Do firms actually want unsolicitated applications?


Here is a question for all industry professionals from an architecture student:

When firms provide an option for sending an unsolicited application, do they actually want it or look at it? Or does it go into a pile of applications that get deleted within 3-6 months. 

Quality of the application aside, what are the chances that my unsolicited application will get looked at, and what other ways can I get a firm's attention when they might not have job openings?

All answers appreciated :)

Dec 3, 19 11:12 am

Lots of firms do find good people that way.  If they keep a message on their website that they're "always happy to receive resumes from talented people" then they'll receive a regular stream or trickle of applicants - and the timing will be better for some of those than others, but there's always a shot. Getting their attention when they don't have an immediate opening is pretty much the same as rising to the top of the pile when they're looking:  don't resort to any gimmicks, just write a great cover letter that shows that you know what their firm does and that you'd be an excellent help to them and good fit.  Have a good, clear, simple resume that's been proof-read by multiple sets of eyes, and is targeted to that firm's niche. 

Dec 3, 19 11:23 am  · 
Non Sequitur

A little bit of both, depending on the market.

Our office has an open application type message on our website with a direct link to send your info too regardless of our current or lack of job postings.  These get a quick review and are discarded or stored based on quality of applicant.  Few get replies due to the amount we get per day, but some do make it through.  

Aside from this formal submission method, some folks think that mass spamming the email directory with their jive portfolio will make an impact.  It certainly will, but not in their favour.  The point is, there is no harm in sending something to the general inbox or whatever an office has listed under the careers part of their website.  Maybe someone will look, maybe they won't.  Maybe you'll get lucky and a big project pops up right at the same time as your email hits the hiring manager in the face.  Who knows? Just don't feel bad if you don't get a response.

Best way is still to get a direct contact with someone.  You might get lucky and call reception.  Perhaps you will be directed to someone in charge and skip the inbox backlog.

Dec 3, 19 11:23 am  · 

We receive the most entry-level applications around graduation times like January or May/June. If you are sending unsolicited material, try to avoid those end of semester busy times, for a thinner pile, and apply early if possible.

Dec 3, 19 11:47 am  · 

It's certainly possible to get shortlisted for interview through a formal job application even when there's no specific job advert. This summer I interviewed at 10 firms 4 of which hadn't posted an ad. It was just a matter of good timing and my work being of high quality. One of these firms actually said they were done with interviewing people but decided to interview me nevertheless because they were impressed by my skills and eventually offered me a position. Keep polishing your portfolio and keep applying. 

Dec 3, 19 5:32 pm  · 
It’s entirely possible. I’ve been contacted months after applying to positions for a different role etc. however I wouldn’t hold your breath if you’re looking for something ASAP. You could however easily wind up at the top of their list if they are slated to have an open position just after you throw your hat in the ring. It also shows you’re interested in their firm specifically as opposed to just responding to every job post that comes along. The current market is in the employees favor and firms are extremely busy. Now is great time to let firms know you’re interested.
Dec 4, 19 9:14 am  · 

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