An unsolicited application is an application that does not refer to a job advertisement. You introduce yourself to the employer on your initiative to express your interest in working with them. With an unsolicited application you open up a chance for jobs that are not publicly advertised.
With an unsolicited application, you define your position yourself or look for professional gaps in the company that you can fill. You will use this theoretical job description to create your application in order to arouse interest in the employer. Before you create your unsolicited application with a cover letter, CV, and attachments, you should research the company. Unsolicited applications also have to be specific to the employer in order to convince them.
In the following you will learn everything you need to know about unsolicited applications:
1. What is an unsolicited application? Purpose of the spontaneous application
2. Preparation and initial contact: Research the company and establish contact
3. How do I write an unsolicited application? Structure, content, and template for the cover letter
4. Send unsolicited application: Send your application by e-mail and post
5. Design and layout: What does an unsolicited application look like?
6. Frequently asked questions and answers: Further tips and checklist for unsolicited applications
7. Design templates to fill in: Professional Word templates to download
What is an unsolicited application?
Many companies have a need for employees even if they don't publish a job advertisement. These positions are either advertised internally, by an employment agency, or via the company's network and its employees. Studies show that around 75% of all management positions are filled through the “hidden” labor market. A chance to get such a position only arises when you apply on your own initiative.
With an unsolicited application (also called blind or spontaneous application) you introduce yourself to the company as a potential employee without being asked to do so. You develop a fictitious requirement profile that fits the company. With your application, you then show that you perfectly meet those requirements.
Generally, it is suitable for many types of employment and industries. You can apply on your own initiative:
- for a full-time or part-time position in a company
- for an after school and holiday job or a part-time job
- for an internship or apprenticeship
- to offer your services a self-employed or freelancer
If you apply proactively, you exhibit commitment, self-confidence, and interest in the position as well as the company. These are all things that employers appreciate a lot about employees.
If your profile meets the company's requirements, they can then invite you to a first interview. Even if there is no vacancy, the employer could offer you another position that also fits your profile. They may also suggest contacting you at a later date when a suitable position becomes available.
Advantages and disadvantages of unsolicited applications
- Chance of unpublished positions
- Hardly any competition from other applicants
- Immediately stand out in a positive way through showing initiative and self-confidence
- More freedom in regards to the content and visual design-
- Opportunity to define your position yourself
- Expenditure of time for research and preparation
- Potentially no open positions or no interest in unsolicited applications
- No jo advertisement from the company which can be used to orientate yourself on
Preparation for the unsolicited application
With an unsolicited application, you take your own initiative and approach a company independently. But that also means additional effort for preparation, research, and initial contact in order for your application to be convincing.
Research on the company
Just like a normal application, your unsolicited application should be tailored to the employer. Within your application, refer directly to the company you apply to so that the employer feels personally addressed. This way, you significantly increase your chances of being accepted.
If you would like to send an unsolicited application to a company, you should carry out extensive background research.
For example, find out the following:
- Where and in which industries does the company operate?
- What is the company's philosophy?
- In what way does this company or its products differ from their competitors?
- Is the company expanding into new markets?
- Are there any recent reports about the company in the media?
- Are positions advertised or is there a hiring freeze?
- What qualifications do applicants need to have?
- Are there any professional gaps in the company?
This information will help you to formulate your application individually and convincingly. Another advantage: Simultaneously, you learn more about the company and can better assess whether it is really the right one for you.
Tip: Refer to internally advertised positions
You are aware that there is a position advertised internally in which you are interested?
Then you can refer to this position directly in your application. This makes it easier for you to write the application as you have an already existing position in mind. Mention it in your initial contact with the contact person and also in the cover letter.
Before you create and send your application documents, find out if unsolicited applications are accepted. In order to do that, you should contact the employer personally. This has the following advantages:
- You get a first impression of the employer yourself.
- You show initiative and special interest in the company.
- You have the opportunity to make a personal impression so that the written - application gets "a voice".
- You get a personal contact to whom you can address your application.
The first contact is best made by phone. To make a good first impression, be prepared for the interview. Think about what to say and what questions to ask. Make bullet points for yourself in advance. Also, be sure to have a pen and paper ready to take notes for yourself.
How do I write an unsolicited application?
If the employer approves the unsolicited application, you can start creating your application. Generally, an unsolicited application does not differ much from a normal application.
