Why Asking to Be Hired Is a Great Job Search Strategy

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Imagine if getting a job was as simple as walking into an office and asking to be hired. How much easier would your life be? Well, right now that might be one of the best ways to land a job at your dream organization.

A new survey from CareerBuilder found 50 percent of companies have open positions they can’t find qualified candidates for. That means there’s a good chance great organizations are waiting for you to come work for them. Why not take the first step and reach out to companies you’re interested in?

Let me preface this by saying you shouldn’t go walking down the street with your resume and go into an office and demand to talk to a hiring manager. You’ll need to do some research beforehand, about the company and who might manage the department you’re interested in, etc.

Even then, you should politely reach out and ask to meet with the manager. But that comes later. Today, let’s talk about why this strategy works and is worth your while:

Companies takedown long-vacant job ads

Even though many companies constantly have open roles, employers have a reputation to maintain. They want job seekers to think they are a great place to work and people are lining up to get a job.

When a job posting has been online for months, job seekers notice, and even if they’re not interested in that particular role, they begin to wonder why no one else is interested. Job seekers are likely to think it’s a bad place to work and when a relevant job does open up, they won’t apply.

To avoid this situation, many companies remove job postings when they’ve become stagnant. Of course, the position is still open and they actively look for job seekers, but they can’t afford to hurt their employer brand.

When you go into an organization and ask about their open jobs, employers will be over the moon. Finally, they have access to talent that is interested in the company. They’ll be glad to talk to you about what opportunities they have.

Just be sure to do your research about a company before setting up a meeting. There very well could be a reason — besides a lack of job seekers — why the job has been empty for so long. Look up employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor and see what the work environment is like.

Job descriptions aren’t cut-and-dry anymore

In the past, it was easy to write a job description because it was very apparent what each person did within the organization. But over time, the way teams work evolved. People from different departments started collaborating more, and as a result, the lines blurred about who did what. It’s not uncommon for marketers to need sales experience or for software engineers to need to understand customer service.

So while employees — and by extension their jobs — have developed diverse skill sets, job descriptions haven’t kept up. They are still written as if the company’s team is siloed and has clearly defined roles, which makes it difficult to find job seekers who are genuinely a good fit.

Meeting with managers or HR employees at a company lets you have a conversation outside job descriptions. You talk about your experiences and skills and they start to imagine a way you can fit into the team. They might even create an entirely new position for you.

It makes an impression

Many hiring managers forget what was in a resume 15 minutes after they read it. Unless they decide to move forward with the candidate, they never think about them again. The perfect position could open up a week later, and it wouldn’t occur to the hiring manager to reach out to the candidate they ‘met’ seven days ago.

However, after sitting down with you, seeing your face, and having a conversation, a hiring manager is more likely to remember you. You’ve created a connection and the foundations of a relationship. And the hiring manager knows you’re looking for work so when they do have a position that fits, they can contact you.

Be clear about what you love about the organization when you’re talking to the hiring manager. This will show you’re actually interested and not just someone who goes around to random companies asking for work.

Thinking about applying for a job you’re not qualified for? Find out how to do that here!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.