You hear a lot of reasons for why people don’t go for jobs they know they would like much more than the one they are in:
“There’s a recession on, they won’t be hiring”
“They pay less than my current job”
“What if I dislike a new job as much as my current one?”
“I don’t think I’m good enough”
“My skills don’t apply to their industry”
I want this post to show you that a) these reasons aren’t necessarily true, b) often they are not reasons they are excuses, and c) if you’re still not convinced then perhaps you don’t want the change enough and you should stay put until you find something that you are prepared to go for…
How to get an interview when your dream company isn’t hiring?
The short answer is
9 steps to getting your foot in the door
1. Learn as much as you can about the company.
Research, ask friends, read their website, speak to other people in the industry.
2. Try and work out what the people who run the company are passionate about.
Is it the same as what you’re passionate about? If these two things are aligned you are onto a winner.
3. List out your skills.
Highlight the ones that they would value – not in terms of work experience but in terms of – ‘what are you good at?’ Regardless of job, training, degree, etc – What can you do better than most people? What is your natural skill-set?
4. Contact them.
Don’t contact HR or the secretary. Email a director. Email the business owner.
5. Tell them what you love about their company.
Show them that you understand what they do.
6. Tell them why you are looking for a change.
Tell them you want to have a job that sees you bouncing out of bed in the morning. Be honest. Tell them you don’t have that at the moment. Tell them that you would definitely bounce out of bed in the morning if you worked for them.
7. Tell them what you can do.
Or show them – send them examples of your work. And tell them that you have already given some thought as to how your skills can help them.
8. Offer them a risk-free opportunity.
Ask them to give you the chance to show them what you can do. Say that you would be prepared to do some freelance work to show them what you’re capable of. Ask them for a 3 month trial period.
9. Ask them for a meeting.
Don’t even call it an interview. Just say, ‘I would love to come in and meet you if you were interested in discussing this further’.
No company will turn down someone who is clearly going to add value – whether they are hiring or not. They will make a position for you. They will find a way to get you involved.
In any case – how are you going to know whether I am right unless you try?
People you know are living proof that you can make it happen…
Here are just a few of the people I know who have got jobs when there was no job being advertised…
Perhaps they would be up for writing an account of what it took? Guys?!
My sister – left her job doing events RBS (at just the right time!) for a more challenging job, a change of direction, and a new industry. She now works for a sports PR and marketing company based in London Bridge. They weren’t hiring when she applied. She joined the team as a temp, and they liked her so much that they offered her a full contract and she has been there ever since.
Her boyfriend – worked at Descent (the luxury ski company which went bust in the summer – he left at the right time too!) he approached Tanzania Odyssey – the African travel company – to convince them that they needed him to join their team – they weren’t hiring either. They sent him to Tanzania for a 6 week visit of every single luxury lodge on their books – he is now back in London pursuing his dream of working in African tourism and travel.
A good friend – has just been offered a job at Spotify, the internet music company. She was initially turned down following her interview – they said they weren’t hiring. A day later an email appeared in her inbox saying ‘Can we chat?’. They liked her so much that they are creating a position for her.
My Esc Co-Founder – loves adventure, approached a high profile adventure sports company, told them that he wanted to apply his skills to their business, that he loves their company, that he wanted in. They said that they couldn’t afford him and that they weren’t hiring. However, they were so impressed that they offered him the chance to freelance for them or organise an adventure event for them (while he is working in his current job!). I can’t give you more details given that he is currently masterminding his escape plan… but in due course I’m sure he’ll write a post about it.