So you fancy working for Google? Or maybe you want to be one of Steve Ballmer's Microsoft crew? If you've identified the company you want to work for, and you're sure you've got the skills, it's always worth firing off a speculative CV – even if they don't appear to be hiring right now.
Large organisations like those at the top of the IT game are on the lookout for the next technical genius, so they're always willing to accept speculative CVs. If they think you've got what it takes, they'll keep your CV on file for future reference. In a nutshell, it means that as soon as a relevant position becomes available, they'll check their internal resources before starting a recruitment campaign – and will find you ready and waiting for their call.
Concentrate on your skills
So where's the catch? Well, because you're not working to a specific job description, it can be tricky to tailor your CV to their requirements. How do you get round this minor hurdle? Simple. If they're hiring for other positions, you can check what sort of skills they look for as standard and make sure you've got them covered in the key skills section of your CV. Otherwise, you can check the job specs of similar organisations and make sure you cover off all the key skills required for the job role you've set your sights on.
Nail that cover letter
The most important thing to remember when submitting a speculative application is the cover letter. This is your chance to succinctly explain why you're the best person out there for the job. Do bear in mind that companies will usually only keep a speculative CV on file for no longer than a year so you might have to keep resubmitting it.
Get yourself started by putting together a comprehensive cover letter which addresses the following key points:
• Begin by outlining the type of work you are seeking
• Explain why you want to work for this organisation.
• List the skills you have that might be particularly relevant
• Ask for your CV to be held on file for any vacancies that may come up
Most of the time, if the Microsofts and Symantecs of this world aren't recruiting at the moment – you'll usually be notified of this by a very polite yet system-generated email. Don't be disheartened; keep checking back every couple of months. If the job you've been waiting for comes up, there's no harm in sending in your CV again. But if you do this repeatedly with no response, you might want to take it as a hint and head straight for their nearest competitor.