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Unsolicited application: samples, examples, tips on structure and content

With the unsolicited application you get access to the hidden job market. You apply to the employer of your choice, although he does not place a specific job advertisement. Nevertheless, around 70 percent of all jobs are awarded this way. There are only two opportunities to get these (often attractive) jobs: Vitamin B - or an unsolicited application. We'll show you how to write a perfect speculative application: What should it say? How is it built? You will also receive many examples and free templates ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

How do you write a good speculative application?

Applicants looking for a job have two options: Either they use online job boards, write cover letters and résumés and apply for the advertised position. Or you can send an unsolicited application (also called "spontaneous application") to get the dream job. What is important:

  • Without a job offer
    An unsolicited application is an application without a specific job offer. You do not reply to a job advertisement, but send your application documents without prior request.
  • With contact person
    In contrast to a blind application, you know a contact person at the company of your choice when you send an unsolicited application. The speculative application therefore contains a personal salutation and NOT the general formula “Dear Sir or Madam”.
  • Fictional profile
    For the speculative application, you develop a fictitious profile of requirements for your desired position, which you ideally fulfill yourself optimally.
  • Personality scores
    Above all, you score with your personality, your commitment and interest in this company and the job. Even if the position is not available, you could be invited and offered another job - one that also suits you.
  • Components
    The speculative application contains - like every application - at least one application letter and a curriculum vitae. Sometimes also a letter of motivation and various job references.
  • aim
    The aim is to be invited to an interview with the help of an unsolicited application and to get your foot in the door to your dream job.

TIP: Some companies even encourage applicants to send an unsolicited application, motto: "The door is always open to exceptional talents who are interested in a professional career in our company ..." If you want to find out whether your target company is open to it, we recommend Googling the keyword combination of “speculative application + COMPANY NAME”. In the following overview you will find articles from employers that tell you whether speculative applications are welcome.

Unsolicited application Significance: advantages and disadvantages

Unsolicited applications are particularly suitable for large companies and corporations. Especially when there is a shortage of skilled workers or a high turnover. Then you have advantages - but also disadvantages:


  • Less competition, hardly any competitors
  • You show initiative
  • Focus on skills & strengths
  • More freedom in terms of scope and design
  • Job opportunities in the hidden job market
  • Long-term effect (you are now known)
  • Recall for a suitable position in the future


  • There is no vacancy
  • The recipient is incorrectly selected
  • Your skill selection is not required
  • Your profile does not match the vacancy
  • Time consuming & research required

Speculative application sample: Free templates

In the following, you will receive 7 free samples for speculative applications: Cover letter, cover sheet and curriculum vitae as a Word file. You can download the complete application samples and sets individually by clicking on "Cover letter", "Cover sheet" or "CV" - or as a complete application package. To do this, please click on the preview image of the templates. You will then receive all three Word files in one free zip file.

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

Preparation for the speculative application

Before you write your speculative application, please do some research! Applying “on your own initiative” does not mean that you write spontaneously and without hesitation. First you should gather important information about possible jobs and job profiles. Only this background research on the employer enables you to provide convincing arguments in the cover letter or letter of motivation or later in the job interview.

Checklist: Important questions for preparation

  • In which business areas is the company active?
  • What is the corporate philosophy or the mission statement?
  • Are there any reports or reviews about the employer?
  • What do former employees or trainees say about the company?
  • How many jobs are currently being advertised internally or in job exchanges?
  • Is there currently a hiring freeze or downsizing?
  • In which markets is the company expanding?
  • Are there any references to new products in the business press?
  • Could specialist workers be sought for this?
  • What qualifications are you looking for on your résumé?

Use different sources for your research: In addition to the company's homepage and its social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, you should also visit specialist and career fairs in advance. Sometimes they offer the best opportunities to initiate personal contact with the employer and to identify contact persons.

In the next step bring the researched information together with your qualifications and professional career. The aim is to find a technical gap in the desired company in advance that you can close. The better this succeeds and the greater the overlap, the more successful the unsolicited application.

Writing an unsolicited application: The structure

The most important thing: Always write your informative speculative application actively! Use active verbs and unusual formulations. After all, you want to stand out! Write about your enthusiasm, show emotion and personality. Take courage! The cover letter for an unsolicited application is about a fiery plea and your passion (for the job). Facts can be found in the résumé.

