Sending Unsolicited Resume Cover Letter

One of the best ways to find a good paying job in today’s world is with online job posting websites. The downside to posting your resume online is that you will likely receive offers from companies you never heard of before. If you decide to contact companies you find online, you need to submit an unsolicited application letter. An unsolicited application letter is also suitable for sending to employers who requested you fill out an application when you have no interest in the job. Unsolicited application letters also let you contact employers who do not post jobs online or do not have any current jobs posted as a way to get your foot in the door.

An Unsolicited Application Letter Acts as a Cover Letter Think of an unsolicited application letter in the same way you would a cover letter. The employers you contact have no information about you and know nothing about you or why you would be a good fit for that company. You need to make your unsolicited application letter shine and show that employer a list of reasons why they should hire you or at least give you an interview. A well-written unsolicited application letter can make that employer decide to take a chance on you.

Making Your Unsolicited Application Letter Shine

When you write a cover letter, you probably spend hours writing, reviewing, and editing before sending it to potential employers. You need to put that same level of effort into writing an unsolicited application letter. Give employers a clear list of reasons to call you in for an interview. Highlight aspects of your career and other information, including:

  • up to date contact information
  • your level of experience
  • any education you have
  • the research you did on the company
  • why you want to work for that employer
  • a reference to your included resume

Contacting Employers with an Unsolicited Application Letter Contacting employers with an unsolicited application letter can open doors that were previously closed to you. The unsolicited application letter acts as an introduction to you, your skills, and why you’re a good fit for that company. Read unsolicited application letter samples to see how others created similar letters, and create a compelling resume to go along with that letter with our resume builder. A well-written unsolicited application letter can help you get a great job, even when the company isn’t hiring publicly.


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I was never one of the braver job seekers I knew. So, when a friend would mention he or she sent an unsolicited resume to a company, it usually made me cringe. For a long time, I assumed there was absolutely no benefit to taking such a leap of faith.

“Why would you do that?” I’d often ask. “You applied for a job that doesn’t exist!” However, when I was a recruiter, I started seeing this in a different light. Why? Because even though the candidates weren’t applying for a specific job, their applications were usually pretty impressive. Just having the initiative alone to send it along reveals a lot about a person.

While there are a few things you should consider before you start sending your resume off willy-nilly, it’s not actually as risky (or worthless) of a proposition as you might think.

Here are three things that’ll probably actually happen when you do this:

1. You’ll Catch Hiring Managers Off-Guard—But Not Necessarily in a Bad Way

Hiring managers are pretty good at adapting to frequent change, but receiving a cold call from a job seeker is a great way to get them off their game, at least for a second. On the few occasions I had an unexpected email in my inbox (or an even rarer, an envelope addressed to me), it always made me take pause. And that wasn’t always a bad thing.

It’s no secret that since recruiting is a tough job, hiring managers are always rooting for candidates to be awesome. It’s not as if they’re sitting around laughing at resumes all day, reveling in the fact that they’re the Decision Maker. So, when an unsolicited resume came across my desk, I’d always say one thing to myself: “This person is braver than I’ve ever been about applying for a job. And at the very least, I know he or she really wants to work here.” And considering that applicants usually don’t have a lot of time to grab a hiring manager’s attention , this is usually a good thing.

2. It Will Sit on The Backburner—But Not for Long

Like it or not, there’s one thing about the application process that is still very real: The resume black hole .

Even when you send an application for a job that’s currently posted, some companies are still working on their communication. In other words, no matter how good your materials look sometimes, there are just some places that’ll take weeks to get back to you. And when you send an unsolicited resume, keep in mind that recruiters have a number of open, listed roles they’re currently working on. And those roles take priority, even when your stuff is great. The sooner they can get those jobs filled with awesome people, the sooner they can get around to reviewing anything else they’ve got waiting for them.

So, when you do send your materials to a company, be prepared to wait a little while for a response. It’s nothing personal—just an unfortunate result of the busy schedules of recruiters everywhere. Feel free to follow up after a few weeks, but don’t get too bent out of shape if you don’t hear back for a long time. (Or in some cases, ever.)

3. It Eventually Could Be Taken Very, Very Seriously

Sending an unsolicited resume that’s completely unfocused and is accompanied by an email that says nothing more than, “I am looking for a job” won’t get you very far. But, if you’ve taken the time to understand what the company does, what their challenges are, and how you might fit in (even if there’s not a role for you right now), hiring managers will put you right into their candidate pipeline. Yes, this requires writing an email that reads more like a cover letter. And yes, this requires finding the right person to send this information to. And no, the general inquiry inbox is not the right place.

If they’re working on a role that hasn’t been posted, but is about to be, you might even hear from them about scheduling an informational interview . So, even though you’ve sent an unsolicited application for a job that doesn’t exist, you will become a part of the interview process.

In some cases, recruiters will actually want to meet with you for a role they’ve been working on because they see something in you. In other circumstances, you might be considered for freelance work. And in others, you’ll simply make a good impression on a hiring manager. But, as long as you’re thoughtful about your application, there is usually no harm in taking a risk.



Sending a resume for a position that isn’t open (or even in existence) sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re gearing up to take the leap, just make sure that you’ve taken the time to research the company’s current challenges, and then made it clear why you’d be the perfect person to tackle them. When you take those two simple steps—just like you would if you were applying for a job that’s actually posted—most recruiters won’t mind receiving your resume. In fact, they might even be excited to see such an awesome person taking such an active interest in their company.

Photo of young woman throwing paper courtesy of Shutterstock .

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