While it is possible to apply for jobs through a recruiter or a third-party job application website, that’s not the only way to get your foot in the door. Unless a company has strict rules against it, you can also send your curriculum vitae yourself. Contacting the company leaders directly will cut down on any misunderstandings or mistakes a recruiter might make about you being the right fit for the company, suggests Alison Green of the Ask a Manager blog.
See Also: How to Create a Great Targeted CV
1. Research the company's policies
The first step in the process: Find out whether you’re going to be committing a major faux pas by sending the CV directly. Visit the company’s website and look for its "Careers" or "Work for Us" page. Read over any job application information listed there. Also, visit the company’s human resources page, if it has one, to look for further information about it’s policies. If the pages specifically mention that it only accepts applications through a certain service or recruiter, you may be out of luck. If you don’t find that information, however, you may be in luck.
2. Get a direct line to the decision-makers
Now it’s time to research any and all people who might be able to make a decision about hiring you, so your CV gets in front of the right person. Use all of the resources at your disposal, from LinkedIn and the company website to your friend’s friend’s brother who knows someone who works in human resources at the company’s headquarters. Try to get the email addresses of the people in the department you want to work in. Getting the direct email addresses for decision-makers in human resources is also helpful, but unless there’s a current opening, they may not be as receptive as the manager who works in a specific department and knows the specific challenges the department is facing right now.
3. Write a stellar cover letter
Armed with the contact information you need, write a cover letter that will really impress the employer. Start off by introducing yourself, mentioning the job you want, and explaining why you’re writing to the person directly. If the company has a history of recruiters, tactfully remind the employer that by hiring you without the use of a recruiter, you’ll save the company money. Then talk about why you’re the absolute best person for the job, hands down. Since you’re coming out of nowhere, you need to make your case really compelling. Talk about specific skills or qualifcations you have that make you a perfect fit for the position, and underline how you’ll work to meet the company’s needs.
Finish the cover letter by reminding the employer that you want a job now, but that you’d also like to be considered for any future openings.
4. Consider snail mail
That employer might be buried under a mountain of emails, but chances are she gets a lot less snail mail these days. As such, it could be worth sending your CV and cover letter in the mail, where it can really stand out.
5. Work your personal connections
To ensure your letter reaches the intended party -- and also gets read -- tap any personal connections you’ve made at the company. Ask any current employees with whom you’ve developed a relationship to deliver your CV and cover letter directly. If you’re making the initial contact with a human resources officer, call the person and ask them to deliver the CV to the right person. It might not work, but it’s worth a try.
If you don’t have any connections with current employees, make some in order to sow seeds for the future. Find out what networking groups or associations people at the company belong to, and then join the same ones. In the best-case scenario, you’ll make a connection that allows you to deliver your CV in the best way possible: in person.
When you’re convinced that working for a specific company, it can help to be the squeaky wheel. That said though, strike a balance between making yourself heard and bugging the employer so much that he wants you gone. With a well-timed, well-written and targeted CV and cover letter, you may just get that dream job.