Speculative Approaches

Many jobs, particularly in competitive industries such as publishing and media, are not advertised; the process of proactively applying with a CV and cover letter is called “speculative” and is the norm in competitive industries.

This approach can help you uncover opportunities and might just get you in front of the right person at the right time. It demonstrates initiative, keenness and a “can-do” attitude.

Speculative applications need to be focused, with emphasis on what you have to offer rather than what you want from the employer. You need to target the right employers, be very clear about the type of work you are seeking and be able to produce specific evidence of your ability to do the job well.

Make a list of employers

  • Use our online vacancy database to build your list of employers and organisations that you can approach speculatively
  • The UofG Alumni LinkedIn group allows you to connect with graduates from UofG who are working in your area of interest
  • Identify the main players in your industry area; to get to these use Prospects A-Z, select job title and then scroll down to the employers section
  • Look for smaller organisations as well as large ones
  • If you see a job advertised that is perfect but it's out of your reach professionally right now - connect with the recruiter anyway asking if there are other opportunities that might be more suitable for you

Write a targeted CV and cover letter

  • Phone the organisation or use LinkedIn to get the name/job title of the best person to address it to
  • At the end of your letter make reference to the fact that they probably receive a high volume of speculative applications and you will contact them to discuss further, this gives you the control
  • Become a professional networker and use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to boos your access to potential connections

Follow up and keep a record

  • After two weeks, follow up on your promise and contact the named individual
  • Keep a record of where you are with your search as it has the potential to get confusing