Speculative Cover Letter: Example & How to Write (+Template)

There’s always going to be more competition for low-hanging fruit, and there’ll be times when all lower branches are stripped bare. With just a little ingenuity and courage, though, and you could be having your pick of virtually untouched groves. This is the little-known power of speculative job applications.

 

Although if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. There’s no denying that it takes a certain something to approach a company out of the blue and ask for a job. Rejection is bound to feel more personal when you’re the only one being rejected. How to start a speculative cover letter is a challenge in itself.

 

This article is here to show you how to write a speculative cover letter at least as good as the speculative cover letter sample below. Read on to learn how to laser-focus your speculative job application cover letter to get more results than ever before.

 

Use the LiveCareer cover letter builder and your cover letter will write itself. Choose a professional template, answer a few easy questions and the creator will generate a professional cover letter for you with just one click.

 

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Speculative cover letter template 

 

George Harvey

79 Fraserburgh Rd

Kent

ME7 1PB

070 5555 5555

george.h.harvey@lcmail.co.uk

 

16th November 2021

 

Gabriel Birch

Managing Director

Aika International

77 Roman Rd

LS1 2DX

Kent

 

Dear Gabriel,

 

Having recently decided to seek new challenges, I have taken the liberty of writing to you to enquire as to what employment opportunities are available at Aika International for a dynamic and success-driven business manager. I have 5+ years’ experience working in training delivery and entrepreneurial spaces, very much in line with Aika International’s sphere of operations. A firm believer in thinking outside the box, I recently unlocked 3 revenue streams for Righton Group, bringing in over £70,000 profit annually at no initial outlay.

 

Also at Righton Group, I led a massive drive for new business that finished its first stage with 15 new contracts being signed and a database of over 500 potential new B2B clients throughout the country. I cooperated with external stakeholders to secure an £8.5 million investment contract with a third party, negotiating and renegotiating the conditions until they were approved by our finance director. As this letter may already have suggested to you, I am not one to shy away from taking the initiative and being proactive. Last year, I took it upon myself to renegotiate the terms of cooperation with our main overseas partner to include a 15% expansion of operating territory, a relatively minor victory at the time that is paying dividends now as that territory has become incredibly valuable.

 

As you can see, I have a proven track record of going above and beyond and getting results. Given Aika International’s recent acquisition of Jo’s Training, I think my skills and experience could be particularly useful now and moving forward.

 

Thank you for taking the time to consider my interest in working with Aika International, I appreciate having had the opportunity to begin making my case. I would love to discuss further what I could do for the company at your convenience.

 

Yours Sincerely,



George Harvey

 

Here is how to write a speculative cover letter:

 

1. Make sure your speculative cover letter header is set out right

 

Your unsolicited cover letter had better look the part when it’s first opened. Align to the right your full name, postal address, email, and phone number. Leave a line and add the date of writing. Leave another line and align to the left the addressee’s name, their job title, company name, and company postal address.

 

Speculative cover letter example header

 

George Harvey

79 Fraserburgh Rd

Kent

ME7 1PB

070 5555 5555

george.h.harvey@lcmail.co.uk

 

16th November 2021

 

Gabriel Birch

Managing Director

Aika International

77 Roman Rd

LS1 2DX

Kent

 

You can adjust every cover letter created in the builder to meet the job requirements. Choose the name of your profession and the company to which you’re applying, and the builder will automatically adapt the content for you. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply for the job in record time.

 

Create your cover letter nowcover letter builder

 

Create your cover letter now

 

2. Choose a professional and friendly salutation for your speculative cover letter

 

It should go without saying that whoever you end up addressing your speculative cover letter to is going to pay far closer attention to things like what salutation you go with when yours is the only cover letter to cross their desk. Go with something friendly, professional, and appropriately formal.

 

How formal is appropriately formal? That depends on what your research into the company’s corporate culture has told you. It’ll also depend on the seniority gap between you and your reader. Always err on the side of formality, especially given the unsolicited nature of your approach.

