Careers Service

Speculative applications

A speculative application is when you contact an organisation, usually by sending a CV and covering letter, to market yourself for employment that has not been advertised. Here are some tips.

  • This is your sales pitch - you’re approaching them and need to be 100% clear why you want to work for them and what you have to offer - relevant experience, skills or fresh ideas?
  • Ensure you target your CV and email or cover letter convincingly to this organisation, demonstrating your awareness of how you could fit within it.
  • Although it might seem like a quick fix to send out lots of non-specific applications, nothing is more likely to go straight into the rubbish bin than a 'standard' letter which has clearly been sent to many different employers. So take your time. Quality definitely beats quantity here.
  • Telephone before you send an application - so you can identify the most relevant person to send it to, or at minimum check the employer’s website for an organisational chart/staff biographies.
  • If there are no obvious formalised recruitment procedures then they are likely to accept speculative applications. Some organisations do not though, so check their recruitment policy online first.
  • For further help in drafting speculative applications, see the CVs and covering letters section. You can also discuss your strategy with a Careers Consultant.