A speculative application is an application you may make to an employer that does not relate to an advertised role. While the established vacancy advertisement and application approach may be the simplest, most direct route to gaining employment, there are other options. You may wish to contact an employer speculatively rather than wait for them to advertise.

This can be a good option if there is a specific organization you wish to work for. Proactively contacting them may mean they consider you first when recruiting for future opportunities. This may help give you a competitive advantage. It can also be a route to interning with an organization, again making them aware of you and your abilities. Some organizations may not advertise all available opportunities, and on-spec hiring is common in many industries, including charities, the media and environmental sectors. CV writing Dubai must using such practice.

What is a Speculative Cover Letter?

A speculative cover letter is a cover letter that you send to a company that isn’t advertising for a job. The purpose of doing so is to find out if the employer has any job opportunities that you would be a good fit for. You often submit speculative cover letters when you’re interested in working for a specific company rather than taking on a specific role.

For example, if you were completing a digital marketing degree and there was an advertising agency that resonated with you, you might send out a speculative cover letter ahead of graduation to gauge what opportunities might be available in the near future.

How to Write a Speculative Application

Here are a few key steps on how to write a speculative application:

Identify Suitable Employers

Begin by considering the employers you wish to contact and identifying your career aims and goals. Think about what industry you want to work in, research relevant organizations, and consider exploring their organizational culture and purpose to find places that match your values. This helps give your application a better chance of success and ensures you contact employers where you may gain the best possible job satisfaction.

You might find companies you wish to contact through online research. If you’re currently studying, your university’s careers service can be an excellent resource, as can lecturers. Academic staff may also provide specific individuals you can contact within an organization. Networking events and career fairs are also an effective way to discover potential employers.

Find Out What the Company may Want in their Next Hire

Start your research by looking over how the company describes themselves and their work. If you’re writing a speculative cover letter, you may already be familiar with the company. Try to figure out more by thoroughly reading the company site and social media to understand the mission and vision and how the company goes about communicating its goals and discussing its work.

It may be helpful to understand what the day-to-day activities and concerns of the company are. Also, considering learning how the company communicates about the work, including which tone, level of formality and specific word choice it uses in these communications. By learning to sound like you’re already a member of the organization, you’re increasing the chances that your reader may hire you.

Confirm Your Research with an Additional Source

Try to confirm your guesses about the organizational culture and the likely needs of your prospective employer with an additional resource. Consider contacting current or former employees via social networks to ask a few questions about the prospective employer. Ask specific questions about the key values and typical needs in terms of talent, skills and personality traits of those who succeed in the team you’re hoping to join.

Former and current employees may provide useful information about the application process and work culture within your target company. A productive conversation with a former or current employee can help you confirm your understanding of what the employer is looking for in a new hire. A new connection could also result in a recommendation from someone familiar with the hiring manager.

Try to Start a Relationship

Since you’re writing your speculative cover letter to find out whether a job may be available or can become available in the future, avoid being overtly direct with your request. If you’re asking the prospective employer to decide immediately whether to hire you outright, the employer may not have a current opening available. Instead of asking for a job, consider using the letter to build a relationship with your prospective employer. Try to show understanding and sympathy for their circumstances if they’re unable to take you on.

If you’re particularly passionate about the idea of working with the company, you have the option to suggest part-time work, an internship or volunteer involvement with the company. Even if there’s not a planned vacancy soon, you may be the first in line when a position or a need comes up. Working with a prospective employer informally may also give you the chance to demonstrate your skills and attitude in practice, making you the easy choice for the next job opening.

Tailor Your CV

Potential employers are more likely to react positively to your speculative application if you tailor it to them specifically. With that in mind, take the time to customize your CV for each specific organization you contact. Research the organization, its mission, and its work to see what skills and competencies they value in employees and try to highlight these in your CV. Advertisements and job descriptions for previous vacancies can be an effective way to discover some of these details.

If possible, try to research testimonials from previous or current employees. If you know anyone who works at the company, a first-hand account from them can be extremely valuable. Testimonials like this can give you an insight into company culture and what sort of personalities fit well in the organization. You can then tailor your CV to show the hiring manager that you have the sort of personal qualities they look for in effective employees, in addition to valuable professional competencies.