Cultivate bigwigs. Use Hoovers. com or FreeEdgar.com to research officers at public companies where you’d like to work. Read their bios and look for something special you have in common, such as graduating from the same school, working for the same employer earlier in your careers or belonging to the same groups. Then write to them for career advice, mentioning your connection.
Use “snail mail” to make a stronger impression. If the tie seems strong enough, the secretary won’t toss your letter.
Search by locale. When checking out Web sites such as CareerMosaic.com or Monster.com, don’t just search by job title or skill. Reason: You may miss key openings that involve slightly different skills or new titles. Instead, search by city, state or zip. This helps you scan the positions nearest you. If you like, broaden your search to spot telecommuting opportunities.
See trade groups’ sites. Many professional associations have Web sites that include job listings, networking events and salary data. Example: The Society for Technical Communication, www.stc.org.
Pose questions. Network by e-mail with hiring managers. Don’t just attach your résumé and focus narrowly on a posted job. Ask questions about the firm. The better your questions, the more likely you’ll strike up an e-mail correspondence with someone who can help you land a good job.