concept illustration of job seeker creating a plan for success when companies aren't hiring

How to Find a Job When Companies Aren’t Hiring

Searching, applying, and interviewing for jobs is tough, and even more so when it seems like no one is hiring and finding advertised openings in the first place is a struggle. In a tight market, many job seekers wonder how to apply for a job that isn’t advertised, or whether applying to a company that isn’t hiring is worth the time and effort.

While these experiences can certainly be disheartening, there are steps you can take to secure a job, even when companies aren’t actively hiring.

The strategies below will walk you through how to apply for a job that is not advertised. Keeping these steps in mind will set you up for success throughout your job search.


Do Your Research

Before you reach out to any company on your target list, especially in the circumstance where there aren’t any open positions, you must do your part to thoroughly research them. In this research, your goal should be to learn as much as possible about a company. The internet and social media sites have simplified this process for you.

Look up the company on LinkedIn and try to make connections with current employees. Be sure to send a professional invitation and ask your connections if they’d be willing to share insight into the company during an informational interview. Having a firsthand account of how an employee describes the company can be useful in your research. And, if you make the right connections, you may be able to ask them about potential vacancies or other unlisted jobs at the company.

As you learn what the company has done and where it wants to go, you’ll start to see how your skills and talents can fit in at and help the company achieve its goals. Once you’ve conducted ample research, it’s time to start drafting your pitch.


job seeker working on her resume before reaching out to companies about unlisted jobs


Prepare Your Pitch

If you’ve found a company where you can see yourself flourishing, but they don’t have vacancies posted, don’t give up hope! Applying for unadvertised positions isn’t necessarily conventional, but it’s not unheard of – you’ll just need to market yourself with a targeted resume, prepare an “elevator pitch,” and follow up to enhance the likelihood that you’re successful in your approach.

To do so, you’ll need rely on your in-depth research into the company. What is its mission? What makes them stand out from the competition in their industry? Then reflect on your skills and abilities – how can you help this company? One of the key steps in how to get a company to create a job for you is effectively pitching yourself.  

Then, you’ll need to take it one step further and create a value proposition on why you would be a great fit at the company. Be sure to highlight your skills and competencies, but also communicate why you would fit in with the culture and how you can see yourself grow at the organization. Whenever possible, be sure to include quantifiable data to back up why you’d be a great employee.


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Contact the Company

During your research, you should find a reliable contact to whom you can send your carefully constructed resume. Some job boards even allow you to reach out directly to recruiters and hiring managers through their platform. Be friendly and courteous in your communications – you’d be surprised at how far professional courtesy and kindness can go in getting your application passed to the right eyes.


Follow Up

After you’ve submitted your information to the proper channels, don’t be afraid to follow up. As time goes on, a gentle reminder email, phone call, or LinkedIn message won’t hurt. Remember to be polite and professional yet persistent. Some employers will value this persistence, and they may be so inclined to offer you a position or to put your name first on the list when a job becomes available.


job seeker following up via phone after applying to a company that isn't hiring


Don’t Get Discouraged

The odds of landing an unadvertised gig are lower than if you were applying to a posted vacancy, but it’s not impossible. Don’t get discouraged if your first attempts are unsuccessful.  Keep applying for unadvertised positions and reaching out to companies as part of your job search plan. Simply getting on their radar and making the right first impression are essential steps.


Be Visible

In addition to targeting specific companies with the tactics outlined above, ensure you’re consistently active and visible on social media (especially LinkedIn) so recruiters can contact you directly about positions that might not be advertised. Additionally, post your resume to career sites like iHire and make it searchable to employers. That way, companies can connect with you if your skills and experience match what they’re looking for.


With these tips for how to find a job when companies aren’t hiring, you can hit the ground running in your job search with a proactive approach that will help open more doors!

By iHire | May 27, 2020
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