Speculative Cover Letters – What You Need To Know
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have your heart set on working for a particular company, but they don’t seem to be advertising for any vacancies? This is where speculative cover letters come in. They are usually sent alongside your CV to apply to a company that is not currently advertising for new staff.
Any cover letter should be tailored to the position you are applying for. A speculative cover letter should be very specific to the organisation you are interested in. Let’s have a look at what you should include within it.
What to Include
Whilst the foundations should be the same with any cover letter, the specifics will vary depending on the organisation that you are approaching. You should always include the core details such as your personal information, the name of the manager you are writing to, and it should be signed off professionally (with Yours sincerely or Yours faithfully depending on how you started the letter).
You should try and break the cover letter down into three core paragraphs. First, you should outline the type of role you are looking for, and why this particular company interests you. The second paragraph should explain your skills and background and what you can bring to the table. The final paragraph is where you really sell yourself. Why are you the right fit for the company? The fact that you have used your own initiative and contacted them directly will definitely resonate with them, but if they are not currently looking to hire you need to justify why they should consider taking you on.
Why Should You Send a Speculative Cover Letter?
Companies don’t always advertise roles for a number of different reasons. It could be that they are advertising internally first before opening the position up to the wider public. Alternatively, they may not have any jobs available at the moment.
By sending a speculative cover letter you will instantly catch the attention of the managers. Not only does it show that you are proactive, but as you have contacted the company directly it shows that you have a real interest in the business. Even if they don’t have any roles available at the moment, it is a foot in the door and you are bound to be first on their mind when something does crop up.
How Do I Send a Speculative Application?
Once you have crafted a cover letter that exposes you in the best possible light, you now need to get it sent. Spend some time researching who works within the organisation (LinkedIn is great for stalking people!), and find the right person to address your cover letter to. Try to find their business email address too – sending a cover letter to an info@ email address is likely to get lost or deleted.
Your subject line is really important as you want your speculative cover letter to stand out in a busy inbox. Make it short, to the point, but a click-bait style too. After all, you just need them to open the email and then your cover letter should win them over.
Once you have sent your speculative cover letter along with your CV unfortunately it is just a waiting game. Usually, the company will be in touch within a couple of weeks to let you know whether there are any positions available or not. Be patient though, as you have to remember that managers are busy people. If they are not thinking about hiring at the moment, your cover letter will go to the bottom of their priority list.
That being said, if you haven’t heard anything back after a few weeks it is a good idea to send a follow-up email. Or even better, give them a call – that way they will have to give you an answer there and then.
We hope this has helped give you some information on why it is a good idea to send a speculative cover letter, and the sorts of things you should include. If you would like any more help, particularly with finding a new job during these challenging times, the team at Brooks and Kirk are on hand to assist you. Simply drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.