Did you know that a job candidate who is referred is over 10 times more likely to be hired? You need to change your job search strategy away from just a great resume, you need referrals to get you past the gatekeepers.
If there is a 1st degree connection who works with the organization you’d like to join, reach out to them, get them familiar with who you are and what you’ve done again, and ask about their job and the corporate culture in their current company. Listen to the insider information they’re offering. If you still think the position and company are a great fit, simply tell your connection there’s a position there that you’re considering. Allow them to tell you about the hiring process there, and often they’ll simply ask if a recommendation would help. Accept! If they don’t offer, feel free to ask for one.
If there’s no 1st degree connection at your target organization, spread the word that you’re looking for one. Chances are good that someone else does have a great connection there. When you find one, ask your contact for an introduction, then ask the new connection for advice about working for the organization and/or applying there, and listen carefully to the advice you get. Then ask them to make a referral if they don’t offer.
Bear in mind, a referral doesn’t have to be about the quality of your current work, it can simply offer you as a connected, interested, and knowledgeable candidate deserving of a close look. This is especially important when your LinkedIn or network connection is gun-shy of offering a recommendation, which is different than a referral.