Speculative applications


Write a speculative letter or email to a potential employer to enquire about upcoming job roles or to express an interest in working for a specific company. The majority of employment within media occurs through speculative applications as very few roles are formally advertised.

Research companies

Learn about companies to understand their business, the programmes they make, types of articles they write or campaigns they have worked on and use this information to write your speculative applications.

Find a contact name

Try to find out the name of the employee who deals with recruitment within each company by ringing the company or making a contact at a networking event. Personally addressed speculative applications are the most effective and professional.

What to include in your speculative application

A speculative application should include a cover letter and a CV. Media and journalism applicants should also include one or two examples of their published work. Include links to any relevant websites, blogs, ezines or social networking sites you are involved with on your CV and in your cover letter.

See Prospects for further information on speculative job applications and job application power words. We also have information on writing a CV and a cover letter on our website.

Once you have completed your CV make a careers discussion appointment with a CV adviser to go through your CV or cover letter.

Follow up

Follow up the speculative application with a telephone call to the company – wait between one and two weeks from sending your speculative application before doing this. Although you may not speak to the contact you wrote to it can be a good opportunity to find out about:

  • How the company recruits
  • Future opportunities within the company
  • Where the company usually advertises
  • Their recruitment processes

If you are unable to speak to your contact it may be appropriate to send them a polite reminder email. If you do not hear anything back after this then it is time for you to pursue alternative companies - do not nag your contact.

Getting an interview

Congratulations for getting to the interview stage. This is a competitive field so it is important to perform well at interview. See the interviews pages or make a practice interview appointment for help preparing for interviews.


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