The importance of tailoring speculative job applications

Although it may be tempting, sending a generic resume and cover letter to lots of different prospective employers is unlikely to boost your chances of landing a job.

Remember that even if you’re applying for a job speculatively, it’s important to ensure that your application is well-written, researched and shows that you’ve made the appropriate amount of effort.

You need to refer directly to the company you’re applying to, demonstrating that you’ve taken the time to find out more about what they do. Your resume and track record may be very impressive and just what they’re looking for but your resume and cover letter should also demonstrate that you understand the company and their current activities. Showing this awareness lets the company see that you have done your research and are eager to join their team. This understanding is what enables you to explain why you want to work there, as opposed to working elsewhere.

If your application is precise and detailed, an employer should be able to see where you fit into their team and company. Unless you can show this, they will disregard your application.

Remember to phone reception and find out a contact name, so that you’re not applying to ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, which looks as if you haven’t made enough of an effort. Also, if you’re e-mailing a contact, try and find a named contact and not just a generic email address.

To summarise, the key to stand-out speculative applications is to spend time on research, identify the best people to contact and tailor your resume according to the type of role you’re looking for and the company in question.

Even if the company is not immediately interested, if you can impress with your application, the prospective employer may well keep your details on file for when a suitable role arises; meaning that you haven’t wasted your efforts.

Written by Pardeep.