Inside Connections: Your Foot in the Door of a New Career

inside connectionsIn 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.

What next?

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.

Hopefully, you are constantly growing your LinkedIn network with purpose. In other words, you are connecting with people you know. 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?

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. You could ask for an informational meeting. Or you could send a networking email using one of these templates.

Good luck tracking down company insiders! Remember, the best strategy is to chase people, not jobs!


For this post, YouTern would like to thank our friends at:


career sherpa


Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!





This entry was posted in Job Search and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.