 

Go with ‘Dear + first name’ if you feel comfortable doing so and if it makes sense to do so given the company’s corporate culture. Otherwise, go with ‘Dear + title + surname’ instead. Be sure you know the person’s sex before using gendered titles like ‘Ms’ or ‘Mr’. Some names will leave you guessing.

 

Always use ‘Ms’ for women who don’t hold academic, medical or military titles. If, after having thoroughly searched online, you still somehow can’t determine the hiring manager’s gender (and don’t feel comfortable using their first name only), then use the somewhat awkward ‘Dear + first name + surname’.

 

That said, there’s really no excuse for not being able to figure out someone’s gender knowing their name and place of work. But what if you don’t know to whom exactly to address your speculative cover letter? The short, easier-said-than-done answer is ‘find out’. Search online, call up and ask.

 

The usual best practice is to address a cover letter to the relevant person’s role if you can’t find their name. For example, ‘Dear Store Manager’. Failing that, the function they fill, e.g. ‘Dear Hiring Manager’. But that’s a sure-fire way to have your email deleted or letter recycled when sending an unsolicited letter.

 

Writing a speculative cover letter salutation

 

Dear Gabriel, 

 

3. Use the opening paragraph to grab your reader’s attention

 

There’s a lot of pressure on the opening paragraph of your speculative cover letter. How to start a speculative cover letter is a tricky thing. Here’s someone with your cover letter on their screen and absolutely no obligation to read it. If your first sentences don’t grab their attention, it’s game over.

 

Luckily, there’s a tried and tested approach you can take here. It doesn’t require anything fancy, just a solid, plodding kind of step-by-step writing. Your opening paragraph has to be short if it’s going to get read. About 40–80 words, no more. It’ll need to do just three things well and that’s all.

 

Your speculative cover letter opening should make your enthusiasm for the role (and maybe even the company) be palpable at every turn. It should also give a good indication of what you can bring to the company. Finally, it should make it clear that your goals and values line up with the company’s.

 

So introduce yourself, state why it is that you’re writing, and launch into an achievement from your current or former job. By showing what you’ve done for previous employers you send a clear signal regarding what you can bring to this company if hired. More on writing compelling achievements in the next section.

 

Other than presenting your reader with a past (but recent and relevant) achievement, your opening paragraph should describe how your values and goals are a match with those of the company. Read through its website and generally search online to get an idea of what the company sees as its goals and values.

 

If you don’t have any relevant experience or achievements to write of (including from your studies or volunteer work), then include a belief statement instead. A belief statement will allow you to elaborate on how you’re a great match for the company in terms of corporate culture, stated values and mission.

 

If somebody from within the company suggested that you contact it in search of job opportunities, then definitely mention this fact at the outset. Being referred to a position is nothing to play down and could make all the difference. Hiring referrals is carries benefits for the employer, too.

 

Speculative cover letter example opening paragraph

 

Having recently decided to seek new challenges, I have taken the liberty of writing to you to enquire as to what employment opportunities are available at Aika International for a dynamic and success-driven business manager. I have 5+ years’ experience working in training delivery and entrepreneurial spaces, very much in line with Aika International’s sphere of operations. A firm believer in thinking outside the box, I recently unlocked 3 revenue streams for Righton Group, bringing in over £70,000 profit annually at no initial outlay.

 

You don’t have to create any content yourself. The LiveCareer cover letter maker will automatically suggest the best content for your cover letter with ready-made examples and expert tips.

 

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4. Show what benefits you can bring to the company

 

This will be the main part of your speculative cover letter. The goal of the previous paragraph was in large part to get your reader to stick with your cover letter long enough to reach this part. The section will be made up of 1–2 paragraphs and will be 120–200 words long (the shorter the better, though).

 

It’ll be little more than a string of achievements, 2–3 in total, with minimal explanation to tie them together and link them back to the company to which you’re applying and its goals. An achievement is a description of actions you undertook at work on your own initiative and the benefits your employer got as a result.

