How To Get Your Foot In The Door At Any Company

Hustling is the new networking. To gain needed edge in today’s job market, it’s no longer enough to sit behind a screen making passive connections on LinkedIn. You’ve got to get creative, trying new ways to contact – and connect with – decision makers and potential employers. Wondering how to get your foot in the door at any company? Here’s a rundown of 3 primary methods you can use to take your networking game to the next level.

Online

An obvious first step to making professional connections online is using career-centric social media sites like LinkedIn (and Good.Co!) Apart from crafting a comprehensive and attention-grabbing profile, you’ll want to foster a variety of web-based relationships.

Twitter is often praised by job-search gurus as the insider’s way to get your foot in the door at any company. Do some research on companies you’d like to work for, with an aim on finding names. Keep the search wide enough to include some people outside the C-suite, especially if there’s a particular department you’d like to work in. Follow those you want to connect with on Twitter, and make an effort to supply thoughtful responses to tweets that inspire them. You can also offer up links to articles covering field-specific topics, saying something like, “Don’t know if you saw this, but thought you might be interested.” Develop enough of a rapport, and on the day you work up the courage to ask one of these movers-and-shakers for a brain-picking session over a cup of coffee, you’re more likely to pencil that date into your agenda. 

By Mail

This includes email and yes, snail mail! First and foremost, be sure to remain thoughtful and considerate with your communications so you won’t be written off as a spammer. Be creative without going overboard, and be sure to plan how and when you will follow up.

Again, it can be helpful to target someone in the department you’re aiming for, rather than someone in HR. That said, in smaller companies and start-ups, feel free to reach out to an executive, including the CEO. These businesses are still tightly knit, and many have a more casual approach to the hiring process.

The most important thing to remember is that no one likes to have their time wasted. Make sure what you present is attractive, completely free of errors, and delivers your message well.

You could request an informational interview or casual meeting to discuss potential employment, or you might propose a new position or internship you feel is needed based on your research. Follow up within a reasonable period of time to ensure your mailing was received, and to answer any questions the recipient might have.

In Person

We’ve saved the gustiest for last. These days, showing up in person can be iffy, so it’s vital to weigh the risks against potential gain. While it would be ideal to have set up an appointment (or referral)  first, you can also get your foot in the door by delivering a special application package by hand, and gently asking if its recipient has a free minute or two for a hello and handshake. Just remember that no means no in this case, and it’s integral that you don’t come off as a pushy pest. Keep it professional, say your piece, deliver the goods (at least a business card), and leave before they ask you to. Once again, this is frequently more acceptable in smaller or newer companies, but don’t let that deter you from shaking up the establishment if you aim to make a big splash.

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Hiring, HR, Jobsearch