Speculative job applications

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Speculative applications are an excellent way for you to target particular employers, and get the job you want. To be successful you will need to be persistent and not let any rejection letters or negative feedback dissuade you from your employment goals.

The amount and quality of your applications will determine whether you get the chance of employment. So you need to send as many high quality applications as possible.

To which business shall I apply?

A proven method is to apply to businesses what are expanding, opening new premises or have just won a large contract.

If you see a new building being constructed, renovated or demolished, make enquiries to see if there are any job opportunities. You could reveal a wealth of information about the new building owner or the reason for renovation, by being confident enough to ask the workers on the site. It sounds silly, but it works.

All sections of the media have business divisions, whether they are newspapers, television or the Internet. Keeping abreast of the movements in the business world is essential for spotting potential employment.

Use all means at your disposal. Ask your friends and family to keep you posted about any changes in the businesses they work for.


To produce a reasonable application you need to do some basic research into the businesses you are applying. Speculative applications require as much preparation as regular job applications, so don't skimp on the research just because it's speculative.

Once you have researched a few businesses, you will know where to look for company information and become a more efficient researcher. You will be able to produce more speculative applications that you thought possible, increasing your chances greatly.

You will need the following information about your target business:

  • Names of people to contact
  • Name and address of business
  • Telephone and fax numbers
  • Business products / services, size, locations, number of employees, history and financial information

The best source for company information is the internet. All large businesses have a website and are keen to tell you about their products or services. They usually go a step further and provide you with downloadable brochures, promotional material and even the company history online. Look for anything that will help your job prospects.

Libraries often have all the business information you need on computers equipped with searchable business databases. They also hold business journals, papers and magazines, all containing valuable information. Some offer free internet access.

All this information will provide you with a broad understanding of business and help you at the interview stage. You can impress interviewers with your knowledge of their business and others too.

Example speculative cover letter

Dear Mr. Jones

I read in the Daily Post that your company is to expand and move into new premises in March. Your companies' takeover of 'SuperSoft' was well publicised in the business press and will provide you with a world class graphics suite to complement your web design package.

I am interested in a position in your design department. You will see from my attached CV I hold a DDA in interface design and have 4 years experience in creating graphics software. I would relish the chance to work for the world leader in creative software development.

Enclosed is a self addresses envelope for your convenience. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

We can focus on the most important parts of the cover letter

You have researched the company

  • Company to expand in March
  • Move to new premises
  • Takeover of 'SuperSoft'
  • Well publicised in the business press

You have an understanding of its products and their reputation

  • World class graphics suite
  • Web design package

Brief outline of your skills

  • DDA in interface design
  • 4 Years experience

Other important sections

  • Attached a CV
  • Enclosed is a self addresses envelope

Read our advice on using a recruitment agency.

Modified: 04 November 2013

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