40 brilliant Cover L etters
G by employers trawling through their files for CVs;
G via word of mouth;
G through network contacts;
G by ‘poaching’ from other organisations.
It’s the first item on that list that you’re most interested in. When a pos-
ition comes up, you want to make sure that your CV is in that
all-important file – and hasn’t just been chucked in the bin the moment
it was received. And the cover letter you write can make all the difference.
Even though an employer may not have any vacancies at the time of your
initial application, they may well do so in the near future. As long as your CV
and cover letter make a powerful impression, you should hopefully be
considered when a suitable position does arise.
You may still find yourself up against candidates supplied by a recruit-
ment agency, but the fact that you can essentially be recruited ‘for free’
may be a deciding factor, particularly for a small company. I hired my first
ever employee after she wrote to me out of the blue on a purely specula-
tive basis – and I’ve hired many more in this way since.
Finding your targets
Identifying suitable targets for speculative applications will require some
research on your part, but local (and even national) newspapers, Yellow
Pages and the Internet are generally the best places to start.Trade journals
can also be very useful, not least because of the additional background
information they can sometimes provide. However, having identified a
target, it’s not usually too difficult to dig up relevant information online –
information you can use when crafting your cover letter.The Internet is a
wonderful research tool. (I’ll talk more about finding and researching
appropriate targets in Chapter 9, page 189: Job hunting.)
You also need to try to ascertain what sorts of individual these organis-
ations are likely to be looking for. The more you know about the kind of
M02_INNE4636_01_SE_C02.QXP:M00_INNE4636_01_SE_C00 27/7/09 11:13 Page 40