Speculative Applications

Applying on spec is always worth doing.  It shows initiative and that you’re proactive.

If the employer is impressed, they might decide to meet you, and possibly even create a position if none currently exist.

It can be particularly useful for gaining work experience.

You might have to write a lot of speculative letters to get a connection, because you are not applying for a known vacancy, but on the other hand, there‘s unlikely to be hundreds of other people applying for the same thing.

A speculative approach would normally include a cover letter/email to accompany your CV, and could be followed up with a phone call.

Man - The Best ImpressionPurpose

The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself, to convey your enthusiasm for the organisation and explain why you would be well suited.

Your aim is to encourage the reader to look at your CV and offer you an interview.

Personalise your letter – show that you understand their business and that your own values and interests reflect the company culture.  It is an opportunity to convey your personality and passion, to complement your CV (which is a more formal, factual summary of your achievements and experience).

General Tips

Write to a particular person – preferably Manager of the relevant department (rather than HR).
This is particularly important when applying on spec, so your letter does not get ignored. Find a name by looking on their website, via LinkedIn, your personal network or call the company reception.

Be brief – no more than one page.

Make the tone of your letter appropriate to the type of organisation – is it creative and innovative, or more traditional and formal?

Use your own words – let your personality come across.

Avoid starting every sentence with ‘I.’

What To Include

Introduce yourself.
Say why you are writing to this company. See Let Them Know Your Keen To Join
In this case, a ‘hook’ can be particularly useful e.g. ‘News of your recent acquisition of….  has prompted me to write to you…’
Demonstrate enthusiasm for the company business; show how their culture reflects your own personal values.
Be clear about what you are looking for – permanent job/internship/work experience; however it’s wise to mention that you would be grateful for any opportunity they could offer.
Show why you are well suited to the organisation.
Show how you would fit into their environment and what you could contribute (key skills and experience).
See Show That You Will Fit In
Don’t just repeat what is in your CV.
Reaffirm your desire to join the company.
Please find enclosed my CV etc.
Add ‘I look forward to hearing from you’ type of statement.
Say that you will follow up your letter with a phone call in a week or so.

Find Out More:

Research/Creative Cover Letter Example
Speculative Applications for Graduate Jobs – Target Jobs
Cover Letters – Prospects

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