Formally, applicants can use the layout rules of an application in accordance with DIN 5008 as a guide for the structure and structure of the initiative letter of application (see graphic).

You can also download the checklist as a PDF HERE free of charge.

Formulating an unsolicited application: the content

In addition to the formal framework for the structure of the cover letter, you should pay attention to the following points in the content of the speculative application:

Unsolicited application subject

Because there is no reference to the job advertisement, you can only remain general in the subject of the speculative application. In principle, the words “application” or “speculative application” can be used synonymously. Just never write "Subject" - out of date! The subject line should make it clear which profession or position you are interested in. If the company has multiple offices, say which location you are applying for.

Examples of simple subject lines

  • "Application as (job title)"
  • "Application for an internship as a tax clerk"
  • "Applications as (job title) for the location _____"
  • "Unsolicited application as an employee in the _____"
  • "Application for a job in your _____ department"
  • "Unsolicited application for an activity with a focus on _____"

Unsolicited application introduction

With a convincing introduction you arouse interest and make you curious about the rest. The introductory sentence should therefore be original and unique. Slogans like "I am applying on my own initiative for a suitable position as ..." are taboo. For example, the following are better:

  • “After five years of project management experience with my current employer, I am now excited about the task of helping the market leader for flux expansion joints and expanding my market lead. I know that with you I will meet an excellent team - which motivates me even more. Let's rock this thing - I already have a few concrete ideas, especially in the area of ​​_____ ... "
  • “I want to strengthen your team and make it a little better. Therefore, I would like to give you three reasons right at the beginning why you will benefit from me as a new employee: 1. ... "
  • “Basically, we've known each other for a long time: I've been a loyal customer of your company for __ years. I especially like your product _____ ... "

Unsolicited application main part

The main part is about your qualifications, strengths, soft skills and the motivation to work for THIS company. Make sure you make it clear what added value you can create or why you fit perfectly into the team - even though they weren't even looking for you. If you have already had contact with the company, please mention it. Example: As already discussed with Ms. _____ ... “The further a name comes up in the cover letter, the more familiar you appear. This also applies to code numbers or product names. Everything concrete dispels any impression of mass-produced goods.

What is also convincing: Examples of previous projects and successes that show that you have the necessary experience and are able to do the job. Example formulations:

  • “Sustainable customer relationships are important to me. At my current employer, I independently initiated a project that optimizes existing customer management. After that, customer satisfaction increased by 15 percent. "
  • “... I headed a team of 10 there. In this role I successfully coordinated several projects and worked out a solution for the task _____ with my team in less than two weeks. "

All formulations are effectivethat sound original and confident. Arouse interest by getting straight to the point and being spectacularly different! Depending on the industry, creative forms of application are also allowed and effective. Of course, you can't put all of your skills in one cover letter. Otherwise that gets out of hand. It is crucial that you choose and answer three key questions in the speculative application (see video):

Unsolicited application final part

At the end of the speculative application, you should offer another highlight. If you reaffirm your interest in the company, look forward to the interview. Just please NEVER in the subjunctive. It looks insecure. It is better to mention the earliest possible starting date if you have to observe notice periods. Or include a blocking notice if you apply discreetly. Example formulations:

  • “I'm dying to face the new task with my skills and experience and to master it. I would be happy to personally convince you of my motivation and suitability. I look forward to a suggested date for the interview. "
  • "I look forward to your answer and I would be happy if you take the time for a personal conversation. Since I am still in an employment relationship that has not been terminated, I could start with you on DD.MM.YYYY at the earliest. "
  • "I would be happy to convince you in a personal interview that you will gain an employee who is as committed as it is experienced with me. Due to my notice period, I am available to you, but no earlier than DD.MM.YYYY. Please treat the application confidentially as I am in an employment relationship that has not been terminated. "

Cover letter editor: rewrite template online

To make it easier for you to write an unsolicited application, you can also use the following template and edit it online in your web browser. Simply click on the box - and rewrite the sample text.

