How Companies Find Employees

Contrary to what most job-seekers might think, many companies identify or vet candidates outside of traditional or formal methods of hiring. Often, hiring decisions are made considering input from colleagues who know the applicant or based on past networking connections. Consider these strategies to stay one step ahead of the competition, ordered from most effective to least effective.


Existing Relationships

Strategies for the job seeker:

  • Develop relationships with employees at companies you wish to work for in the future

  • Intern or obtain a part-time job with the company

  • Ask to job shadow or for an informational interview

  • Attend company information sessions

  • Talk to employees at career events


Recommendations from Friends or Colleagues

Strategies for the job seeker:

  • Find a mentor in the field who may have contacts and connections

  • Search LinkedIn for second-degree connections and ask for recommendations

  • Ensure your mentor and connections know you’re looking for a job in your field or with a specific company

  • Ask for assistance; do not assume your connections will do work for you


Online Job Postings

Strategies for the job seeker:

  • Stay up to date with job postings

  • Tailor your resume to incorporate specific field information, skills needed for a specific job, and company values as much as possible

  • Write a specific cover letter showcasing your interests as to not be a generic candidate


Unsolicited Resumes

Strategies for the job seeker:

  • Not as useful as you may anticipate

  • Redirect effort into asking for informational interviews or job shadowing opportunities, thus creating a better relationship with the company

  • Include a strong cover letter if you feel strongly about the opportunity