In order to stand apart from the crowd and get your resume to the top of the heap, you’ve heard you should be finding inside connections to help grease the wheels!
But your question is “how do I do this?”
Your work isn’t done once you’ve completed your online application. Either before you apply for a job or after, finding inside connections will help your application/resume rise to the top (or at least get looked at).
You see, you want to be a known candidate, not a nameless or faceless set of keywords.
Find a Job. Find a Connection.
Let’s say you are surfing Indeed, or one of your favorite job posting sites, and you find a great job.
You could submit your resume and cover letter and hope and pray that your qualifications are impressive enough to generate a phone call from the company.
OR you could find someone you know who works for the company to provide you with the inside scoop about why the position is available, what skills and qualifications are most important and any other insider information they can provide.
Sometimes, dare I say often, job postings don’t tell the whole story.
The information you gather while speaking with an insider will hopefully allow you to better customize the material you submit. In some cases, you may even find the company has an employee referral program that incentivizes your contact to forward your resume along.
How to Find Connections?
Long ago, it would take a massive network (or a very well connected network) and lots of phone calls and emails to get a company insider’s name. However, LinkedIn has made finding contacts and connections increasingly easier. If you need more help in using LinkedIn to people you may know at hiring companies you can read Find the Back Door for a Job Posting Using LinkedIn.
Hopefully, you are constantly growing your LinkedIn network with purpose. In other words, you are connecting with people you know. Just in case you need some reminders, read this post:
But what if you do research on LinkedIn and can’t find any first or second level connections?
Ask Everyone You Know
Email or talk to everyone you do know and ask this simple question…
Who do you know that works at XYZ company? I just found a great job and I want to know what it’s like to work there.
If you talk to enough people, it’s likely you can find someone who either currently works there or did work there.
Should You Reach Out To A Stranger?
Have you tried asking your friends on Facebook or followers on Instagram?
Here are 6 ways to find insiders you should try before reaching out to a stranger.
As a last resort, sure, you can reach out to someone you don’t know. But getting a response may be tough. Inside connections you know are almost always more responsive.
Instead of sending the stranger an invitation on LinkedIn, send them an email message. Why? Because everyone checks their email. Not everyone checks LinkedIn.
Good luck tracking down company insiders! Remember, the best strategy is to chase people, not jobs!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.