Sense and nonsense of applying spontaneously: some tips

A spontaneous or free application is a bit of a leap in the dark. You may therefore wonder whether it makes sense to invest your valuable time in it. How to approach such an application and what you should take into account.

It was striking that those looking for a new job have the best chance of success with a spontaneous application. The assumption that these are not even viewed in 99% of the cases is therefore completely incorrect. At the same time, as an applicant, you must also learn to sense where a free application is and is not appropriate—a few tips.

Specify the functions that you can perform

The less niche, the better, and even with a bottleneck profession, you will get a phone with interest more quickly. Usually, you will also be more successful with a larger organization, where the workforce is more of a coming and going anyway, than with a small family business that does not necessarily have surplus budgets to recruit new people.

Create a tailor-made CV and motivation letter

This is always the case for everyone who applies, but extra important if you register spontaneously somewhere. Another additional tip here: your motivation letter should really spark, and at the same time, preferably not be too long.

In your letter you must clarify:

  • why you absolutely want to work at a company or organization X
  • which jobs you could do
  • why you are a candidate to be considered

Because you cannot focus on a specific position, you highlight why you would feel right at home in the company in question. In the absence of a vacancy as a guideline, you need to find out in a different way what the company attaches importance to and where it is best to place emphasis.

The fastest method is to parse the website. Most companies explain their business philosophy there. But you can also search for vacancies for other positions in the company and gather useful information in this way.

Who should you contact?

Then it comes down to addressing the right person.

There are companies – usually larger – where you can apply spontaneously via the website, for example, at the media groups, Federal Public Service, and much more. Such a free application will automatically end up there.

Isn’t there that possibility? First, take a look at the other vacancies that the company has or had; the contact person mentioned on it is often the person you should write to. Or search the ‘about us’ or ‘our team’ page on the website for the person dealing with human resources.

Simply calling is also an option. Dial the general info number and ask who you can contact. It often also pays to contact a recruiter via LinkedIn.

Being assertive

Spontaneous applications require a different approach than targeted applications. The employer in question is not necessarily in need of extra staff, so you will have to use all your persuasiveness yourself if you want to work inside. You really have to make it your job. Your motivation letter cannot be a thirteen-in-a-dozen letter that you send to every company in the region.

It would be best if you also used a solid follow-up strategy. For example, you could call a week after your application e-mail and ask whether the letter was properly received and whether someone can provide you with feedback or speak to you.

Be assertive until you receive that feedback because this is the only way you know whether or not you have a chance, can be included in a recruitment reserve, or what you should take into account in subsequent spontaneous applications.

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