AAU Career

Unsolicited job search

If you apply unsolicited you have to do some extra work, but you might be the only applicant.

You have to convince the company why and how you are the right person for the position – just like if you were applying for an advertised job. However, the company might not even be aware that they could need a new employee.

➡ Here, we will guide you through it.

What is different about an unsolicited job application?

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    Where should I start?

    Research is – as always – a good way to begin.

    You have to find out the ”who, what, why, how, and when” of the company, just like when you apply for an advertised job opening. E.g.:

    • What projects are they working on?
    • Who is their contact person?
    • How does the company generate their revenue (What is their ”product”)?
    • Which core values do they base their work around?

    Of course, when applying unsolicited, there will not be any guidelines for you to relate your qualifications to. Therefore, you have to make yourself the expert in the organisation of the company and find out, what positions and qualifications the company makes use of.

    Find out, if they have a LinkedIn page. With this, you will be able to see who is working for the company, and you can find out job titles and positions (depending on how thorough the employees have filled in their profiles). This way you can identify the language the employees are generally using – and in particular, the type of words they use in relation the position you are looking for.


    Read more about research

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    What type of profiles have previously been hired by the company?

    The company has most likely had job ads posted before. Therefore, you can use the Jobindex tool for unsolicited applications in order to find out what the company has been looking for in the past.

    What have they needed og searched for? Perhaps you will not be able to find a job ad with the exact position that you are looking for, but you will get a better picture of what type of positions that might be worth mentioning as extra material when you have to explain the company how you are able to help them.

    What type of personal competencies have they emphasised? This provides you with knowledge about which personal competencies are valued in the firm. That is important to know, when you apply unsolicited.

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    How do I show the company that I am able to generate value?

    You are the one who has to generate the demand for your profile, when it is not already in place.

    For this reason, you have to be very clear, when you describe the value that you can provide for the company.

    You have to both identify and communicate:

    • The ”problem” that you intend to solve
    • Your solution to the problem

    Remember, that through your time as a student at AAU, you have become an expert in making research questions and problem formulations. Your sense for relevant issues needs to be put into play here.

    Be sure to make it absolutely clear for them, why you have chosen that exact company. Make sure that your motivation is clearly linked to what the company represents, and not to something that the industry in general represents.

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    How do I make contact?

    Don’t be afraid to reach out. Actually, there is a chance that you are the only one who is contacting the company. Therefore, you might be lucky that they will have more time to talk to you about your questions.

    Speaking to them will probably be the decisive factor, deciding if your usolicited job search will pay off.

    • It will help you find out whether your ideas are relevant to them.
    • It might even show other areas in which you can help the company.
    • It may also help you find out how they would like you to "apply" - maybe they would prefer a short e-mail instead of the traditional application?

    Therefore, to avoid wasting your own time as well as the company's, we always recommend that you speak to the company before sending them an application.


    What should I ask them?

    Prepare some good, relevant questions in advance of the meeting or phone call, based on your research and interest in the company. This demonstrates your academic interest and motivation and that you have looked into the company you are contacting.

    It is okay to call and ask about a potential job in the company, but do not pick up the phone if that is the only thing you are going to ask.



    You should call the most relevant person. It might not be the CEO, if you have questions about the day-to-day business, and it might not be the HR department, if you have very technical questions.

    Use LinkedIn and Jobindex to find out who might be the right person to call, based on their position, or because they have previously been listed as the contact person on a similar position job ad.

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    The unsolicited application – what should I be aware of?

    First of all, consider whether writing an application is the right thing to do. Maybe a a short e-mail or something else is better? Ask the company what they prefer.

    Be careful that you don't waste a lot of time writing an application that is irrelevant to the company. Therefore, researching and talking to them beforehand is crucial.

    • Do as much research as possible
    • Tailor your application to fit the company
    • Why did you choose this particular company?
    • What do you have to offer them, that they need?
    • Be as specific as possible

    The above points apply to both unsolicited and “unsolicited” applications, but be extra thorough with them when writing your unsolicited application. You need to show the company not only that you are the solution to their needs - but also that they actually have a need!

    Read more about writing applications

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    The unsolicited CV – what should I be aware of?

    • Do as much research as possible
    • Tailor your CV to fit the company
    • Make sure to focus on the different tasks and competencies that you imagine will be relevant for the company
    • Remember to include a short and ”to the point” profile text, that is tailored specifically to the company
    • Emphasise the experiences and competencies that have the most relevance for the company
    • Use words and phrases that you know the company will understand, when you describe your skills - and why they need you on their team

    Read more about writing a CV

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How can I benefit from researching a company during my job search, and how do I make the process manageable and beneficial?