On the first page of our Cover Letters Guide we mentioned that there are several types of cover letter.
We've already explained resume cover letters in response to advertisements.
On this page and the ones that follow we explain two others types.
We also show you where to go for some covering letter examples.
2. Speculative Cover Letters/The Direct Approach
When you use the direct approach, you are specifically addressing the employer as someone who has a need which you have the skills to meet.
And sometimes you can even target the employer before he or she actually realizes a job exists, or at least before he or she has found time to draft an advertisement. You realize the need exists and have approached the employer with your ability to fill that need, effectively beating him or her to the punch.
In your cover letter you need to show the employer you've done your homework and realize the need or needs exists. You can find this information in news articles, from personal contacts, in publications, and so on. You can refer to this information at the beginning of your letter. Our cover letter examples will show you how.
If you do this, your prospective employer is much more likely to be receptive to considering you for the job. He or she will know that you have done your homework and not simply picked out a company at random.
Finally, remember that these are speculative enquiries. Its likely you will get more rejections or no replies than you will invitations for job interview but this is normal. Keep going - chances are your cover letter will find the right person at the right time in some cases.
To help you, here are the key points to remember when writing speculative cover letters.