If you apply with an unsolicited application, you have no job advertisement to use as a guide. Thus, proceed like this:
1. Create your own requirements profile
The profile can refer to a generally known profession (e.g. saleswoman in retail) or to a special position (e.g. special task in an area of activity).
Ideally, the company has a need for an employee with such a profile, e.g. because it has a shortage of skilled workers or a professional gap. So it is not only adapted to you but especially to the employer.
2. Imagine that you are applying for this position
Prove with your qualifications and experiences that you match the profile perfectly. Draw the employers' interest to you as a person as well as an applicant. Convince them that the company needs you and you are the perfect employee.
Tip: Look at different job advertisements
Read through a couple of other job advertisements from your dream company - ideally, advertisements from the same department to which you want to apply. In this way, you can find out what general requirements employers expect from applicants and what you should include in your application.
Look for job advertisements from other companies that are similar to your area of activity. This provides more clarity in regards to the required knowledge and skills. This information makes writing the unsolicited application easier.
It may be tempting to include all your experience, qualifications, and arguments in your application. But this can weaken your application and make it look chaotic. Therefore, choose your information carefully. Only include in your application what is important for the desired task and what highlights your uniqueness.
Caution: Only one position per employer
Only send one unsolicited application to each employer. It looks unprofessional if you declare your passion and motivation for different areas in several applications.
1. Download a template
Click on the desired template. We will send it directly to your computer via e-mail. Within five minutes you can start writing your application.
2. Add content in Word
Install the designer fonts with just one click and open the template in Word. Now, you add your individual content to the finished layout.
3. Send the application
Once you added your content the application is finished. Now, you can save it as a PDF or print it out and send it to the employer.
What should be included in an unsolicited application?
If the employer did not explicitly ask for specific documents, it is best to send in your complete application documents. The order of the documents should be as follows:
- Cover letter
- Cover sheet (optional)
- Letter of motivation (optional)
For unsolicited applications, the short application is often used. This only consists of the CV and cover letter. It's best to ask during the initial contact if a complete application is required or only a short application.
Cover letter in the unsolicited application
The cover letter is the most important part of an unsolicited application. In the cover letter, you arouse the employer's interest with convincing arguments and at the same time convince them of yourself as an applicant. The goal is to invite the employer to get to know you better in an interview.
This is how a cover letter in an unsolicited application is structured:
The structure of a cover letter in an unsolicited application does not differ from one in a normal application. It is one A4 page and consists of letterhead, introduction, main part, and conclusion. In regards to the content, you should address the following key questions:
- Motivation: Why are you applying?
- Profile: What are you applying for and what would you like to do?
- Skills: What qualifies you?
- Soft skills and personality: What are your strengths?
- Added value: What benefits do you have for the employer?
Write in an active style and use strong words. Show individuality by using unique wording and no set phrases that every employer knows.
Express yourself directly and concisely - get to the point. That looks pertinent and leaves a self-confident impression. Details and questions from the employer can be addressed in the interview.
Caution: Let someone proofread the application
Check your application for typing or spelling errors. These instantly stand out negatively to the employer. Use the proofreading function of Microsoft Word and let a third person proofread your application!
Tip: Convince with personality and enthusiasm
With an unsolicited application, you convince of your personality. Highlight your passion for the desired position, your motivation, and your enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm for the position and the company is an important recruitment criterion for many employers. It not only shows motivation but also a high readiness to work and learn. An enthusiastic employee works faster and has greater development potential.
The letterhead of the cover letter is structured the same as the one in a normal application. It consists of the sender, recipient, date, subject and salutation. The letterhead is the topmost part of the cover letter and looks as follows:
In a normal application, the subject refers to the advertised position. In an unsolicited application, you don't have this information. Regardless, the subject should be clear that it is an application for a certain position. For example, you can word it like this:
- Application as an engineer
- Unsolicited application as an office clerk
- Unsolicited application as a sales assistant in the electrical retail sector
- Unsolicited application as a production assistant
- Unsolicited application for an internship as a kindergarten teacher
The subject is followed by a polite salutation. Don't choose a general salutation such as "Dear Sir or Madam" but address your contact person directly. For example "Dear Mrs. Schmidt,".
