How to apply to the company, not the job?
February 12, 2007 7:05 PM   Subscribe

What are the best ways to handle applying for jobs after graduation, which is still months away?

I'll be graduating in May with an MBA, and I'm starting to apply for jobs now. The issue I'm facing is that I assume most of the listing I find that appeal will be filled before I am available, and I a) don't want to wait until I'm within 4-6 weeks of graduation so that the timeline matches better and b) don't want to waste people's time by applying for jobs I can't likely fulfill.

But, I'm also applying more to organizations, not positions. That is to say, I've developed in school a target industry (sustainable business practices, particularly with regard to green buildings but generally open) and target departments (marketing and sales development), and so have been filtering out companies who are doing work I want to be involved in, and sending them resumes. I expect more than a few places to end up with letters from me that read "You don't appear to have any open positions, but if you need anything in the range from x to y I believe I can do it, and want to be considered for it." Can you help me phrase cover letters for this situation?

If this has been asked and answered, please let me know. I did search.
posted by andifsohow to Work & Money (3 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Just apply. I'm sure the organizations you're applying to have some plan to hire new grads. Apply to the specific positions, but in your cover letter and when you interview, make it clear you're open to whatever they're offering. You don't even necessarily have to reference their internet job postings -- just say "This is what I want to do and you're the company I want to do it for."

For reference, I applied to my job in January when all they had listed on their website was a software engineering job. I got hired in April as a QA/systems engineer, and during the interview they admitted they sucked at updating their website and hadn't bothered to do so for a while. Such is life.
posted by olinerd at 7:23 PM on February 12, 2007

Just apply. They'll ask when you can start before getting too far into the process with you, and if they need you desperately before you graduate they'll tell you thanks but no thanks.

I'm not starting my post-graduation job until August and I accepted the offer in January.
posted by crinklebat at 7:41 PM on February 12, 2007

Best answer: Dear Person I want to work for,

Company Being Applied To has a reputation as a leader in sustainable business practices. I have the following skills and experience relevant to the industry:
* Experience 1
* skill 1
* experience 2

My interests, abilities and professional experience all align with the needs and philosophy of Company Being Applied To, as my enclosed resume demonstrates. (optional: My resume does not reveal the truth of my deep interest in sustainable business practices, however. For example, EXAMPLE.)

I am working toward my MBA at university, and will graduate on DATE. Please accept my application as you consider your staffing needs for the coming year.

I will follow up with a phone call shortly to answer any questions you may have and reiterate my interest in Company Being Applied To. Thank you for your time.




Then: Call within 2 weeks.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:53 PM on February 12, 2007 [5 favorites]

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