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From The Archive

16. Get past the guard.
You don't get into a company by asking the human resources department to let you in. That's for tourists.

To get to the inner sanctum where hiring decisions are really made, you need someone with a key. You need a personal introduction.

Employees are an obvious solution, but not the only one, and not the best one. You can develop great contacts in a company by talking to the company's vendors and its customers, its bankers and real estate agents, its landlords and its competitors. These are "players" who can make the kinds of introductions you need. Research them. Call them. Cultivate them.

You will find these people by studying the appropriate periodicals and professional journals; by talking to industry associations; by attending industry events; by making some smart guesses; and by getting on the phone. That's how headhunters get leads on good job candidates. It's how you can get past the guard.

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