Max pattern
Example street 12th
12345 model town
Phone: 01234/56 78 90
Mail: [email protected]

Target company GmbH
Mr. Peter HR
Document path 90a
12345 model town

initiative application

Dear HR Manager,

You really give applicants a good overview on your career pages - on the homepage as well as on Facebook. There I was able to find out, for example, that you will soon be expanding the ____ area. As luck would have it: This is exactly what I wrote my master's thesis about! Title: "____". Because that fits perfectly, I immediately apply for one of the new jobs that are sure to be created there and have to be filled ...

The good thing about it: We are not even unknown to each other! Even during my internship at your company (TOP department, from July 1st to August 30th, YYYY), I was passionate about the XYZ project, which I was able to initiate and ultimately organize and lead in a responsible manner. It was a complete success, as Ms. ABC, my manager at the time, will be happy to confirm. I would now like to use my experience from back then as well as my current knowledge from my studies and other internships with you. Full vigor is included for free.

I see my strengths primarily in the practical solution of problems in operational processes, in organization and in project management. Thanks to the good cooperation in the team at the time and the willingness to deploy quickly (even after work), I was always able to at least meet deadlines, but to deliver more sustainable and well-engineered results. On top of that, I do not have long training periods because I already know your company well.

I would be happy to convince you in a personal conversation that with me you will gain an employee who is just as committed as she is experienced. I will remain until your response

Best Regards

PS: It's exactly 20 minutes by bike from my front door to your company headquarters. That means: While the other employees are still stuck in traffic, I could be the first in the office in the morning.

- Curriculum vitae
- Testimonies
- certificates

Unsolicited application CV

The résumé of an unsolicited application does not differ from a classic résumé in tabular form. Above all, it must be complete, complete and clear. In other words: It contains all the relevant qualifications for the fictitious position you are applying for - divided into "work experience", "special knowledge", "further training", "interests and hobbies". It all adds up to a convincing profile.

In the case of an unsolicited application, the curriculum vitae should not be longer than a maximum of two A4 pages. You shorten and condense passages that you consider less relevant, others may be more detailed. The only important thing is that HR managers can find the crucial information at a glance.

Cover sheet for speculative application?

Whether you also attach a cover sheet to the speculative application is ultimately a matter of taste. The "third page", as the cover sheet is also called, is intended to give particularly extensive application documents more structure and clarity. However, this is less the case with unsolicited applications. If you choose to do this, the cover sheet must offer added value.

Application templates: 120+ free samples
Use our professional designs and free application samples for speculative applications. More than 120 professional templates for cover letters, covers and résumés as WORD files. Including sample texts for various professions and jobs. Ensure the perfect first impression of your application.

To download the templates

Unsolicited application in English

If you apply in English, you can also use an unsolicited application. The English unsolicited application is called "unsolicited application" or "speculative application" and hardly differs from the German unsolicited application. Here, too, it is important to have a clear subject line and a contact person. Otherwise, the unsolicited application in English follows the rules for a "cover letter" (free example as PDF).

If you have a CV in English (also known as “curriculum vitae” or “resume”), you should ensure that it does not contain an application photo or any personal data (date of birth, nationality, marital status). References are all the more important here. The English résumé does not require a signature.

Unsolicited application Length: scope & shipping

In general, the unsolicited application should be as short as possible and as long as necessary.

We recommend sending complete documents. This gives the HR manager a more complete picture of you.That increases chances: not only for the current job, but also in the future. If there is currently no suitable vacancy, you may be remembered positively and come back to you later.

When you send a "complete" application folder, it is submitted like this:

If you have to choose from the enclosures for reasons of space, you can mention in the final part of the letter that you will be happy to send them on request. Example formulation: "I would be happy to send you my complete application documents, certificates and references on request."

Tip: update online profiles

Before sending your speculative application, be sure to check your online profile and update it. There should be no contradictions, gaps or other inconsistencies between what is in your application documents and what is found about you on the Internet. They raise doubts even before the HR manager knows you personally. This often leads to the immediate termination of the application.

Unsolicited application Tips: Follow up & CV parsing

In the past, readers have asked us many questions about unsolicited applications. We have answered the most common of them in the following list:

When and how can I follow up on my application?

