You’ve been researching companies in your field and you’ve found the one you really want to work for. You jive with the company culture, you believe your skills and experience would be a perfect fit for the employer. One problem. They aren’t currently hiring.
Create your own opportunities
You may not be able to snap your fingers and create a job out of your profound desire to be there, but you can certainly track down the contact information of someone who currently works there. Or a recruiter with a relationship with the organization.
Open a dialogue
Step one contact the person and ask them if they’d be willing to have a coffee with you to talk about the company. Let them know you are not specifically looking for a job (even if you are) but that you are simply looking for information. Most people are willing to give half an hour to an enthusiastic (not obtrusive) seeker. In general people like to help others, even strangers when they can.
Ask specific questions about the company. Inquire into their career trajectory. See if they have any advice regarding things you can do to expand your career potential in general and specifically within the context of this particular employer. Have a list of questions ready before hand so you don’t waste the opportunity.
Thank them for their time
Following your discussion thank them for their time and leave. Follow it up with a thank you note and leave it at that. Don’t follow up or pester them. You got what you needed from them and left a good impression of your go-getting self.
If something comes up they will likely contact you to let you know. Your career search is all about connections and networking. Leave a likeable, professional impression. People want to work with people they like!