I am old enough to remember when you could walk into a place of business, apply for a job, ask to speak with a manager, and actually speak to them directly about the open position. When I was a kid I was actually interviewed and hired for a job that I walked in and applied for. Unfortunately, this kind of tactic is no longer effective as most companies require you to apply for an open position online and wait to be called for an interview. Its’ understandable why companies require candidates to apply online as opposed to stopping by unannounced. Often times when I am at work and someone comes in to see me without an appointment, it can be a challenge to stop everything I have scheduled to attend to that person. It’s very unrealistic to just go into a place unannounced and expect someone to alter their already scheduled day. Although job searches today may seem to have less personal interaction, job seekers must still have direct communication with employers. In fact without direct communication with employers, you more than likely will not be successful in your search. The key to finding employment is building relationships and getting in front of those responsible for hiring. It doesn’t have to be a longstanding relationship; it can be one that was just formed. Here are a few tips to maintain direct communication with employers in an environment that seemingly discourages it.

1. LinkedIn – the world’s largest professional networking website, this can be a great way to speak with hiring managers and also to network with industry professionals. Join industry related groups, share ideas, show your passion for your field. Connect with people at companies that you have targeted to find out about the company’s culture and what they are looking for in candidates.

2. Email – Once you apply for a job search the company’s website to see if you can find contact information for someone you can follow-up with about the job. If you can find an email, send the person an email. Attach your resume along with a brief cover-letter telling them about yourself and why you would be a good fit for their company. You can say something to the effect “ My name is XXX, I applied for X position on your company’s website, but I wanted to contact you personally to find out more about what XXX company looks for in potential employees”. Sometimes this will prompt them to pull up your application

3. Informational Interviews – Informational Inter views are great ways to meet industry professionals and to obtain information about a company. There really is no pressure on either party to offer or accept a job. The person who asks for the interview should have prepared questions. However, if you are able to make a good impression on the person you are interviewing, it could lead to a referral in the future or a head’s up when a company is planning to open up a position of interest.

4. Good Old Snail Mail – In a world where we utilize emails, text messages, and social media, there still is a place for letters placed in an envelope with a stamp attached. In fact sometimes sending an actual letter to an employer can be even more effective. We get so many emails on a daily basis that we are quick to delete email from senders we don’t recognize. Hiring managers are less likely to look over an actual letter sent to them via mail. Even if they only look at a resume for 30 seconds, it may inspire them to pull up your application. An even better scenario is that they like what they see and call you for an interview. It may require you to do some research to find out who you need to address the envelope and cover-letter too, but it will be well worth the effort if you secure an interview.

5. Attend Networking Events – I know you have heard it before, but attending networking events can be very beneficial. You never know who you will encounter at an event and it allows you to build relationships with people that not only can help you land a job, but that offer assistance to as well.

6. Professional Organizations – Joining professional organizations will allow you to meet industry professionals. Meeting professionals in your industry can prove to be vital in aiding you to gain entrance into your field of choice. These relationships can be very beneficial to both seasoned veterans as well as recent college graduates. For the seasoned veteran it gives them a chance to share some of their knowledge with young professionals and to keep up to date on the latest information in the field.

7. Phone Calls – Sometimes it’s hard to actually get the person you are looking for on the phone, since most places tell you to apply online or they give you the standard line “We are reviewing applications at this time, if we like your qualifications we will call you in for an interview”. Don’t get discouraged if you hear this I guarantee if you call enough people you will hear this line at some of the places. You must be determined and call more places, even if you are able to get one person on the phone to inquire about the position and tell them why you would be a good fit for the company it will be worth it. Some company’s actually like to hear from qualified candidates and welcome the opportunity to speak to them. If you have the contact person’s email address, send them an email before making a phone call to set-up a time to talk for five minutes.

Thanks for reading my post! I am the owner of Career SkyRocket LLC a professional resume writing and career coaching service. I have also been published on CAREEREALISM as well. Follow my blog Career Thoughts. Let’s Connect! Follow me on Twitter, visit my Facebook page, or connect with me here on LinkedIn.