Companies need an average of 28.8 days from the first interview until the job is filled. Accordingly, if you send an unsolicited application, you should wait between two to four weeks before you get in touch and follow up. Since there is no specific job advertisement, the companies are not in a hurry. Therefore, in the first step, just inquire whether the documents have arrived. Then you can carefully (!) Ask what the current situation is with vacancies.

The company offers 3 attractive jobs. Can I send an unsolicited application to all of them?

You should not apply for all three positions at the same time. With an unsolicited application you argue for ONE position with your strengths, experience and qualifications. Anyone who argues that one activity is the absolute dream job, but also the other, makes himself untrustworthy. Therefore: Please only ONE speculative application per employer. The company can still decide where to best deploy you.

Are all files summarized when applying by email?

The top rule: Make it as easy as possible for the recipient. First, find out how the company would like to receive applications on the company page. Many employers use online forms or an email application. In both cases, it is advisable to combine all attachments in one PDF so that the HR manager only has to download and open one file. Ideally, you should name the PDF according to the pattern "First name-Last name-Curriculum vitae-certificate.pdf". In this way the file can be safely assigned to you.

How do I formulate the e-mail for an unsolicited application?

When sending an unsolicited application by e-mail, you should write a concise but short text with a meaningful subject line. Example:

Unsolicited application as an employee in the field of ______

Dear Ms / Mr ______,

Enclosed you will find my speculative application for a position as ______. Why I can fill the position optimally and offer your company numerous advantages through my experience in the field of ______, please refer to my detailed and attached application documents.

I look forward to a personal interview.

With best regards

How does my unsolicited application survive CV parsing?

Many companies use software for the first pre-selection of applications. With so-called CV parsing, key terms and relevant text modules are recognized in all submitted documents. The tool then assigns these to corresponding data fields and categories. This makes it easy to compare the documents. So that your unsolicited application survives the digital preselection and can be recorded without any problems, the following recommendations should be taken into account:

  • Avoid spelling mistakes: CV parsers cannot detect or assign misspelled words. Something similar can happen with abbreviations. In this case, the software pretends that this competence does not exist.
  • Do not use special characters: Special characters are real eye-catchers, but many CV parsers cannot interpret them. We therefore recommend not using it. You should also write in euros (€) when specifying salary expectations.
  • Be careful with the design: Even if you want to stand out from the crowd with your layout and design: Use only standard word processing programs instead of special graphics software. Graphics, icons and images are often not readable during CV parsing.

I have found out that a suitable position has been advertised internally. Can I refer to it in the application?

Yes absolutely! Otherwise the HR manager will not know that you are interested in this and that you are applying for it. So it is formally no longer an "unsolicited application" because you are applying for a specific position. Mention the appropriate position in the cover letter. Alternatively, you could formulate the speculative application so subtly that the recruiter himself gets the idea that you are the perfect candidate for the vacancy.

How casually or formally can you write an unsolicited application?

There is no general rule for this. What one HR manager likes, hits another badly. But we can reassure you: Most HR managers react positively to fresh and “casual” formulations - as long as the content and substance are correct (see HERE). In addition, the speculative application stands for motivation and initiative of the applicant. That goes down very well with decision-makers when it's real. An unsolicited application can therefore be a personal form of application - in language and style. The main thing: you sell yourself authentically.

[Photo credit:]

Further sources and guides
Application tips
➠ Application templates
➠ 11 application forms
➠ ABC of application tips
➠ Application folder
➠ Application photo
➠ cover sheet
➠ Brief profile

Resume tips
➠ CV in tabular form
➠ Resume templates
➠ Internships on the CV
➠ hobbies on the resume
➠ unemployment on the résumé
➠ gaps in the résumé

Tips for covering letters
➠ Cover letter
➠ Introductory sentence in the cover letter
➠ Final sentence in the cover letter
➠ Interests in the cover letter
➠ Strengths in the cover letter
➠ Attachment directory

Tips on the job reference
➠ Assess job reference
➠ Secret codes in the certificate
➠ Interim report
➠ Job description
➠ References & samples

Special applications
➠ Unsolicited application
➠ Internal application
➠ Discreet application
➠ Email application
➠ Online application
➠ Application as a temporary worker
➠ Application for mini jobs
➠ Application after termination