Cover letters are particularly important in a speculative application. Remember, the company are not expecting to hear from you so you will need to make sure your application is worth reading.

There are many smaller organisations that do not widely advertise opportunities for interns or graduates as they take on small numbers each recruitment cycle and may offer specialist or niche services. However, this does not mean that these companies do not have opportunities for you, they just require a different approach to access these valuable and diverse roles.

A speculative application differs from applying for an advertised opportunity as you are enquiring about possible job opportunities in your chosen sector. You can send your cover letter and CV by post or email as there will not be specific application requirements in this instance and an online application form will not be an option.

Speculative applications are particularly useful for actuarial, financial planning and insurance loss adjusting roles as there are numerous companies in the UK that offer these services but do not recruit staff through a typical scheme.

It is mainly larger employers that run annual recruitment drives for internships and work experience opportunities. As these roles are usually quite well advertised by the bigger companies, they are often inundated with applications – Mercer had 65 graduate vacancies in 2014 to which 3,500 people applied!

Smaller to mid-tier companies, particularly those offering specialist services, do not recruit on this scale and tend to receive less interest from job hunters as they require a little more effort to seek out – these are the kind of companies you will want to target with a speculative application.

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