Get help for unsolicited applications in the old files

Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér

Do you have psychic abilities? Are you good at guessing others needs? Well, then it is easy to write an unsolicited application. If not, you have to work for it.

When you apply for a listed position, you know what skills the company is looking for, and what competences they want in an applicant. With unsolicited applications, you’re in a different situation.
“You don’t have a target to aim for, which makes it hard. You pretty much have to guess what the company needs, and what they could use you for. And if you guess correctly, you’re cool. However, the chances are better if you lay the founds for your guesses with thorough research,” says special consultant Rikke Bjerregård Jespersen from Karrierecenteret at DTU.

Keep your ­antennas out and stay up to date
Your career does not start the day you graduate. You can become more career ready while studying.
Here are some tips:

  • Save the job listings while you study
  • All the job listings that have caught your interest while you studied can be a good idea to save, as they might inspire you to apply outside your field.

  • Follow your classmates on LinkedIn
  • Keep an eye on where your classmates work and what they do. They make up an important network for you, and can be important reference people in your applications.

  • Stay updated
  • Read the business sections in magazines and newspapers about engineering companies with fast growth. Børsen awards gazelle companies that grows fast and therefore often need more engineers. Check the archives and read the non-newsworthy stories too.

Use the old archives
Regardless of whether you search for an internship or a job listing, dated job listings can help you.
“Usually, the job listings are taken down when the position has been filled out. But the listings are in the archives, and you can still find them there. The listings are full of information about work assignments and what competences have previously been asked for. You can also find semi large corporations you didn’t know about,” she says.
The dated job listing can give you a hint about when the company may look for an engineer next.
“Let’s say it takes about three years from an engineer get their first job, until they move onto something else. Then you can look for three year old job listings, because those are the ones that may be rotating. All things considered, the chances will be larger if you send the company an unsolicited application,” Rikke Bjerregård Jespersen points out.

Very personal means of contact
Dated job listings contain other treats and valuable contact information.
“They are filled with information about the companies, and there will often be a contact person to mail. If you send the application to the personnel department in a company, they will often open it, send a polite decline, and throw it out. But if you send the application to a specific person, your chances of getting it read are bigger,” she says.
The managers also change jobs, so check LinkedIn to see if they are still in the same position. At the same time, you may be able to forge a connection.
“It’s a good idea to contact the person and ask around. Send a mail first and ask concretely if you can call Thursday at 2 pm, for instance. Say that you are very interested in what their department do. When you write before calling, it doesn’t feel so intimidating to contact the person later,” says Rikke Bjerregård Jespersen.