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Yewande Jinadu: Before You Send Out that Unsolicited Job Application

As a recruiter, I’ve received wonderful unsolicited applications that came just when I needed them!



Do you know that the majority of available jobs don’t make it to job boards? This means you will be competing with the thousands of job seekers for a minority of the available online jobs. Sending an unsolicited application at the right time can go a long way in getting that job.

Most people think this strategy doesn’t work, but it does! As a recruiter, I’ve received wonderful unsolicited applications that came just when I needed them, or even when I didn’t need them. I referred them to a colleague just because of the quality of the application.

Here are a few things to note if you plan to send out unsolicited job applications

Aim for small and medium companies first before you go for the Multinational Corporations

The huge multinational corporations usually get thousands of applications that are filtered by software. You stand a better chance with the smaller companies.

Be prepared to wait a while

Unlike advertised positions, the roles may not be available yet. If your application is superb, you may be kept in the pipeline and contacted later. The person in that position may just resign the month after and you will be contacted first, before the role gets advertised publicly.

Send it to the right person

Whilst this may seem like a herculean task, it is possible. Although you can send it to the general recruitment email on the company’s website, it’s more effective if it’s directed to the right person.

The next thing you may ask is “How will I know who to send it to?” Answer: Research. Try and get the name of the HR Professional on LinkedIn, then look for an email pattern and insert their name. For instance, I once worked on a free program for unemployed youths and I needed free internet services for the training. I went through the normal route and got no response from the service provider. I went to look for the CEO on LinkedIn and sent a ‘well written’ email to him. I got contacted before the close of work that day and I got what I wanted.

Before you send anything, research

Unlike an advertised job vacancy that tells you about the company and the basics of what the company is looking for, with unsolicited applications, you would have to draw that out yourself after research. That’s the price you have to pay to get a good result.

How Do You Make the Right Impression?

Use the right subject line

That’s your first impression! The subject will determine if it will be opened or deleted at first sight. An example of the relevant subject line can be the title of the role you want or the department: ‘Application for an HR Officer Role, Finance Manager OR Letter of Interest to join your Legal Team’. If you met the person in an event, you can include ‘from the XYZ event’.

Keep it short and direct

You don’t have to explain your life story of how you have been unemployed for the past 10 years. Communicate value. For me, I don’t read any cold call email that is too long.

Always paste your cover letter in the body of the email and not as an attachment.

Don’t ask the person to download or open any attachment apart from your CV. To learn a step by step method of writing a cover letter, check out this article here


Don’t make unnecessary errors in your first email. Before you press send, read it 10 times, save it in your drafts and read it a few hours later.  You can’t un-send the email.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email. Sometimes, your first email may have come at the wrong time and it was never read. A follow-up may be what will help out.

I wish you the best in your career! Feel free to reach out to me for feedback and career coaching.

Yewande Jinadu is the Founder of CareerLife ( and also the Head, People and Culture of a leading tech firm. She has been recognised both globally and locally as an HR Leader and Career Influencer. With CareerLife Foundation, she helps young professionals achieve measurable success in their career. With CareerLife Consulting Services, she partners with businesses to deliver value through its people by providing HR Services (Recruitment, Training etc). She can be reached via [email protected] or @careerlifeng on Twitter and Instagram

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