How to apply for a job that doesn't exist: a guide for students

After a permanent role, and not finding what you want on the jobs boards?

It’s time to take it to the next level. Here’s the idea: Beginners apply for jobs that are listed. Winners apply for jobs that aren’t listed.

That might sound dumb. What’s the point asking for a job that doesn’t exist? But it’s actually a great strategy – as long as you target the right company at the right time.

The trick is to find fast growing businesses who value proactive employees. How do you find them? Easy. They advertise in places like WorkInStartups. The job ad they’ve placed might be for something you’re not capable of doing, but that doesn’t matter. If the company is hiring, it’s growing. And if it’s growing, they’ll be hiring for other roles soon—or now. Read the job ads to get a feel for the mission and culture of a few companies, noting down the ones you like.

Next, email the CEO of the company (it’s a startup, so you should be able to contact the CEO pretty easily) a really great cover note, telling them how much you love their mission and how much you want to work in a startup. Tell them what you can do, and attach your CV. Say you’ll work for free for a week to show them what you can do, with no obligation. (Worst case scenario – you’ll get some really useful work experience.)

The brilliant thing about this strategy is that you don’t have any competition, since no one else is applying for this job that doesn’t necessarily exist.

(The drawback is that the job doesn’t necessarily exist.)

Too much work? Want something more certain, or more part time? If you love kids and live in London, consider working with Koru Kids as an after school nanny. Apply here.