Is it worth making a speculative application?
A speculative application is when you approach the employer to see if they have any vacancies which is different from applying to an advertised vacancy. However is it worth the time and effort approaching a employer in this way?
Firstly there are no guarantees an application of this kind will be successful, it may not even be read and so could be a waste of time but if you take the view that ‘nothing ventured is nothing gained’ then read on.
The key to possible success is being strategic and prepared. Make the application relevant and considered.
Also it can depend on what type of industry you want to work in.
Make sure you know where jobs are advertised in your field. Some sectors such as business, finance , engineering and computing have plenty of openings advertised so keep looking and register for all the key websites. See our section on ‘Finding a job’ https://www.brighton.ac.uk/careers/looking-for-a-job/find-a-job/index.aspx
It may still be worth using the ‘speculative application’ route but always check if the company you are approaching have vacancies before sending it.
If you are in a creative sector such as art, design and media where jobs are not advertised that frequently or in some cases never at all then it may be essential to apply in this way.
Tailor your CV to the employer, make connections between yourself and what they do.
Have a clearly set out covering letter outlining exactly what you want, do you want a job, work experience or do you want to do some work observation or shadowing? If its for a specific amount of time such as a summer placement then be clear about the dates you can be available.
If you are looking to work in a creative sector then you can send links to examples of work. If you have a website you can show examples of your work through that or you can post photographs and video on a LinkedIn account. Although proceed with caution if the idea is fairly unique and could be copied.
Send the CV and letter to a named contact. If you don’t know this try finding them on LinkedIn or you can always call them beforehand.
Follow up the approach a few days later with a phone call again stating clearly why you have approached them.
There is a lot more advice on our website under the heading ‘Making speculative applications’.