Picture the scene; you’ve found the perfect company – they share your brand values, they’ve done some amazing work and they’re in the ideal location – there’s just one catch… they’re not actually advertising any jobs which are relevant to you at the moment.

So what do you do? In this type of situation, you have only really have two options… you either walk away and keep your eye on them for future vacancies or you take a chance and send in a speculative application.

Now, speculative applications are tricky because they’ve not actually been requested (ie. you’re just sending in your cover letter and CV out of the blue) – so you need to be careful to pitch them just right.

Here are our top Dos and Don’ts for speculative job applications.

Do: Enquire On The Back Of Another Role:

If you’ve found a role the company are advertising for but it’s not right for you, there’s no harm in getting in touch on the back of it – that’s exactly what our Digital Marketing Executive Scarlett did – and that’s how she got her job here at Bubble. In that situation, Scarlett wasn’t right for the role that we had at the time but soon after we had another role and, because I already had her CV in my inbox and she was fresh in my mind after having a bit of a chat, we immediately considered her for the role. Remember, sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time…

job applicatioinDon’t: Get In Touch If You’ve Applied For A Previous Role:

While it’s OK to send in a speculative application on the back of another role, I’d really warn you against sending in a speculative application if you’ve already applied for a role with that company. Why? Because they’ll already have your details in their system – so if you’re right for their company, they’ll already have you in their prospective ‘maybe’ pile and will get in touch when a relevant role crops up. On the other hand, if they’ve already decided you’re not the right fit, sending in a speculative application is only going to annoy them and isn’t going to get you any further forward.

Do: Be Polite & Personable:

With a speculative application, it’s important to ensure that you’re still polite and personable on all correspondence eg. emails, cover letters, telephone calls. At the end of the day, you’re still putting yourself forward for a job (albeit one which hasn’t been advertised or doesn’t actually exist yet) so you need treat it with the same respect you would any other application.

Don’t: Send In A CV With No Explanation:

With this type of application, it’s essential that you include some kind of covering letter or email to explain why you’re sending in your CV when there’s no relevant job up for grabs. In your covering letter, you need to explain your reasons for your speculative application eg. your shared brand values or your admiration for their previous work or clients – and why you’d be a good fit for their company (the message: a generic cover letter won’t cut it in this instance!). If you don’t send in some kind of covering letter, there’s a good chance your CV will end up in the bin or ‘Deleted Items’ folder because the employer will think they’ve received your CV by accident.

With your cover letter and email, if possible, try and address it to the right person eg. ‘Amy’, rather than ‘Sir/Madam’. Again, this will prove it’s not just a generic email/letter and will also demonstrate that you’ve done your research. LinkedIn can be the perfect place for finding contact details or alternatively you could try and look at other jobs the company has advertised for a contact name.

Do: Include Your Contact Details & Explain Your Current Work Situation:

Following on from the last point, in your cover letter or cover email, it’s important to include your contact details and explain what your current work situation is eg. are you currently employed? Are you about to graduate? Are you between roles at the moment? These are all questions the employer will have, so if you can include key details like this in your cover letter (including how long your notice period is), you’ll have all the answers ready for them and it’ll save you both time.

Don’t: Be Too Pushy:

When signing off your cover letter or email, you need to be careful not to come across as too pushy. OK, so you want to show you’re enthusiastic and really want to work for that company – but at the same time you don’t want to come across as desperate or arrogant. For example, instead of finishing with something like “I can’t wait to meet you and discuss my new role at your company”, it might be better to go with something more like “I’d be excited to discuss any potential future opportunities at your company”. The second example is much less presumptuous and it also shows that you have a real passion for their company.

Following on, once you’ve submitted your application, it’s OK to follow up a few days later to check they’ve received it and it’s not accidentally been sent to the infamous ‘Junk’ folder – but after the initial phone call, it’s a good idea to hold back and wait for them to get back in touch. Remember, desperate is never a good look…

So there you go; my top Dos and Don’ts for making speculative job applications. Think I’ve missed anything out? Feel free to leave a comment below…