. It can be helpful to organize your thoughts in list form. The first matter you’ll want to give consideration to is where your aptitude and talents lie, which can help you find your niche and tell you which sector(s) are most fitting for you to work in.
The second part of the process involves a lot of research; specifically, combing job boards and listings in order to find job descriptions that overlap with your strengths. When searching, you may find that a job description that encompasses the full extent and range of duties you hope to take on doesn’t actually exist, which is actually a positive thing. After all, you want to convince the employer that the services you wish to offer are unique.
Research your target employers
After you’ve spent time reflecting and honing in on your area of expertise, the next logical step is to research employers that appeal to your interests with the potential to support your long-term career trajectory. When deciding on which companies to contact, keep in mind that ideally, you’ll be tapping into a hidden job market in which you successfully demonstrate a need the company has, but hadn’t yet realized.
For example, as a marketing professional, you inherently have versatile skills with the crossover potential to support many organizations of different functions. Reach out to your network and see if they know of any companies you can be of service to, and take the effort to welcome any suggestions or input they have. Even if the conversation seems to gleam little insight, should they hear of any openings or leads, you may be the first person they think of.
Identify their needs
Once you’ve chosen the employers you want to focus on, identify needs or challenges their business is currently facing, and tie those issues to resolutions you can uniquely provide using your education, skills, insight, and experience.
Spend time considering how your skills can be of use to even the most seemingly irrelevant business fields, and once you’ve become adept at bridging your professional value with sectors that seem unrelated, you can begin mining a variety of industries for opportunities.
One of the best ways to illustrate your prowess is to demonstrate a track record of having solved similar issues in the past, which will bolster the company’s confidence in your abilities.
Conduct informational interviews with your network
In order to set the wheels in place for success, the best way to gauge the tone of the company and the tactics they might respond positively to is to conduct informational interviews with people in your network that can help your search or refer you to someone else.
The benefits of conducting informational interviews are numerous, and can yield valuable information. For instance, discussing your professional aspirations with others that are employed across a variety of different fields can fuel productive brainstorming sessions that point you down paths you hadn’t considered before. Likewise, pitching to those colleagues might get them thinking about their own employers, and whether they are one of those organizations you have highlighted that have an unfulfilled, unidentified need which you can fill.
Write a proposal
Once you’ve researched and feel you have compiled a winning case for an employer to hire you based on the added value you’ll bring to their company, sending a proposal is the final step of the process. In a letter, express in detail the needs you have identified their company has, and the professional plan you have formulated to address them. Any examples of past experience will lend credibility to your assertions, as will incorporating specific methods you recommend using and estimates on how long it will take you to solve their issues.
Look for the skills and terms you mention the most throughout your letter, and be sure to integrate those keywords into your profile on LinkedIn or any other professional setup you have. Also, be active on your account – post updates, endorse connections for skills, and participate in group forums and discussions. By building a strong online brand, you can emphasize your professionalism and knowledge.
It may feel brash, but putting yourself on the line to directly speak with hiring managers about a position they might not have created may just demonstrate the initiative they have been searching for in a candidate, ironically, in a place they hadn’t yet thought of. For job seekers who are ambitious and willing to look for opportunities, drafting an intelligent proposal can help them land a spot with a company that they wouldn’t have otherwise have had access to. You’ll never know what you can achieve if you don’t try!