Writing a speculative application

AbbyAdvice, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

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Not all placements and graduate roles are advertised – sometimes you need to use your initiative to seek out work experience opportunities. This is where speculative applications come in. Have a read of our tips that will help you to write a speculative application that will have employers saying ‘I need to hire this person immediately.’

Do your research

Have a look at the company’s website. Some organisations will have a formal recruitment process in place and might state that they don’t accept speculative applications. Others, typically SMEs, are more open to them. Some companies will even encourage it on their website!

Check first so that you know how best to approach it.

Address your application to a named person

Addressing your application ‘To whom it may concern’ won’t do you any favours. Addressing it to a named person on the other hand, shows you’ve done your research and you aren’t just emailing every company on the planet.

If you’re not sure who to address it to, you could call and ask for the contact details of the recruitment team.

Make it clear what you’re looking for

Is it two weeks of work experience? Is it a 12-month placement? Is it a permanent job?

Be as specific as possible, so that the person reading your application can work out whether they have a role for you.

Show that you know what the company does and why you want to work there

In your covering letter, make sure to show that you know what the company does. This is another way of letting them know that you’ve done your research and you’re keen to work there.

It’s also good to talk about why you want to work there! Is it because of the corporate social responsibility work they do? Do they have a multi-cultural work force? Whatever it is, make sure to mention it.

Summarise your skills and strengths

Reflect on your experience, skills and knowledge, and detail what you can offer them. Perhaps it’s experience managing social media channels for a society you’re involved in; maybe it’s experience leading on a project; or perhaps it’s a passion for the use of IT in business.

Whatever it is that you could bring to a company, tell them.

Use evidence

Everyone can say they’re a skilled problem solver and effective communicator. What you need to do is back this up with evidence. Can you mention a time when something you implemented has had positive results? Or a time when you’ve had to solve a problem? If you can, include this.

End on a positive note

A great way to round off your covering letter is with something positive. For example, ‘You can contact me using the details above. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.’

Just be sure to actually include your contact details. Your email address, phone number and a link to your LinkedIn profile would be great.

Get support from the Careers and Placements team

Don’t forget, we can help you with your speculative applications! Head to Aston Futures to book a 1-to-1 appointment with us now.

Photo by Daniel Bosse on Unsplash