SOAS University of London

Careers Service

Speculative applications

Around 60% of jobs are never advertised, so you may have to be proactive in your job hunting. Although it is not necessarily easy and it can sometimes seem daunting, you should try to build contacts and networks of useful people. Keep in touch with these people and let them know that you are looking for a job in their sector.

You can also contact employers yourself. Identify those you are interested in and contact them to express your interest. You can ask for advice or tips on getting into the sector as well as finding out where they advertise vacancies, what types of positions they have and what sorts of skills they look for in potential employers. 

Steps to take
  • Find the name of the person responsible for the hiring within the organisation you're targeting and address all of your letters/e-mails to them directly. If you're unsure of their details, call the organisation to confirm their full name and contact information.
  • Ensure that your CV is tailored to the employer and sector.
  • In your covering letter, specify why you've chosen their organisation for your application.

For more information on this approach, come to the Careers Service and pick up The Careers Group information sheets entitled Covering Letters and Supporting Statements.

You can also come and talk to a careers consultant if you want some help with speculative applications.

Also, take a look Prospects and Target Jobs for advice and information regarding speculative applications.