5 tips for writing your speculative job application

Have you long dreamt of working for a specific company? Perhaps it was even this company which inspired you to pursue a particular career path. Don’t wait any longer and take the leap! A speculative job application could be the make-or-break moment in your job search. By breaking out of the cycle of applying to advertised vacancies, you’ll be taking a proactive approach which will make you stand out from the competition.

Even if, after reaching out, your speculative application is unsuccessful, it will allow you to be kept in the company’s database for future roles. Who knows? You might be contacted again in the next few months if a post becomes available.

In conclusion, making a speculative application proves your genuine interest in the company. There is no better way demonstrate your enthusiasm than by applying speculatively… if it is done well!

What is a speculative job application ?

Arising from the candidate’s initiative, and not out of a need expressed by the company, the speculative application is difficult type of job seeking that must respect certain rules, different to those involved in a classic application.
Rule one: don’t waste the recruiter’s time. Rule two: make yourself stand out (well). Rule three: convince them!
So you’ve decided to take the leap! Here are some tips on how to write a speculative job application and succeed in your job search.

1. Make use of the “right place, right time” philosophy

Be in the right place. Choose the company well. Only apply where you truly want to work. Consider its location, its sector of business, its market, its company culture, its values and also its state of mind. It isn’t useful to send out en masse the same application over again. Creating an application takes time, so prioritise quality over quantity in terms of the CVs you send out.

Be there at the right time. Educate yourself on the company’s latest news. Purchases, international developments, diversification of business – these are all elements which will allow you to identify what the company currently needs. You might be even able to anticipate a job offer before it is posted and get ahead of your potential competition.

2. Respond to the company’s needs

The key here, is to demonstrate your ability to explain your professional goals, and highlight the correlation between what you can offer, and what the company needs. Have you read in the news that the company is planning on digitalising parts of its activity? Bounce back off this and show that you’ve understood all the challenges of digital transformation. Illustrate how your experience in this field will bring them the necessary know-how. Become indispensable!

3. Research the role you are applying for

First of all, the job title. In this case, social media is your friend. Check out the company’s page on LinkedIn and the people who work there and familiarise yourself with the jobs offered and the structure of the company. The more precise you are, the more likely you are to come off as a person who knows exactly what they want.

Next, the job description and scope of the role! LinkedIn will help you here, too. Look at the profiles of the employees who occupy the type of role you are interested in. Find the key words and integrate them into your cover letter. A top tip: often, old job advertisements are still available on the internet, so have a quick search on Google as it might bring up the exact description of the role you’re hoping to secure.

4. Perfect your online reputation

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone anymore, recruiters are also checking out your social media. So make sure to look after your digital presence! A tip: Google yourself! You will see what others see when they look you up. Even if the last night out with your friends was memorable, it’s important to remain discreet. What is private should stay private. And on the other hand, think to optimise your professional profile online, notably your LinkedIn page.

5. Say goodbye to the speculative job application letter! A speculative application email is much better!

As a speculative application is spontaneous in nature, it is better to focus on “efficiency”. The recruiter will not have time to devote to reading your cover letter. So, here is our advice. Send an email, with your CV as an attachment! Whilst we won’t provide a sample speculative job application letter (be original!), here are our tips for a speculative application email that is bound get the results you’re after.

1. Address your email to the right person
Sending a speculative application is all well and good. Just make sure you send it to the right person! How? Look on the company’s website and if you still haven’t found the right contact, try and call up the company to find out the best person to contact – they might give you a name. If not, you can also contact people directly on LinkedIn.
The final trick up your sleeve: name drop with a recommendation – this will increase your chances of making a great first impression!

2. Be considered and careful when writing
Get right to the point. Make it as easy as possible for your email to be read.

Here is a little checklist of how to write a speculative job application email:
  • Choose a clear and effective email subject line
  • Start and finish well with classic formulations
  • Structure your text in 3 short parts with a few sentences on your current situation, interest in your position and the company.
  • Highlight your personality.
  • Choose words well and illustrate specific examples
  • Be original ... but not too original
  • Indicate your availability for a possible interview
  • Also, before sending, check (and double check) for spelling errors!
3. The attachment: a great CV
Rather than a Word document, choose a PDF to avoid formulation errors and to ensure its easily readable.
Stay professional and emphasise what you have to offer. It’s down to you now… go get ‘em tiger!