You’d give anything to land a job at your dream company, right? This is the strategy you need to make it happen without coming across as desperate.
If you’re ambitious and passionate about your career, chances are you probably have a you’d do anything to be a part of. Whether you’re on the job hunt, working in sales or a startup founder, you probably have one or two companies in mind you’re dying to talk to.
The following steps are some of the methods I’ve used to successfully develop relationships with companies in each of those roles.
1. Practice intentional networking
This is perhaps the most “obvious” way to get your foot in the door, but it’s still worth mentioning. Do you know anyone who works at your dream company or who used to work there? If you don’t, tackle this like a research project. is a great place to start.
Invite people to coffee. Buy them lunch. Get to know them. Tell them you’d love to learn more about their company. Show interest in their specific role in the company. And stay in touch!
A word to the wise: Remember networking should never be rushed. ( to tweet this quote.) Let people truly get to know you before you ask them to vouch for you. Trust me. The better they know you, the harder they’ll fight for you!
Above all, don’t look at people as a tool for your own devices and don’t view any specific meeting as a do-or-die conversation. Think of each person you meet as a long-term companion on the journey called your career.
2. Take advantage of every situation
If you work in business, you probably meet new people all the time. No matter the context or purpose of these meetings, always keep your dream company at the top of your mind. When people in your network ask if there’s anything they can do to help you, see if they have any connections to your dream company.
Make it your number one (and potentially only) thing you ask for. Chances are eventually someone will be able to give you an “in.”
3. Learn the inside workings of the company
Do everything you can to learn how your dream company operates. Talk to people who work there. Set up a Google alert so you’re notified every time the company is in the news. Read the company blog and follow them on social media.
Figure out their hiring process. Do they tend to hire friends of current employees? Sounds like it’s time to make some internal friends. Do they use an external hiring agency to screen candidates? Find out the name of the agency and introduce yourself.
If you’re approaching the company from a sales or entrepreneurial perspective, figure out who the decision makers are within the company. Those are the people you really need to meet.
4. Make yourself hard to resist
Chances are your dream company is a great place to work, which means that job openings might be few and far between. Just because they haven’t recently posted job openings on their site doesn’t mean they don’t need extra help — especially if the company is a or an early-stage company.
It sounds non-traditional, but in these cases you should consider for the company. Do some free writing. Show them how they can cut down their spending. Talk them up on social media. Offer them discounts, free trials or free work on your end. Figure out their needs and find a way to add value.
Give, give, give. Be open about the fact that you’d love to work there one day. When a job does open, companies are likely to hire someone whose work they already know and love.
5. Study how other people got there
How did other people get into the company? Are they hired out of a particular Masters program? Consider going back to school for a year or two to better position yourself.
Do they tend to recruit employees from one of their competitors? You should consider working for that competitor.
Does your dream company tend to hire employees based on years of experience and rigid requirements? Or are they more concerned about the quality of accomplishments and personality of candidates? Figure out who and how current employees were hired, then find a way to put yourself in the most “hirable” position.
Above all, when you’re trying to get your foot in the door of any company, remember that good things take time. Landing your dream job can take months or even years. Get to know people within the company. Build your reputation by being a star employee in your current job. And above all, develop an expertise and skill set that will make you a valuable asset to any company. I guarantee your dream company is looking an especially valuable employee — You.
Jody Porowski is the founder and CEO of , an online platform where you can find advice from friends and experts. Follow her on Twitter and read more about her entrepreneurial journey at .