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Speculative cover letter samples to enquire about a job

    Sign says looking for a job. How to use a speculative cover letter to help

    Instead of waiting for a job to be advertised, you can send a speculative cover letter that markets your skills and experience. The aim of this type of canvassing cover letter is to introduce yourself to an organisation or recruitment consultant and get your resume on file.

    Even if there are not any specific job openings with an organisation, by making yourself and your achievements known to them you can be a step ahead of other candidate when vacancies do become available.

    Unlike a cover letter applying for an advertised role, a speculative application will vary according to the nature of the organisation and the industry you’re applying to.

    Another type of speculative cover letter is a networking letter. In this, you request information and assistance in your job search efforts.

    What to include in a speculative cover letter

    1. Why you’re contacting the prospective employer (for example: ‘I recently completed a [course in] and I am currently looking for my next opportunity’)
    2. Refer to specific roles that you feel you’d be suited to and would add value / benefit the organisation.
    3. Highlight your skills and qualifications. Even though you’re not applying for an advertised role, focus on what experience you bring that would make you an ideal candidate for future work or challenges the organisation or industry faces.
    4. Summarise what’s different about you. Explain why you’d be a great fit for the organisation.
    5. Request a follow-up meeting to discuss future opportunities and potential roles.

    Mutual connections

    When making a speculative enquiry about available positions, check to see (via LinkedIn, for example) whether you have a mutual acquaintance with the hiring manage. This can give you an immediate connection and help get your resume noticed. Include in the cover letter your connection’s name, and the context in which you know them.

    Keep track of job enquiries

    Keep a record of when and who you send a cover letter to. Send them a follow-up letter or call them regularly to remind them about you and to let them know you’re still keen to work for their organisation.

    Sample speculative cover letter template – enquiry to a recruiter on LinkedIn

    Dear [their name]

    I came across your profile on LinkedIn and see that you are a recruitment specialist in [insert sector].

    As a [insert your role title/function] interested in new positions in the [insert city] area, I would be keen to find out more about the positions you place and whether your agency might be able to assist me in my search.

    I have [insert number] years of experience in the industry and most recently I have [insert a brief outline of your recent professional experience].

    My key skills are [insert a few key points or strengths] and my career highlights include:

    • [insert achievement]
    • [insert achievement]
    • [insert achievement]
    • [insert achievement]

    [In this paragraph, summarise what is ‘special’ about you – Example: ‘I am a strong and effective communicator and proven leader, able to navigate the corporate environment and respond to its demands.]

    I look forward to discussing my potential to contribute to your clients’ needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me on [insert your mobile number].

    Kind regards
    [Your name]

    Sample speculative cover letter template – email enquiry to an HR manager

    Dear [their name]

    My name is [your name] and I am an experienced and passionate [your role eg engineer, retail manager] with [insert number] years’ experience working in [insert sectors eg resources, hospitality, retail].

    I have the upmost respect for [the name of the company the HR manager works for] and was particularly impressed with [insert information about what the company has done recently eg a new project, initiative].

    I possess [insert relevant qualifications, certificates, licenses] and experience and I most recently was employed with [your most recent employer] where I [insert achievement eg won employee of the year last year for delivering cost savings to clients, resulting in $2M in additional revenue].

    I am aware that the industry is facing a number of challenges such as [insert issue]. My varied background and expertise enables me to add value across [insert relevant stakeholder or output eg customers, clients, projects].

    I appreciate you may not be currently hiring, however I would appreciate the opportunity to meet you to discuss my potential to contribute to your organisation. My contact details are [your email] or [your mobile number].

    [Their name], I thank you for your time. I look forward to speaking with you.

    Kind regards

    [Your name]