If there's a company I'm really interested in but isn't currently hiring, is it recommended to reach out now anyway to express my interest? What’s the best way to do that?
Eager to Make an Impression
Dear Eager to Make an Impression,
You found an employer that seems like it could be a great fit for you—that’s awesome!
Unfortunately, simply expressing interest in working at a company does little to help you stand out as a candidate. Most companies and recruiters receive messages like this on a regular basis. But, never fear—I know a strategy that’ll help you make a memorable impression and wiggle your foot in that door.
I used to work as a recruiter at a trendy company in New York City. And at least once per day, I would receive a LinkedIn message asking for a job. Sometimes it would be a direct ask and sometimes it would be a little more roundabout. But, the core ask was always the same: Could I help that person get a position at my company that doesn’t currently exist?
My answer was always “no.” Even as a recruiter, I had very little power to magically create a role for every request I received. Those direct requests for employment were met with a swift rejection and that was the end of the relationship.
But, every once in a while, there would be a LinkedIn message asking me more specific questions about the company or my own experience working there.
I knew that many of these asks were also from eager job seekers, but their requests were something I could actually say “yes” to. I could tell them about the company. I could tell them about myself and my career.
Through those conversations, I got to know those professionals better. The result? When a job did open up that matched their skills, they were some of the first names I thought of.
So, should you reach out to express your interest and enthusiasm—even when that company doesn’t have an open role for you?
I say go for it! But be sure to reach out with an ask that your target contact can reasonably accommodate. Asking for a job straight away is unlikely to yield the response you want. However, asking for an informational interview will help you make a genuine connection while also establishing some name recognition with that employer.
You never know, that relationship you forge at that company could one day turn into something more—like your dream job.
This article is part of our Ask an Expert series—a column dedicated to helping you tackle your biggest career concerns. Our experts are excited to answer all of your burning questions, and you can submit one by emailing us at editor(at)themuse(dot)com and using Ask a Real Recruiter in the subject line.
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Lydia D. Bowers is the founder of Dear People Ops, a contributing author at The Muse, and a Human Resources master's student at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She believes improving the world of work improves the world at large. She develops customized people operations strategies for companies to make them a place where people want to work, not have to work and coach individuals on the tools they need to advocate for themselves and their career goals. Learn more on her personal website: lydiabowers.com.More from this Author