It is often worth applying to a company even though there is no job offer. But with wrong formulations and contentwise errors you are sorted out fast again. FOCUS Online gives you twelve tips on how to score points with a speculative application and what you should avoid at all costs.
Most companies have a positive attitude towards initiative applications. According to a survey by the career portal Stepstone, 44 percent of applicants get an interview afterwards. And if there is no vacancy at the moment, 64 percent of all companies save such applications for later.
Tip one: score points with your own initiative
If you become active yourself and send an application without a job offer, you prove your own initiative. And good self-promotion can convince a company of something it previously knew nothing about.
Therefore, in an unsolicited application is indispensable to arouse the interest of the personnel department. This could be special knowledge, unusual work experience or references. Mention also projects or honorary tasks, which prove your social competence.
Tip two: inform about company
Very important: Gather information about the company beforehand and try to find out the responsible contact person. If you apply on your own initiative, you should take the trouble to find out the name of the personnel manager.
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You may also come across arguments as to why this company needs new employees in the near future: look for them in press articles, advertisements in newspapers, magazines or on the Internet.
Tip three: respond to industry
Make sure that your application takes the specifics of the industry into account. This is because each sector has a different focus: Sometimes you can score points with creative cover letters; other sectors emphasize specialized knowledge, flexibility, or volunteerism.
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Tip four: Show your creative side!
This already starts with the subject. "If the application is sent by e-mail, the line should arouse curiosity," recommends Jurgen Hesse. Formulations such as "speculative application as advertising salesman" considers the application coach boring. Lines such as "Strong Internet advertising for young people" are more suitable.
However, you should not exaggerate: "I’m crazy about accounting" seems rather funny to personnel managers. Be as specific as possible about the area you want to work in – for example, "Online editor" instead of "Editorial position. Show already with the first sentence that you are creative and stand out from the crowd.
Tip five: where does the motivation come from?
Whether it’s an internship, your schooling, a hobby, your parents or their genes that sparked your interest – write convincingly why you want to work in your desired profession. It is important to be aware of your own motivation: describe in your application what you like about this job and why you absolutely want to do it.
Tip six: More opportunities through flexibility
If no job is advertised and different areas of work are acceptable to you, you should present your skills in such a way that they could fit different jobs or departments. The best way to do this is to refer to your skills in your cover letter.
Instead of mentioning that you have worked in the press department, it is better to write: I am communicative, have journalistic experience and many contacts in the media industry. This opens up the possibility for the personnel manager to also think of other positions for you.
However, the unsolicited applicant should not present himself too broadly: "Otherwise, the personnel manager will no longer be able to assess which position might be suitable for him," recommends Jana Reineke, Melitta personnel marketing at coffee roaster Melitta.
Tip seven: Why do you want to work for this company??
Mention in the speculative application what you particularly like about the company – for example, products that you have appreciated for many years or development opportunities that you see for yourself there. An unusual hobby can also help to catch the eye of personnel managers.
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Ideally, your pastime overlaps with one of the company’s business areas. With a special preference for fashion, for example, you have better cards in a textile company.
Tip eight: Ask for the application form
Always apply with informative and complete documents. And find out beforehand what form of application the company would like to see. Often only online applications are possible. Make sure to summarize your documents in a PDF file: this makes them easier to sift through.
In principle, the duty to tell the truth applies to an application: If you fib, you can be terminated without notice later on.
Tip nine: Make your cover letter original
Personnel managers attach great importance to an individual application. In the cover letter, you can use powerful arguments to promote yourself. However, it must be clear why exactly you are the right applicant and the company should definitely get to know you. Describe your strengths, skills and experience as concretely as possible – instead of using vague phrases, use examples and figures that prove your successes.
Make sure that your speculative application looks perfect and does not contain any spelling mistakes. It is the first impression a company gets of you. It is up to you whether this is positive or negative.
Tip ten: send complete documents
Hundreds of applications pass through the hands of HR managers and trainers every year. An unsolicited application should therefore be carefully prepared and should not be treated as an "assembly line application." be recognizable. It is best to submit your complete application online.
These documents are essential: Cover letter, curriculum vitae, references, certificates of internships, last school report. Confirmations of volunteer work are also included.
Tip eleven: pay attention to the final sentence
The same applies to your unsolicited application as to regular applications: The concluding sentence should not contain a subjunctive mood. Career consultant Maja Skubella advises an optimistic exit, such as: "I look forward to a personal exchange" or "I am available for an interview".
About two weeks later, you can call to see if the HR department is interested in a personal contact.
Tip twelve: Confirm job interview
Congratulations! You have made it and have been invited for an interview. Remember to confirm the date of the interview by phone or in writing.
Good preparation is the be-all and end-all. Think about what else you would like to know from your potential employer beforehand, and also use the interview to ask questions about the job and address any existing ambiguities.