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If you’re on the hunt for an internship, chances are you’ve stumbled across a couple of companies that look great, but don’t seem to be advertising any open positions. Enter the magical speculative letter – while many people think of speculative applications as a waste of time, it can actually be an incredibly effective way of landing a unique opportunity. 

Whether an organisation doesn’t have the budget to advertise internships or they don’t have a fully developed programme, many hiring managers will be impressed by a display of enthusiasm and engagement in their company and may be interested in creating an opportunity if there isn’t one. Here’s everything you need to know about submitting a speculative application: 

Be as specific as possible in your letter 

Tailoring your letters according to the company you’re applying to is the most important thing to keep in mind when writing a speculative cover letter. Make sure you’ve researched the company thoroughly, and try when you can to address your letter directly to the hiring manager of an organisation rather than using the standard Sir/Madam.

Provide specific reasons you want to be an intern at their company, and list how you can contribute to their general productivity with your unique skills.  

Formats are flexible  

There’s no one way to write an excellent cover letter, but there are a couple of things you should aim to include. Your opening should include how long you’re available to work for, what you’re looking to do, and when you can begin.

In your body, you may enumerate what specific skills or qualifications you have, as well as your motivations for applying to the specific company you’re looking at. Finally, in your closing paragraph, you’ll want to reiterate your willingness to meet up and discuss the industry regardless of whether or not there may be a position open for you currently.  

End your letter with a call to action  

It’s always a good idea to express your interest in meeting up with the hiring manager of a company, even if there are no applications they’re able to offer.

Stating this is going to illustrate your genuine enthusiasm in the industry, and a good meeting can lead to other opportunities down the line – speculative applications can also be a great way to network, so don’t feel discouraged if you hear back and are told the company may not have anything open at the moment.

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