One of the best ways to find a job you’ll love is not looking in the wanted ads, but knocking on doors and researching companies around you. However, that means they’re probably not hiring right now – but that doesn’t have to mean the end of the road. Indeed, it could be the road to opening your best door ever.

One of my clients just recently encountered just such a situation, and the saddest part is the owner said he would’ve hired my client on the spot because of his fantastic CV (crafted by yours truly) – if he arrived 15 minutes sooner.

The bad news is, the chances of getting a job there are slim to none. The good news is, you can open so many doors if you handle this kind of situation well.

First, Remember Their Humanity

When the potential employer says they’re not hiring, don’t just drop your head and walk out!

If they seem busy, ask if there’s someone you could talk to for a few minutes to get to know the company or when you could come to watch them in action and get to know the company.

You’re not asking for much – just the chance to observe for a little bit because “when I researched your company, you seemed to offer everything I ever wanted in a job and I just want to understand how a great company gets it done.” But make sure in the process of that you’re doing everything you can to not get in the way.

Then, Don’t Be a Stranger

Put in the application anyway. Give them everything they would need to hire you in the first place. Then, visit periodically. If they’re the kind of company that goes through periods of quick growth, visit more often during those periods – as in, weekly.

The point is to make your presence known and give the hiring officials a real chance to know and like you. If you’re showing so much loyalty without being paid, it’s easier for them to imagine the kind of work ethic you’ll bring when you’re on the payroll.

Around the second or third visit, I recommend providing a letter that speaks to what you love about the company and why you keep coming back – just so you don’t seem like a creepy stalker. Here’s the letter I crafted for my client:

Thanks (name),

It’s not often I get to see a business like yours. Most owners don’t earn the respect of their employees like you have, they just write the checks and figure that’s enough. Most owners don’t think of their people – employees and customers both – as people. I can see you do, and I was starting to wonder if there was a company like yours around anymore.

Thank you for existing, and I hope you don’t mind me visiting every now and then to refresh my optimism. Please do keep my number and application on-hand for whatever opening comes about – I would love to work with you, no matter the wait.

Truly Yours,

(your name)

Eventually, Ask for Something

If you’ve been visiting for a while and developed a rapport with a cushy chair of the company, don’t be shy about asking them for a referral. “Do you know anyone like you who needs someone like me?” If they say yes, ask for them to give their friend a heads-up about you, and when they might have the chance to do just that so you don’t show up before then.

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