You shouldn’t have to limit your job search to advertised jobs only. Think of it as like applying to colleges. You should put yourself out there for every company in which you’re interested. You never know what positions might become available. There’s nothing wrong with writing a speculative cover letter, in fact, it might just help you get your dream job.
If nothing else, it shows initiative. Of course, it also shows you’re knowledgeable about and have a legitimate desire to work for a company, too. That kind of enthusiasm is nothing to scoff at.
Here’s how to best go about landing a job with a company you genuinely care about.
1. Keep it simple.
Be concise and succinct in your cover letter. The last thing you want is to waste someone’s time.
Be creative, avoid predictable wording, and definitely don’t just copy and paste something off the internet.
Get to the point quickly. Explain your skills, strengths, and why you’re interested in the company, in as few sentences as possible. Do add why you think you’d be a good fit, but don’t ramble.
Try to demonstrate that you have a good understanding of and respect for the company. Whatever you do, don’t focus entirely on yourself. Try to avoid the word “I” as much as possible, and instead discuss what you can bring to a team.
If your cover letter takes up more than one page, rethink it, revise it, and re-do it. Anything over a page is too long. Remember, you want to demonstrate that you have effective communication skills
2. Make it personal.
Whatever you do, avoid “to whom it may concern” at all costs. Do your research and find a specific person to whom you can address your cover letter. Even if you have to do some e-stalking, you should be proactive about addressing your letter to an actual person.
Check LinkedIn or the company’s website, or even call and speak to a receptionist about who you should contact directly.
Addressing your letter to a specific person shows that you’ve done your homework.
4. Keep your expectations low.
Even if you write an amazing letter, if there isn’t an opening, you shouldn’t expect one to miraculously appear. You may not get a meeting or an interview, but you’ve at least put your resume out there. In most cases, HR will hang onto it in case something does open up for which you may be considered.