 

These actions will most often be in response to a project, challenge or problem. The benefits your employer gleans from your initiative will always boil down to increases in profits, even if only indirectly. For example, benefits may include increasing revenues, decreasing costs, saving time, boosting morale, etc.

 

You can use something like the APR (Action + Problem/Project = Result) formula to generate concise accomplishment statements in order to describe your achievements. The most important thing is that you quantify everything you can. The benefits that went to your employer should always be quantified.

 

Speculative cover letter example main body paragraph

 

Also at Righton Group, I led a massive drive for new business that finished its first stage with 15 new contracts being signed and a database of over 500 potential new B2B clients throughout the country. I cooperated with external stakeholders to secure an £8.5 million investment contract with a third party, negotiating and renegotiating the conditions until they were approved by our finance director. As this letter may already have suggested to you, I am not one to shy away from taking the initiative and being proactive. Last year, I took it upon myself to renegotiate the terms of cooperation with our main overseas partner to include a 15% expansion of operating territory, a relatively minor victory at the time that is paying dividends now as that territory has become incredibly valuable.

 

5. End your speculative cover letter on a confident CTA

 

Take 40–60 words to summarise your achievements and tie them back into potential benefits for the company. Do this only if there are loose ends in your previous paragraphs or if your achievements aren’t obviously relevant to the company and its goals. Otherwise, don’t repeat yourself or labour the point.

 

Thank your reader for the time they’re putting into dealing with your unsolicited, speculative application. Not only is this good manners but it might bring out their more pro-social tendencies. End with your eagerness to continue the discussing and include a bold (but not overconfident) call to action (CTA).

 

Speculative cover letter example closing paragraphs

 

As you can see, I have a proven track record of going above and beyond and getting results. Given Aika International’s recent acquisition of Jo’s Training, I think my skills and experience could be particularly useful now and moving forward.

 

Thank you for taking the time to consider my interest in working with Aika International, I appreciate having had the opportunity to begin making my case. I would love to discuss further what I could do for the company at your convenience.

 

6. Sign off in a way that matches your speculate cover letter salutation

 

Many aspects of writing a speculative cover letter can be quite challenging, this isn’t one of them. Simply use ‘Yours Sincerely’ if you addressed your cover letter to a named person and ‘Yours Faithfully’ if you weren’t able to track down a name. Leave a couple of lines and type your full name.

 

The extra space is for your handwritten signature should you intend to submit your speculative cover letter in hardcopy. Leave these extra spaces in even if you know that you’ll be sending your cover letter electronically. You could copy and paste a high quality scan of your signature, but it’s not necessary. 

 

Speculative cover letter example sign-off

 

Yours Sincerely,



George Harvey

 

Keep these things in mind when getting ready to send your speculative cover letter

 

Perhaps even more so than a solicited cover letter, your speculative cover letter has be absolutely word-perfect and have impeccable presentation. No one will notice a lack of mistakes in your speculative cover letter, but one spelling or grammatical error and you can be dismissed as a crackpot.

 

So proofread your speculative cover letter as thoroughly as you can. Use any software crutches you need to in order to catch any spelling mistakes and rudimentary grammatical errors. Get someone you trust to read over your work and suggest some changes —they’ll see things you missed.

 

Your speculative cover letter should end up being 250–400 words long and nicely fill (but not exceed) a single A4 page. Make sure it’s as clear and readable as possible by using plenty of white space and choosing a professional font, like Noto, Arial, Liberation or Calibri. Leave font size at 11–12 points.

 

The overall look and layout of your speculative cover letter should match that of your speculative CV. The two together form a single application and their visual aspects should reflect this fact. Always send your cover letter in PDF in order to preserve your formatting (unless asked from something else).

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Choose a professional CV template and quickly fill in every CV section using ready-made content and expert advice.

 

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I really hope this article has helped you gain the confidence and the tools to step off the beaten path and take the initiative in your job search. Please share your speculative job search experiences with us in the comments section below. Leave any other questions or comments there as well.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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