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4 Easy Ways To Approach An Employer Who Has A Job You Want

You may periodically see or hear about a job you’d love to have — so what do you do next?

I believe that the best way to approach a job you want is to get the senior most person at the target-employer to refer you so that you get on the fast track for the interview process (with the hiring manager).

If you’re interested in that, here’s some advice I gave a colleague recently on how to do that through LinkedIn:

1) Identify The Employer’s Senior Most Person (Who Is Also On LinkedIn)

First, go to LinkedIn and search for the senior most person at the target-employer (I recommend you go for the CEO).

Note: If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, read this LinkedIn For Beginners Article.

When I search on LinkedIn I use the “advanced search” and enter in the name of the target-employer  in the “Company” field (I start with “Current” in the drop-down) and then “CEO” in the title field.

Click Search.

Hopefully, up pops the CEO of the target-employer. If the CEO doesn’t pop up, then re-do the search by trying out other senior titles such as  “founder” or “president” or “vice president.”

Click Search.

Now you should have at least one senior person at the target-employer.

Click on that search result within LinkedIn (so that you now have a profile of the target-employer executive (let’s call them the “CEO”).

2) See What Level Of Connection You Have With The Target-Employer Executive

If you are a 2nd degree connection (meaning that the number “2” is in a circle to the right of the person’s name), then look over to the lower right-hand part of the profile to see “How you’re connected to [the CEO]”

Each one of those shared connections has a direct connection with the target-employer’s CEO (and has a direct relationship with you!).

If that’s the case, you should contact those “shared connections” (by telephone is ideal) and ask for their advice on approaching that CEO (ideally you get an email from the shared connection to the CEO recommending you for the job).

3) Two Alternatives For Finding A Target Employer CEO 2nd Degree Connection

If you don’t have a 2nd degree connection with the CEO (i.e. there is a “3” or “4” to the right of the CEO’s name, then you can try the following:

1) Scroll down the CEO’s profile page and click on the clickable company name (second line underneath “Experience”) to see if the target-employer has a Company profile on LinkedIn.

If they do have a Company profile, then you can now look at names of other executives at the company — see if there is a second degree connection that you have to one of them.

2) If the target employer does NOT have a Company profile, then go back to the Advanced search and enter in the target employer’s name in the Company field and select “Relationship” in the Sort By drop-down field (in the lower left of the screen).

And click Search.

You will now see the people at this target-employer who you are closest to (ideally, you see a 2nd connection here.

If you do, then you know that person directly and should talk to them and ask them to recommend you for the job.

4) If You Don’t See Any 2nd Degree Connection At Your Target-Employer

If all of that fails, then you should contact the most connected LinkedIn person you know and ask them to do the same searches (they will likely have a 2nd degree connection to a senior person at that company — if they do, then brainstorm how to approach that person).

If that fails, you are probably in need of some serious networking help.

That’s ok…you can comment below on your challenge and I’ll do my best to help you.

You may also want to read my business networking tips articles.