Can’t find what you’re looking for among the published job offers? It’s time to start making speculative applications. We explain how to do it with a speculative application.
Both an emotional marathon and investment in the future, the speculative application has its advantages and its drawbacks. If you’re ready to take the plunge, we’ve got very important tips from HR.
1. Pay attention to the recipient
One of the main difficulties of the speculative application is knowing who to send it to. We advise you to avoid sending an e-mail to a generic address such as firstname.lastname@example.org. For your application to have an impact, you must target the recipient in a relevant way. A visit to LinkedIn or the corporate website to find the HR profiles of the company you are applying to is a must. But be careful to select the right person.
HR people are usually specialized in one type of position – especially in large organizations. It would be a shame to send a speculative application for a Tech position to the person in charge of recruiting sales profiles. With a little luck, the HR person will forward the CV to the right person, but when it comes to motivation and information about the company, you lose points immediately.
2. Find a named contact at the company
It’s much preferable to have a name than to go in blind when sanding speculative applications (same as in the previous point). Covering letters addressed to Dear Sir/Madam appear generic and have an unfortunate tendency to be overlooked!
There are various options for obtaining a name before you send a speculative application. The first is to go to the company’s website or to Google or LinkedIn and search for the company name and titles like ‘HR Manager’ or ‘Recruiter.’ Alternatively, you can call the HR department/general office phone and inquire about the best person to contact for job openings.
Yes, all of these techniques seem a little stalkerish, but acquiring that name can greatly improve your application’s chances of being read!
3. Make the first contact
Once you have a name, you have three options for contacting your potential employer for a speculative application: calling, emailing, or writing a letter. You’ll gain more attention if you make a phone call. If you think you have a decent phone manner, take the risk and make an initial contact; it will allow you to demonstrate your communication abilities. If you’re still not convinced, send an email or a letter.
Some claim that letters are preferable to emails since letters are nearly always opened, whilst emails may go unread – but the decision is ultimately yours!
4. Choose the right media for the right speculative application
Once you know who to address, you need to think about how to address them. Depending on the medium you choose, you need to adapt the tone and form of your speculative application. For an application by e-mail, we can’t give you any better advice than to keep it short. HR is formal, a spontaneous three-page cover letter is unlikely to be read. Keep it short but well formulated. Clearly indicate your approach and the position you are seeking in the subject line for the speculative application. Add links in the body of the e-mail to refer to useful elements of your profile. And don’t forget to attach your CV.
To submit a speculative application, you can also use LinkedIn. Since you’ve already done a tour to find your contact, you might as well continue on your way and send a direct message. In this case, your speculative application will be much more personal than by email. Also, keep it short. But above all, support your application by explaining your motivation in a structured way.
Finally, if the company offers to apply via an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), go ahead. But make sure that your speculative application is in line with what the company is saying.
5. Propose a personalized and original application
Since a speculative application does not respond to a company’s need or request, it must be highly personalized to attract the attention of recruiters. It is a process that requires a lot of tenacity and endurance, but in return, it allows you to gain personal character.
For internships and work-study programs, the effective speculative applications must be truly original. Otherwise, it is better to wait for the recruitment campaign of the company. Of course, applying in an original way is easier for creative jobs, but it is possible in all fields. A tech profile can very well dazzle HR with a very well done GitHub.
6. Be in a network approach
Launching a speculative application is more like a marathon than a sprint. And sometimes, you don’t really cross the finish line. Or, you don’t cross it at all when you thought you would. Rather than sending your CV and hoping for a job right away, start networking. Contact operational staff to learn more about a company’s business, get in touch with HR and build a lasting relationship. By developing a long-term relationship – or medium-term, that will help you in the future for speculative applications you don’t have to commit yourself forever – you put all the chances on your side so that when an opportunity arises, you are immediately thought of.