You’ve decided you want to work for a certain company in your dream role, but the job hasn’t necessarily been posted yet. You must find a contact inside the company before they post the opening. This is a proactive employment-seeking approach, and your job search might take much less time if successful.
Studies show that referred candidates are twice as likely to get an interview than other candidates. Ways to find contacts inside companies include:
- Finding and following companies on LinkedIn.
- Using alumni networks.
- Social networks.
- Signing up for their mailing list, if applicable.
1. Use LinkedIn to Find Contacts
Find and follow the company on LinkedIn and look for the best or strongest possible connection. Look for someone who works in your target department or area. You might know a company insider and land your dream job through them.
Assuming you don’t know anyone, you can choose a person in a similar position to the one you want and introduce yourself.
You can invite insiders to connect when you share a group on LinkedIn without having paid membership in the professional social network.
2. Use Your Alumni Network to Get Contacts
You can contact your school’s alumni office and ask to join their network. These databases make it possible to look for people online effectively, with excellent prospects. While LinkedIn has more current job-related information, you could email the prospective contact through the database.
LinkedIn has an Alumni feature that lets you search for alumni by job title, company, location, etc. As a college graduate or student, you probably have some company contacts you’re unaware of. Your college career services department might have a career network you can use to search for alumni at the company.
3. Find and Follow People Across Facebook and Instagram
If the company or your college has a Facebook group, you can contact an insider through the group. After joining the group, you can start searching for the company’s employees of interest.
Follow and watch people across social media and repost positive news about them to appear on their radar. Companies also give information about career opportunities on Career Pages on Instagram and Facebook. Once you’ve started communicating, ask if you can contact them by email, Skype, or phone.
Don’t just follow company employees or people associated with the company blindly. When you find a profile, review it and make sure you know what you expect to get from this contact. HR staff and recruiters are a good starting point, but you must work up to the hiring manager. Ideally, your efforts will lead you to the head of the unit where you want to work.
Add “works at” or “employee” to your search terms to narrow down results.
4. Find Contacts on Twitter
Your prospective contact’s LinkedIn profile will have a Personal Info section. It might lead you to a Twitter account, a personal blog, or another platform you can use to connect with them.
If you have a Twitter account, you can use the Advanced Search option to find the person you want to connect with. Look for the words “dot” and “at” in their tweets. You can add “contact” or “email” to narrow down the results. A lot of people prefer to be contacted on Twitter. If you find them, ask for their email. Most people will be happy to respond as long as your Twitter account makes it clear who you are.
5. Sign Up for the Company’s Mailing List
If the company has a newsletter, you can sign up for it via their mailing list. Use the respective form on their website. You might find your prospective contact’s personal email address is used to send newsletter emails. Reply to one of these emails to ask for an opinion or quick question.