In a day of many college educated individuals, the job market is more competitive than ever. Having a college degree simply just does not guarantee that you will land a job. You should also assume that everyone applies online and as many emails as we all consume on a daily basis, there is no way that every resume is seen by a company's HR department. Therefore, your job hunting approach needs action. As Tim Ferriss says, “Thinking outside of the box is too passive. You must act outside the box.” Job searching must be treated like a full-time job, you must be dedicated to it and relentless. I am no expert in HR nor have I worked in that department, but I have always banked on building or using a personal connection or link within the company to get my foot in the door. In any position I have held, it has never taken me longer than 4-6 weeks to get an interview and/or an offer letter. If you have had issues with landing an interview with your favorite company, try these five tactics below. Tip #1: Contact Friends According to US News, if someone is referred by an employee for a position, two-thirds of the time that person is hired. This one sounds so simple, but is often forgotten. Facebook is the largest social network, just posting a simple status or sending out a message such as, “Does anyone know someone that works at X company,” or “Does anyone know of good startup financial companies to work for?” could help you secure a job opportunity. If your friends can respond to your posts on the latest Kim K news, “Damn Daniel,” or how Rich Homie Quan butchered Biggie’s Get Money verse. They should be able to give you some quick info on jobs and connect you with the right people. Tip #2: Linkedin 30 Day Trial If you are an active member on Linkedin (which you should be if you are job searching), typically Linkedin will offer free 30 day Premium trials to active users. These will allow anywhere between 3-30 free InMails — messages that you can send to people you are not connected with on LinkedIn. I receive a free trial roughly once every quarter, but even if you don’t, I would recommend just spending the $30 – $50 for one month for a premium account. With your free InMails, you should use this opportunity to reach out to local area recruiters and HR Directors. Recruiters are helpful because they have an incentive to help you, and the HR Directors/VPs will play a major role in the hiring process. Tip #3: Reach Out To Someone Who Currently Holds The Role You Want At The Company You Are Interested In This can be done on Linkedin and has been one of my more effective ways to get a response. As humans, we respond to superiority, power and flattery. There is a common misconception that reaching out to an individual that currently holds the role you are pursuing may be a deterrent to getting an interview. However, I have found this to be the most helpful. In fact, I would recommend reaching out using a note such as: "Hi XX – You currently hold a position that I am interested in. Honestly, I am looking to move my career forward and I would love to learn about what you do. This would also allow me to learn about this company to gauge my interest and see if it is a good fit. If you can squeeze me into your busy schedule it would be greatly appreciated. How about we connect for 20-30 minutes over a cup of coffee or a drink at X bar? Thanks, XX" In my experiences, this has been one of the most helpful ways for me to not only get my job application noticed, but also access the company. Tip #4: Send a Personal Hand-Written Letter To The Founder Or CEO I attempted this after I heard stories about someone sending their resume on a garbage lid with a note reading, “Since you are going to throw this in the trash.” Realistically, if you are a hiring manager you are never going to forget this person. This really got me thinking of creative ways to reach out to a company. When I was moving to NYC a few years ago, I decided I would reach out to a variety of startup founders with personal letters in a package that included the book The Alchemist. The letter was used to show my genuine respect for the company/Founder and the book was to show a side of me that they would never gauge from just seeing my resume. The key is to really mean what you say. I sent out 5 books and received 3 responses. In Summary As long as you are specific with an industry and role, your friends or your “friends” will be absolutely willing to help out. Usually you can get great company suggestions, or at least spark informative conversations. These are some of my personally tested ideas that have worked out for me, but the key is to just try something new! Let us know your unconventional job searching tactics and the creative things you've done that have successfully landed you a job offer in the comments below!