How to write a Speculative Cover Letter. There are two example speculative cover letters on this page and while one of them is really great up to standards the other one has multiple errors on it.
Compare your covering letter with those examples.
Nicola’s covering letter for a speculative enquiry.
Nicola’s story: After time spent bringing up her children, Nicola is keen to return to work.
Career goal: Nicola is interested in working as a teaching assistant.
The situation: Nicola wants a career change and wants to find out the best way to highlight the transferable skills she can use in her new career.
Speculative Cover Letter – Wrong
61 Key Drive
Telephone: 0191 345 6789
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Nicola doesn’t include any contact details so there are no guarantees that it will end up on the desk of
the person who is responsible for recruitment. This is even more important if she’s applying to a large
23rd October 2022
Please find enclosed my CV. I am applying for any vacancies you may have within your school. Nicola’s just said that she’s applying for vacancies. It isn’t specific enough to tell the employer what type of roles she’s looking for. She needs to mention job roles or types of work so the reader is clear about her aims. (Nicola’s just said that she’s applying for vacancies. It isn’t specific enough to tell the employer what type of roles she’s looking for. She needs to mention job roles or types of work so the reader is clear about her aims.)
You can see from looking at my CV that I have the skills and experience relevant for the job. I would be grateful if you would consider my application either now or in the future.
(This letter looks like a standard letter that is being sent to lots of employers with no tailoring for each application.
This won’t impress a potential employer – they want to see that Nicola’s done some research on what they do and
which skills they’re looking for. Employers receive lots of applications and Nicola’s needs to stand out to get an
(Nicola’s covering letter is just saying ‘here is my CV’ when it should add to the information in her CV. Nicola’s CV will show what her skills and experience are; her covering letter should explain how these skills can help this employer, and show how keen she is to work for them. Together, her CV and covering letter should convince the reader she is the ideal person for the job.)
Speculative Cover Letter – Good One
61 Key Drive
Telephone: 0191 3456789
E-mail address: Your Email Here
23rd October 2022
Nicola’s done the right thing by contacting the employer and getting the name of the person who’s responsible for hiring staff. This will ensure it Mrs Jennie Jones arrives on the right person’s desk.
Slate Lane School
34 Slate Lane
Dear Miss Jones (Addressing the letter to a named person also shows the employer that Nicole hasn’t sent the same letter to many different employers.)
Do you currently have any teaching assistant opportunities within your school, (Nicola’s been very specific about the type of opportunities she’s looking for.) particularly supporting children with complex learning and behaviour needs? Slate Lane School has an excellent reputation with local parents for supporting children with learning difficulties. Your recent Ofsted Report suggests your designated unit for pupils with severe autistic spectrum disorders has a strong pool of teaching assistants who provide support. I believe I can make a valuable contribution to this team and continue to develop my own skills and knowledge. (This paragraph shows Nicola has researched the company she’s applying to and thought about why she’d like to work for them.)
During my two years on maternity leave I have undertaken voluntary work in my local Surestart Centre, working with children up to the age of five. The most rewarding aspect of this role was working on a one to one basis with children with challenging behaviour. I recently completed an introduction to teaching assistant course, which
has provided me with a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a teaching assistant. (Nicola highlights her relevant skills, qualifications, experience, achievements and personal qualities well here.)
I have enclosed my CV and would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss my skills and experiences with you and to learn more about your school. I will call next week to see if we can arrange a convenient meeting. (This final paragraph tells the reader what’s going to happen next. It’s assertive and confident without being pushy.)