Scott Shpak reports:
"No one knows the real size of the hidden job market -- recruiting opportunities that are unannounced and unpublished -- but human resources experts agree it exists. Being proactive in your job search, you have targeted several companies as desired employers. Contacting them about future job openings is a way to gently put your foot in the recruiter's door...Requesting a future job opening is speculative, and the effectiveness of your letter is improved if it lands in the hands of the right person. Research your target company and, in particular, who may have the most influence in advancing your application. The human resources department may not be the best place to start, given the number of applications it processes. Consider contacting the manager of the department for which you want to work. She might know of upcoming vacancies before alerting human resources...The tone of a letter requesting a future position follows the form of a regular job application cover letter, changing your intent in the opening paragraph to acknowledge that you are looking ahead. The second and third paragraphs highlight your best qualifications and personal qualities that are suited for the type of position you wish to obtain. While you may want to include more information than a regular résumé cover letter, keep your copy concise and easy to read...A manager who receives a traditional job application package of cover letter and two-page résumé when he is not actively recruiting may react negatively. On the other hand, keeping your future-position cover letter concise may exclude valuable information that would attract further interest. Decide this on a case-by-case basis...Consider asking for an invitation to submit your letter through a phone call with your target. Keep such a call short and professional. Your contact forms impressions of you before she is aware, and she is prepared when your request letter arrives. A phone call reinforces name recognition and is an opportunity to ask about including a résumé. Follow up on receipt of your letter by phone only if you hit it off well with your contact; otherwise you may appear to be badgering her."
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