Dear Career Tips:

(How Do I Make Contact?)

by John West Hadley, FSA

Principal, John Hadley Associates
Career Search & Career Enhancement Counseling

Suppose there is a company that I'm interested in and believe would be a good fit, but they don't have any relevant positions currently listed? How do I make myself known to them?

Dear Thomas:

The BEST way is to get connected to someone at the company through your networking, and get a referral to the appropriate person.

The next best way is to write a very good letter to the appropriate person (or even a level above) explaining why you should be of interest to him/her/the company, and then to follow it up with a phone call.

Assuming you don't know anyone in any position at the company, you could draw on your existing network by asking questions along the lines of "One of the companies that is particularly interesting to me is XYZ Inc. Who do you know that might be familiar with them?" "Do you know anyone who works at XYZ Inc. who I might talk to and get a better understanding of their operations?"

Remember that in the first round you only care about finding someone who works there in ANY capacity, because once you get a referral to someone inside XYZ Inc., you can network with that person to get a referral to others inside the company. Or if you can get a referral to someone who doesn't work there but is familiar with the company, that person is likely to know someone at the company.

2004 John West Hadley.  All Rights Reserved.


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