Initiative Job Applications

Does it make sense to write speculative applications?

In Germany, about 30% of all jobs are filled through advertisements and 70% through other channels, most commonly described by the terms networks and relationships. However, about 90% of all post-graduation seekers only look for advertised positions. These numbers alone prove that showing initiative can be quite useful. However, an unsolicited application must be well prepared.

Before you make a speculative application to a company, you should take a close look at the following questions:

Confrontation with oneself

  • Where would I like to work?
  • In which field? In which industry?
  • What skills are needed there?
  • What suitable skills, knowledge or experience do I have that will really arouse the interest of the potential employer?


  • Which employers are eligible?
  • What can I find out about an identified employer?
  • Does the design of the career page give hope for a speculative application? (Extensive information vs. the sole sentence "There are currently no positions available.")


  • How do I set up the contact?
  • How do I manage to show my motivation, my interest and my fit with the employer's requirements in the few minutes of an interview?
  • Does the interview encourage me to actually send off an application?

If you find employers in this way where a speculative application seems promising, then give it a try!