5 networking tactics you can use to connect with your dream employer

News flash: that résumé you just filled out online? It’s going straight to an inbox nobody checks. And when someone at that company does check it, they will immediately mark it as read, then hire the friend of someone who already works there.

Finding a job in today’s market is hard—especially one that gets you excited.

Here’s the good news. With all the tools we have today, there is no reason you can’t find the job of your dreams. Just know it’s going to take a bit more work than spell-checking your résumé and filling out an application.

Today’s employers want to hire go-getters. So you can’t just call yourself a go-getter in your cover letter. If you’re truly an ambitious person, well then, go get it.

Here are six networking hacks that will help you connect with your dream job.

1. Tap Your Friends and Family Network

An introduction is always better than a cold email—even if it’s the friend of a friend of a friend.

Most people hesitate to ask for introductions because they don’t want to intrude on people’s lives, but the truth is, that’s the only way anyone is going to know what you’re looking for. There’s no harm in asking.

Reach out to your friends, family, and extended family and ask if they know anyone in the space you’re looking to work in. Then take it a step further and ask if any of their friends or family members know anyone else, etc.

You might end up four or five circles deep, but that’s how you get connected to the right people.

2. Reach Out to the Employees of the Company You Want to Work at Via Social Media

Let’s say you want to work at a specific company, or maybe you’ve put together a list of dream jobs.

Look on LinkedIn, Twitter, even Instagram and Facebook for people who already work at those companies, and reach out to them to start a dialogue.

“Hey! I’m thinking about applying to [company name] and saw that you already worked there. I was wondering what the environment is like. Do you enjoy it?”

Something like the above will get a dialogue going and might even get your foot in the door. Once you’ve built up a rapport, you can ask if they know who handles hiring and if they’d be willing to do an email intro.

You’d be surprised how effective this strategy is.

3. Call and Email the Company After You’ve Sent in Your Application

This is a simple but necessary strategy for getting the job you want.

After you’ve filled out your application online, call the company and say, “Hey there, I was wondering if you could connect me with whoever is in charge of hiring? I just filled out my application online and wanted to make sure it was received.”

The person on the other end will probably say something like, “Oh, yeah I’ll make sure someone takes a look,” which is code for nobody is going to check, which means your response should be, “All right, great. If I don’t hear back within a few days, I’ll be sure to follow up.”

They’ll probably tell you to be patient, but that’s not how you get the job you want. Continue to call and continue to email until someone schedules you for an interview.

Persistence goes a long way.

4. Take Your Top Picks and Put Together a Proposal for What You Can Do for the Company

I’ve gotten a lot of clients this way, and you can do the same for earning yourself employment.

For the companies you really want to work at, take some time to look up all the things they’re doing well—and not. Based on the kind of role you want, it helps to know what the company is struggling with and where you might be able to provide value. For example, when I was first getting into copywriting, I would research companies I liked and look for the ones who were lacking on social media or ran campaigns with horrific taglines and sales copy. Then I would put together my own versions, pack them up in a nice proposal, and send it to them. I wanted to prove my value before I even walked in the door, and I earned quite a bit of business this way.

This was the strategy Noah Kagan used to become Mint’s early marketing manager. He came up with his own strategy, brought it to them, and said, “This is what I can do for you.” They hired him, and he grew the company to 1 million users.

5. Tweet the CEO of the Company You Want to Work At

The CEO, the COO, or even just an upper-level manager, find them on Twitter and message them asking if they’d be game for a cup of coffee—your treat.

Say you’re really passionate about the space they’re in and would love the opportunity to work for the company. I’ve lined up a whole lot of coffee meetings through Twitter.

Now, they probably won’t respond after the first try, but that’s OK. Part of growth hacking your way to the top means not taking no for an answer. Whenever I’ve really wanted to work with someone, I made it a point to follow up relentlessly. There were deals I’ve closed that took eight months of follow-ups. But you know what? They closed. And that’s all that matters.

All of these outreach hacks show that you mean business. The effort it takes, in itself, speaks louder than the résumé that’s sitting idle on someone’s desk.

Let your actions speak louder than your words.

This article first appeared on Medium