The introductory sentence in an unsolicited application
The introduction of the unsolicited application has to be on point. Take your time to create a self-confident and expressive introductory sentence. The employer has to instantly understand what it is about. Therefore, include the following information in your introduction:
Why you are applying (your motivation)
Which position you are applying for (your profile)
In the introductory sentence, you make your strongest argument. In the case of the unsolicited application, it is most often your motivation. The employer would like to know why you are applying specifically to this company and not a different one.
Tip: Establish a personal connection at the beginning
A personal connection is one of the most convincing arguments and immediately draws the employer's interest. If you have a personal history with the company, definitely mention it. For example, this could be:
- You have been a customer of the company for years now want to be part of it
- You know an employee who told you about the position
- You have already completed an internship at this company
- You have talked to an employee at a job fair
- There was a collaboration on a previous project
"I have become aware of your company on the recommendation of Mr. Schmidt, Head of Performance Marketing"
"Pilka chocolate products have been my favorite since childhood. As a child, I fell in love with the taste, as an adult I also value the quality of the products, the sustainability, and fairness of the brand. With my five years of practical experience in the area of nutritional science in connection with ecology, I would now like to contribute to making Pilka chocolate even more environmentally friendly by being part of your product development department."
"Actually, we already know each other: during an internship at your language school last year, I got a deep insight into your working methods and the team and gained a lot of experience. After having successfully completed my teaching degree, I would like to teach Russian and Chinese as a permanent part of your teaching staff."
"I noticed the company Gosch in a positive way at the career fair in Berlin 2021. I was not only convinced by the high-quality products and the modern company philosophy, but also by the open-mindedness and friendliness of the employees I met. That confirmed my decision to complete an internship at your company."
You can also refer to the initial contact:
"Our phone conversation last Monday has confirmed my desire to be part of your team and to contribute to your agency as a restaurant management assistant."
Caution: Introduction in the cover letter and e-mail
If you are sending your application by e-mail, write a short introductory text in the body of the e-mail. In regards to content, pay attention so that this sentence is not the same as the introductory sentence of the cover letter.
Avoid obvious announcements in the cover letter such as "hereby I apply for" or "as discussed, you are now receiving my application". Such wording fits better in the text of the e-mail.
In the main part of an unsolicited application, you go into your suitability, qualifications, personal strengths, and achievements. In order to do this, clearly work out your practical experience that highlights your skills.
In the main part, you go into your career highlights. Do not repeat the information from your CV though, instead make good arguments.
Prove your skills with precise examples from your work life. Exact numbers and facts are best.
"As part of the two-year project in which I took over the management of the marketing department, I was able to increase the sales figures by 57%."
Your soft skills like e.g. ability to work in a team, organizational talent, or social competence are equally important. These also have to prove with examples:
"During my stay abroad in Canada last year, I was able to improve my English and French to a business fluent level. By being part of an au pair program, I was able to gain valuable intercultural experiences."
Tip: Create a common thread
Give your arguments a logical order. The common thread illustrates a connection between the arguments and makes every step understandable. Ideally, it creates the feeling that your work in the company is the next logical step in your career.
Concluding sentence and complimentary close
In the concluding sentence, you summarise your cover letter briefly and convincingly. Emphasize your interest again and clarify your added value for the company.
Then you allude to an interview. Use active phrases and not the subjunctive (such as “I would be happy”), as this will seem insecure.
“I am convinced that my creativity, originality, and many years of experience in the field of video production will be perfectly applied in your company and that we can achieve a lot together. I would be happy to convince you of my motivation and vision in a personal conversation. I look forward to meeting you soon and working together successfully. "
In the conclusion, you can also mention your earliest possible starting date. If you are bound by notice periods and apply discreetly, ask for confidentiality.
“I am happy to be available to you from [date] at the earliest. Please treat the application confidentially, as I am bound by notice periods and am currently in an employment contract."
Your conclusion ends with a complimentary close, date, and your signature.
The list of attachments is also optional in the cover letter. With this, you inform the employer which other documents are included in your application. You put the directory as a list at the very end under the signature. For example, it could look like this:
– Work samples
The list of attachments is voluntary. If you don't have any space left on your A4 page, better leave it out than shortening your cover letter text to make it fit.
Tip for online applications:
A long PDF file can be difficult to read and navigate. However, it is important that your application is clear. Therefore, if your application is more than 5 pages, create a table of contents with jump labels. This way, the employer can find your information quicker.