Networking is important. This is widely known. However, candidates aren’t quite sure whom to target for their networking efforts.
Here’s the first mistake. They focus all their efforts on the HR department, or in-house recruiters. Bad idea. Don’t beat your head against the wall. These are elite troops guarding the front gate. They are inundated with candidates clamoring for their attention. Your efforts will largely be drowned out in a cacophony of noise.
Target the other 98% of the employees at the company.
The rest of the team at the company is not highly trained on how to weed you out. There are three basic groups to target.
The decision makers are at the top of the pyramid. Senior executives are great targets and carry a lot of weight. However, they can also be hard to access.
Influencers are the people who orbit around the decision makers and have ready access to them. Each decision maker likely has 10-20 influencers.
The third group I call catalysts. These can be anyone inside the company. They know the lay of the land and what is going on inside those walls. They can start the chain reaction to move you to the next level.
Make connections and start conversations to get pulled through the back door.