EduReviewerBlogWhat is an Unsolicited Resume? How to Use it in Your Favor
Resume Writing

What is an Unsolicited Resume? How to Use it in Your Favor

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Maybe you’ve heard people talking about unsolicited resumes and unadvertised jobs, but what do these terms mean? And more importantly, how can you use them in your favor when you’re searching for work or for a professional upgrade? Let’s look at exactly what an unsolicited resume is first.

What is an Unsolicited Resume?

An unsolicited resume is a resume or CV that is sent to a company that isn’t specifically hiring new staff.

Unlike solicited resumes, these aren’t sent on spec or in reply to an ad. Instead, they’re speculative. If you think you’re a good fit for a company, you can send them an unsolicited resume along with a cover letter.

If you’re feeling unsure about sending unsolicited resumes, we can guide you through the process. Still, if you need professional help, you should definitely check out this comprehensive Resume Writing Lab review. It gives you an unbiased look at the services they offer and might just be the help you need to get noticed.

Could send a resume that hasn’t been asked to be seen as pushy? Sure, if you aren’t careful about how you send it. However, a carefully chosen company, a good work history, and a polite and interesting cover letter might just land you a dream job even when that resume is unsolicited.

The truth is, a shocking 70% of jobs are never actually advertised publicly. Instead, they are advertised internally, candidates are approached, head hunters are employed, or someone sends an unsolicited resume.

How to Send an Unsolicited Resume?

A lot of people wonder how exactly how to send a resume to a company that’s not hiring. When is it appropriate to send in an application on the off chance a company takes a liking to you?

Basically, it’s all about being polite and respectful. Maybe you have been tipped off that a company is hiring soon but not yet advertising positions, or perhaps you just really think you would fit in with the culture there and have a lot to offer their business.

Either way, send a resume that is specifically tailored for the role you are hoping to land (so, don’t include irrelevant jobs like your college burger-flipping if you’re applying to be a Chef de Partie)!

Plenty of people are making career changes now, so there’s no issue with being bold and aiming high, but make sure your CV is as relevant as possible.

Erin Greenawald, a CV expert, offers a great piece of advice. She says: ‘Since you’ll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job you’re applying to, keep a CV outline or master it on your computer.’

Top tips for an unsolicited resume include:

  • Being polite and respectful.
  • Sending the resume (and a cover letter) to someone specific or a particular department. Email is usually the best way to do this, allowing you to directly touch base with someone in the business and make a good impression.
  • Addressing hiring managers by name if you can find this information.
  • Knowing exactly what sort of job you are looking for and demonstrating very relevant skills.
  • Tailoring your work history and key competencies to the company.
  • Mentioning any contacts you have that are relevant to the position.

Should You Send Resume to a Company That’s Not Hiring?

Should You Send Resume to a Company That's Not Hiring?

The short answer to ‘should you send a resume to a company that’s not hiring?’ is, ‘Sure, go for it!’

The longer answer is more complicated. Before you send an unsolicited resume you should do as much research as possible on the company you are applying to work for.

Sending a CV to a company without a job opening can be daunting, so you probably want some help on the specifics of resume writing. For example, some people have trouble with listing unusual education like an ABD Ph.D. on their resume or how to write a minor on a resume. Increasingly, remote work on a resume is also becoming a concern.

All three of these things can be simply listed. A minor should come below the main title of a degree, and you can simply state that you finished all but the dissertation for your Ph.D.:

BA English Literature, Virginia Tech, 2012-2016

Minor: Gender Studies

Ph.D. (ABD) Pure Mathematics, University of Seattle, 2013-2017

There are two easy ways to include remote work:

FT Tutors — English Tutor (Remote), 2019-2021

Big Bird Branding — PR Manager, 2008-2016

Interacted with clients one-to-one, built contacts in the industry, and worked independently and remotely…

How NOT to Send a Resume to a Company That’s Not Hiring

It can be tempting to over-offer when you’re really excited by a company. However, you should make sure you don’t sell yourself short by offering to work for an unfair wage or as a volunteer.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to seem presumptuous. Show that you have done your research and address people by name if possible, but do remember they aren’t yet your colleagues. You aren’t doing the job you really want yet, so don’t come in all guns blazing trying to suggest huge structural changes to the business model!

Ann Baehr, president of Best Resumes New York, says,’ A strong CV is carefully planned and developed (not quickly typed up) in an appropriate format (style) designed to showcase your experience and accomplishments in direct relation to a specific position.’

So, always tailor your CV to a position but remember never to send it alone. You need an accompanying email or letter, or perhaps to make contact on LinkedIn. If you don’t land a job now, you will at least be able to do a bit of networking that way.

Key Takeaways

  • Do your research! Read as much as you can about the company before you apply for a job, and make it clear that you have done so when you make contact.
  • Always send an email along with your document. This can be a little less formal than a cover letter for a specific job, but it should highlight your key competencies and explain why you are interested in this company.
  • Remember, sending out unsolicited resumes might not immediately result in a job. It is a great way to network, however, and gets you to the top of hiring managers’ minds.
  • Make sure your resume is tailored to the company and your desired job and is carefully proofread before you send it. Resumes shouldn’t be longer than two pages as a general rule.


How do I apply for a job when a company isn’t hiring?

In order to apply for a job with a company that isn’t hiring, first, do your research. Make sure you and the company are a fit and tailor your resume to the company and your desired position.

Always make sure you send your unsolicited resume to the correct department and, if possible, to a specific person.

What are unadvertised jobs?

Unadvertised jobs are positions that are never publicly advertised on job boards, websites, or professional publications. They may be internal hires, or they may be word of mouth or go to someone who has sent an unsolicited resume or applied to another position previously.

Why do I apply when there are no open positions?

No advertised positions don’t mean any open positions. With a huge percentage of jobs going unadvertised, it’s worth sending unsolicited resumes to companies you really think you’d fit in at and have the skills to excel with. Additionally, if you really are a great fit you might be hired despite a lack of open positions or be kept in mind for positions that come up in the future.

Images are taken from Unsplash

unsure if your resume is bulletproof


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