What is a Speculative Application & How to Write a Spontaneous Application

Speculative job application is one of the most proactive way of finding a new job when you need a change or a step up in your career. What do you do when you can’t find a suitable vacancy to apply for after scouring the web for hours? Or when all the vacancies you can apply for, you already did and now it’s a waiting game? Most of us would usually get this urge to apply for more opportunities, so we resort to forwarding our CV to random company emails, or sending Direct Messages to Company’s Social Media inboxes asking for a vacancy. Most are usually like this;

That’s how majority of young professionals send what we call speculative applications. According to Cambridge Dictionary, Speculative Application, or otherwise known as Spontaneous application, is a request for a job sent to an employer, even if no job has been advertised, or the act of sending such requests.

What most of us do in the name of speculative job application or spontaneous application is some sort of mass mailing employers and recruiters asking for a job. No one likes random emails popping up in their inbox with content or information you can’t relate to or didn’t ask for, more so, those asking for a favor in the most mainstream way ever.

So what do you do when you can’t find a suitable vacancy to apply for? Give up? Certainly not! If done well, Speculative job applications can be a more direct route into employment. Unlike the usual “Employer posts job – You Apply” route, Speculative Job Applications are less competitive and if done well, increases your chances of being employed. So how do you do it well? Here’s is an example, or two…

Well done Spontaneous application on LinkedIn that led to a successful hire.
Well done Spontaneous application on LinkedIn that led to a successful hire.

Here’s another one, (one of my best) example I found on the internet…

Speculative Request for Connection Sample
Speculative Request for Connection Sample

So you might be wondering, How do I get to this level? Here’s how….

Know what you have to offer

This is where it all begins, knowing your strengths, and understand your needs and skills. This will come in handy when deciding if a company is the best fit for you. Remember, it’s not just about getting the job, but getting a job that best suits your skills and career goals. Can you answer these questions…

  • What are my key skills?
  • What are my Achievements so far?
  • What can I add to any new team?

Knowing who you are, your strengths and how you’ll suit a certain role in a company, then being able to communicate that clearly without overselling yourself (Please, never do that!), makes you look confident about yourself..

Do your Research…

Now you know who you are and what you can offer, it’s time to find a company or role that best suits you and where you’ll fit right in and be a much needed addition. Here’s what you should know by the end of your research;

  • What does the company do?
  • What are they working on currently?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • How are they performing in the market?
  • What opportunities do you see in their industry that is still untapped?
  • Who is the best person to contact? Certainly not HR!

All the above except the last will help you decide how you can be valuable to them and vice versa. On who to contact, it’s best to find someone with hiring authority, Department Head maybe, or the Company Director. These are the people who know the company goals, direction and it’s needs. Exploit that. Where to find them? LinkedIn for starters, then go on to Google, I’m sure you know how to use those.

Writing & Submitting your spontaneous application…

When writing your Application, center it around your strengths and career goals, and how the company requirements in that role suits you. And here is the trick, or the tricky part, show how, don’t tell. Yes, you are ambitious, but just how ambitious? Give an example. Sell yourself, make them want to meet you today!

Now you’ve drafted your application, it’s time to decide how better to deliver it. Here’s the thing about Speculative Applications, they don’t have to be official, just right! If the best person to contact is usually more active on Twitter, why not DM them? Find a mode of delivery that increases your chances of getting a reply and send.

This might look like too much work but it just never goes wrong. According to Oliver Tambo, an HR Expert,

When messaging a #recruiter on #LinkedIn, it’s important to be #concise and to the point. Recruiters typically receive several messages in a day and at times find it tough engaging in a back and forth chat before arriving at the point ??. Always meet opportunity with an advantage

Now go forth and shoot your shot…

Feaured Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

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