I'm trying to find how I could translate 'Application Spontanée' from french.

Is there an expression in english to talk about when you apply at an employer, but without any attached open job offer?

  • If you refer to a "candidature spontanée'", you may translate it to unsolicited/spontaneous [job] application, cf @YosefBaskin answer.
    – Graffito
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 19:55
  • A simple, yet extremely good answer proposing speculative application was unfortunately deleted overnight. If it was deleted prior to you having been given the opportunity to see it, you might want to consider that term as well.
    – Papa Poule
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


If you apply for a job without being asked in a related offer of such a position, you are filling out an unsolicited application. The employer did not ask (solicit) you to submit it.

Unsolicited = Not looked for or requested; unsought: an unsolicited manuscript; unsolicited opinions.

Note that unsolicited does not mean unwanted:

Nothing is more welcome than an unsolicited complement.

  • 1
    It's what we tought would be the ideal translation. But unsolicited has a negative connotation, that isnt there in french.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 21:21

Generally, reaching out to a company or prospective contact that has not solicited that contact is referred to as a cold call or cold contact. This term is often used to describe an attempt to sell a product or service to that company, but broadly speaking, inquiring about a job that may or may not exist is a way of offering your services.

See this blog about job searching, for example:

A cold contact cover letter is a document sent with your resume to companies that have not advertised job openings.

  • A cold call is more a think of marketing. I don't think it fits the context. But thanks for the answer!
    – Fredy31
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 19:44
  • As you like it. It is commonly used in marketing, but if you Google "cold calling for jobs," you will see it is commonly used in that context as well.
    – user66965
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 19:53

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