So says today’s guest blogger Robert Wright, hear why:
“In my experience, I have found that when middle to senior management job seekers send speculative applications it actually prevents them getting a job.
It does sound counter intuitive so here are the top 6 reasons for my thinking:
- Speculative interviews: Your interesting CV could lead you to being interviewed for a role that does not exist, which could mean you waste your time and end up with dashed hopes.
- The danger of generalisation: A mailshot of your standard CV and your usual covering email sent to multiple recipients will not evoke a great response. Tailored applications, highlighting your suitability and the fact that you’ve done your homework, will have a better impact.
- Danger of ubiquity: Hiring companies like to feel special and they don’t like to see you hawking your wares everywhere.
- Impact of failure: Time wasting speculative interviews and directionless applications are likely to leave you feeling rejected. Rejection that could undermine your confidence, hovering in a miasma of failure. Putting yourself through this is not the way to keep strong, positive and ready for action.
- Stigma of Desperation: You may strike it lucky with your speculative application but often it will send the message of desperation. Wanting a job too much can lead some interviewees to come across as too keen and, because they really want the job, they don’t ask probing questions, come across as lightweight and get rejected.
- Going in blind: There is a danger that in your eagerness to circumvent the hiring process that you miss out on the vital qualification stage, your opportunity to really gauge if this is the right position for you. Act in haste and repent at leisure as they say.
So what should you do?
Firstly, you should be speculatively prospecting for opportunities.
Through effective networking you will discover the hidden job opportunities in an informed and considered fashion, armed with good background knowledge, where you are able to interface with the hirer on a more equal and less desperate footing, where you can qualify and judge the opportunity to see if it’s right for you and where (if you’re really good at it) you can make the hirer come to you. [Rob has promised a follow up piece on this alone!]
Secondly, partner with a few select recruitment agents. Not just any agent but one that you have formed a bond of trust with, who knows the market that you operate in, has taken the time to understand your job search requirements and can act as a useful conduit to the hiring companies.
I’m not talking about a desk-jockey who will mailshot your CV over to their top 50 clients and repeat all the mistakes I’ve highlighted above. Rather, an agent who can reliably inform you of a handful of companies, that they know well, who have vacancies they feel you’d be suited to and importantly, why they think their client is right for you!
Good hirers will have trusted third-party recruitment agents who will recognise what suitable talent looks like and inform them of its availability when it arrives on the market. The agent can act on your behalf to ensure the hiring process is undertaken professionally, consultatively and equitably.
For example, recently my client found he was facing redundancy, so over a coffee we drew from an original list of 20, 1 company that was worth approaching because a) I knew they needed someone like my client on their board structure b) I knew the decision maker well and could go directly to them with the CV and c) we both knew the decision maker and the applicant had a mutual friend/colleague that could be used for a quick and reliable reference point. The end result was a stellar appointment to a FTSE board in a far better and bigger post than the one my client was leaving.”
Do you agree or do you think blanket speculative applications work?
Have you networked your way to a job? Can you share a great experience of partnering with a recruiter to score a fabulous new role?
Today’s post is written by Robert Wright, a soft southern grammar school fop hiding in the North. He likes to hire interesting people for interesting companies and blogs and tweets on recruitment, job hunting, news, views and sometimes snippets of poetry. Follow him on Twitter @robmwright or connect with him on LinkedIn.
Want to write for The WI Blog, drop me a line to find out how.