8. Follow industry news.
Find the latest happenings in your industry by following key Twitter accounts or signing up to get their newsletters (like those from PR News or Advertising Age for marketing folks).
Look for information about mergers, acquisitions, new accounts won, and department openings, for example. Even though there may be no open positions posted, send a prospecting letter describing how you learned about the news and are interested in their company. Give information about yourself and what you are looking for in a position, and ask if they need an addition to assist with a new account, a new department, etc.
This has worked for me in the past! Although the company was not hiring, they were impressed with my initiative, how I kept up with industry news, and wants me to keep in touch. When they do decide to make additions in the company in the next few years, I know I will be one of the first to hear about it.
9. Figure out a target person’s email.
With a little bit of online research, especially when using LinkedIn, you should be able to figure out the name of a person within the company you are applying to-whether it is the head of the department you want to work in or the head of human resources. Finding their email address might be a little more difficult. However, if you find someone’s — anyone’s — email address from the company (if found nowhere else, a contact should be listed under the “Press” tab on their website), you have basically gotten your target person’s email address down. There are a few popular forms email addresses typically come in:
So if the press contact’s email address is in the form of Firstname.Lastname@companyname.com and your target’s name is Joe Smith, then their email would likely be Joe.Smith@companyname.com. If you are between two email addresses and you cannot figure it out, utilize the BCC feature on email and send it to both without either being able to see that you sent it to the other address, too.
10. Finally… Follow up!
I know there is a lot of debate and controversy about following up, but if weeks have passed after applying and the company has yet to contact you, what have you really got to lose?
Give them a call (or email to be a little less intrusive). But don’t ask the age-old question “Have you received my application?” Rather, ask if the position still open, what their timeline is, if they need any other information, or if they would be open to receiving any work samples to help them make their decision.
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