Written by Sarah Brodsky on November 16, 2020
When a company is hiring for a specific position, it’s easy to let them know you want the job: You just submit an application. But what if your dream employer doesn’t have any openings? In this case, your goal should be to stay on their radar so that when hiring picks up again, you can be considered for a role.
This is a long-term process, so don’t expect to see results within days. But if you work at it consistently for some time each week, you could eventually find that you have an advantage compared with applicants who haven’t been engaging with the company.
Follow news about the company
Follow the company’s social media accounts, and regularly check for its posts. Don’t let them get lost in your Facebook feed! Read news articles about the company, and if it publishes any press releases, read them too. Set up news alerts with search engines so you don’t miss anything.
Staying up to date helps ensure that you can speak knowledgeably about the company when you get a chance to interact with its employees. It also increases your chances of spotting opportunities when jobs open up.
Spend time as a guest
If the company you’re interested in is a restaurant, try to eat a meal there regularly. If it’s a hotel, you might buy drinks at the bar, attend special events, or even spend the night on a staycation sometimes.
This gives you a deeper understanding of the company, and in-person interactions might allow you to hear about upcoming expansions before hiring is officially announced.
Connect with employees on LinkedIn
Send connection requests to the company’s hiring managers or recruiters, or to employees in the department you hope to work in. Accompany each request with a personalized note briefly mentioning your experience in the industry.
Once someone connects with you, try to follow up with a message explaining that you’re interested in working at their company. Say that you understand the company isn’t hiring at the moment, but that you’re excited about the possibility of joining the team one day. Some of your new connections may have words of encouragement for you or advice about how to get your foot in the door.
Engage with the company’s social media
Try to respond with upbeat, thoughtful comments when the company posts news and information on social sites. Don’t spam them; reply when you have something to contribute to the conversation.
After you’ve developed a good track record of positive engagement, you could try messaging the company’s social media team and letting them know that you would like to apply to work at their company in the future. They might be able to pass on your name to someone who’s involved in hiring, or they might give you a heads up if there are forthcoming job postings.
Request an informational interview
While you can’t get a job interview with a company that isn’t currently hiring, you may be able to have an informational interview in which you meet with an employee and ask about their experience with the company. Use your knowledge about the company to think of deep questions that can’t be answered simply by reading the company’s website. For example, you might ask about the company’s culture, work environment, or business philosophy.
After the interview, send a thank-you note saying why learning about the company was meaningful for you.
Ask them to place your resume on file
Companies that aren’t hiring will sometimes allow job seekers to submit a resume to place on file. When the company starts hiring again, it will look at those resumes along with the applications that come in.
Try to tailor your resume to the company, based on what you’ve learned about its priorities. For example, if you’re interested in a hotel that emphasizes hands-on experiences, you might highlight previous jobs teaching skiing or serving as a tour guide.
Every few months, make a phone call or send a quick email to check if the company has resumed hiring. Once six months or a year go by, you might also want to submit an updated resume that includes your recent achievements.
Staying in touch with a company that isn’t actively recruiting takes some perseverance, but hard work is often worth it. You may eventually find opportunities with the company that you would have overlooked otherwise.