Write an unsolicited application: cover letter, CV, e-mail


An unsolicited application is a good way to get your dream job.
Getty Images

Anyone who has not found a suitable job advertisement on job exchanges or career sites can apply speculatively in many companies. This is usually associated with in-depth research about the company – but you could get your dream job for that.

Tips for an unsolicited application: Find out the right contact person and write your cover letter as specifically and individually as possible.

Avoid clichés and explain why you want to start in this company and what you can offer. Orientate yourself on a requirement profile that you have created yourself.

Have you trawled through job portals and career pages from companies – but haven’t found a job advertisement that suits you? Then write an unsolicited application! So you can not only try for your dream job, but also prove your commitment. Yes, of course, there is no predefined position. But one advantage is that you don’t have any competition either.

You can read here which companies are well suited for this form of application, how to write the cover letter and which documents are required.

Unsolicited application: That is why researching the company is so important

Anyone who applies to a company for a job on their own initiative can already make a good first impression. In the worst case, your application folder will be sorted out directly because the position you want is not currently available or the company is not currently hiring any new employees. Therefore, first find out whether the company is planning a hiring freeze. This is sometimes the case when the company is going through a crisis or is impacted by environmental factors such as the current gas crisis and high inflation. Often, however, your effort is seen – and it is not uncommon for you to get the job you want most.

Maybe you already have a company in mind that you really want to start with. You usually have better chances with corporations because they offer more entry opportunities, capacities and capital than smaller companies or start-ups. But you can also find out on the homepage there whether unsolicited applications are welcome. Alternatively, you can inquire with the respective HR department. In this way, you can also establish personal contact and find out who to send your application to. Also contacts through acquaintances or job portals such as linkedin or xing, job fairs or an internship can bring you closer to your dream job. You can have your application forwarded directly to the responsible contact person.

read too

Write to? No thanks: What companies like BMW, Facebook, Siemens and Adidas want to see from applicants instead

Introduction, main part, conclusion: This is how you write an unsolicited application

But how do you actually write an unsolicited application? In contrast to an application for a job advertisement, you do not know the specific requirements of the company. You should therefore draw up a requirement profile for your dream job yourself and find out what plans and goals the company has – and what advantages you could bring to the department.

On the homepages you will find information about the philosophy or the mission statement of the company, sometimes there are also insights from employees. Ideally, you will find out what is already going very well in the company and suggest how you can help promote success.

You should always send a cover letter and a CV. Whether job references and samples are also required depends entirely on the company and the industry. As a rule, you can still submit these later on request. A complete application folder can be an advantage because the company can save your references and contact you as soon as a suitable position becomes available.

When writing your cover letter, you should definitely avoid empty phrases. Make it clear in the subject line of the letter that it is an unsolicited application – and write which position and which department it is about. Something like this: “Unsolicited application as a product manager for the Hamburg location”.

read too

job references

“I’ve hired almost 80 people in the last few weeks and haven’t looked at a single one”: Expert explains why job references are outdated

You should also research or ask who you should address your application to. Nothing goes as quickly as an application without a clear addressee. Who that is is usually on the career page – or you can ask for the information by phone. So you can replace the standard salutation “Dear Sir or Madam” and make the letter much more personal. If you use the right name here, you already show that he or she has researched well.

You should also personalize the introduction by tailoring it to you and the position you are applying for. You replace the usual phrase “I hereby apply for a position as…” with an introduction that arouses curiosity and stands out from other applications. You can find some examples of this on the pages of job exchanges, for example Stepstone.de or Monster.de.

Be as specific as possible throughout the cover letter and mention successes from your practical experience that are relevant to the position. In any case, one question should be answered: Why do you want to start in this company and in this position? And another tip about the language in the cover letter: avoid the subjunctive. A final sentence such as “I would be happy to convince you personally of my motivation” is more self-confident and convincing than “I would be happy to be invited to a personal interview”.

E-mail text and CV: You should pay attention to this

The curriculum vitae of an unsolicited application is not different from a normal application – it should depict all professional and, if necessary, theoretical experience (e.g. studies, further training, certificates) and ideally should not exceed one DIN A4 page. Many companies now accept online applications, for example via their careers page.

Alternatively, you can send your documents by email. Don’t worry about what’s in that email – the application itself is more important. Here, too, the subject should contain the word “unsolicited application”, the rest of the text in the e-mail should be as short and specific as possible.

read too

Looking for a new Job? HR managers from BMW, KPMG and Siemens give six tips on how every job interview is a success