How to Write a Speculative Cover Letter That Makes an Employer Want to Interview You
Speculative means 'to show curiosity', in other words asking (read marketing yourself, not begging!) if there are any vacancies.
This type of approach to a prospective employer should be used as part of an overall strategy and not as a singular method. It should also include a quality and worthwhile professional CV.
Below, you'll learn how to produce an interview-getting speculative cover letter that will make employers want to interview you, plus see the pros and cons of speculative job applications.
The very nature of a tentative speculative enquiry means that the number of positive responses will be minimal but of very high quality. More importantly you may discover an unadvertised vacancy that only you will be applying for!
There are some downsides of course.
It is a laborious process and the constant rejections have to be dealt with and not taken personally. Technique is of paramount importance here and our Job Search Strategy coaching contains all you will need to know plus the 'How' to make this work.
To help you manage your expectations here are some pros and cons:
|See below for a speculative cover letter example|
- When you do find a vacancy it is likely to be unique and only you will know about it!
- You eliminate all the competition - this could be 100s of rival applicants if the job was actually advertised.
- It could open up a whole new world of previously unseen opportunities - after all you will be networking with like-minded professionals and peers.
- It is very time consuming, as you will need to spend a fair amount of time researching potential employers and then contacting them.
- You need a truly excellent speculative cover letter and CV that will create an immediate impact, otherwise employers will simply just ignore you.
- It requires a lot of planning, as you'll need to make time in your busy schedule to carry out the research, and schedule calls and visits to potential employers.
- You will need to be very organised and keep meticulous notes about who you've contacted and exactly what they said.
- You will also need to grow a thick skin - rejection will be a plenty, even with a good speculative cover letter and CV, as a lot of employers won't have any current vacancies for which you are suitable!
It will be more effective if you warm up the recipient with a phone call first and then follow this up with a well-crafted cover letter and CV that clearly demonstrates your capacity to add value.
This will also enable you to obtain the name and position of the decision-maker, who you will address the letter to in other words!
How to Write Your Own Speculative Covering Letter
- Remember that you are asking if there are any positions available, so whatever you present has to be something special as the employer might create a role just to suit you!
- It also needs to attract the attention of the decision-maker more than normal. You might be the only person that they consider at that time. So you had better look your best (in your speculative cover letter and CV).
- Apart from simply filling a non-existent vacancy, give them a reason to meet you face-to-face, get them interested in you. If you appear run-of-the-mill why should they want to employ you when there are no official jobs?
- This does not mean begging for a job.
- But it will mean that you SELL your capacity to ADD VALUE to the organisation through you deployment of skill and expertise. Employers are always attracted to an employee that can demonstrably add value. It's about what you can take to their party, not what they can give you.
- It will be no good simply listing your experience in a cover letter and saying that for the last 10 years you have been doing XYZ. This does not tell the reader how you have previously added value.
What Do You Need to Include in Your Letter?
- Treat your speculative cover letter as a sales pitch for your talent and tell the reader about your key features and benefits.
- Provide sufficient information for them to visualise that if you worked for them you could do the same (add value) as you have done for your previous employers.
- This means examples of how you achieved something, what you achieved (the difference you made to the business) and the tangible benefit you delivered. In other words numbers.
- This will typically involve saving money (figure), making money (figure) or increasing efficiency (% figure). These will quickly catch the reader's eye and if properly composed, will impress them.
- Often these figures will have to be 'guesstimates' - this is fine as long as they are not wildly optimistic. You must be able to support your claims verbally in an interview.
Speculative Cover Letter Example
Here is an example of the type of speculative cover letter that you might send to accompany your CV. The names, addresses, etc, are all fictitious and don't represent any real person or organisation.
To get a great speculative cover letter and CV that will impress an employer, please check out our professional CV writing company.
Also take a look at:
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