A speculative job application is where a person looking for a job sends an application to a company without a job actually being advertised. It can be a highly effective way of getting jobs, internships and work experience placements that either haven’t been advertised yet, or won’t ever be advertised.
Why would a company not advertise a role?
Many jobs can be found on something commonly referred to as the ‘hidden job market.’
Target Jobs explain: “Many jobs aren’t advertised, particularly in the media, charity work, design and environmental work.”
The hidden job market consists of the huge amount of jobs that are not advertised, because:
Writing a speculative job application is an effective way of getting your foot in the door of the hidden job market and putting yourself forward for these roles.
If you’ve ever had a cold-calling sales job, you’ll know how hard it is to convince someone to buy something out of the blue. Take this into consideration when you write your speculative job application. Remember that the company doesn’t know who you are and your communication is unsolicited, so you need to convince them to take notice and consider your application seriously.
Don’t just ask them what opportunities they have for you. Before you approach any employers, think carefully about what exactly you have to offer them and why they should ask you in for an interview. Do your research and find out everything you can, from the company’s history, to its aims and values, to its future plans for growth.
Employers can tell when you’ve written one generic cover letter and sent it out to as many inboxes as possible. To make sure your application stands out, write a completely new, or at least highly tailored, application each time.
It’s a common assumption that chasing your job application, whether speculative or not, can seem too keen or pushy and only serves to irritate employers, but that is not the case. Once you’ve sent your application, feel free to follow-up a few days later – it is likely to put you at an advantage. Here are a few tips for following-up: