1. Scour the individual’s personal, academic, and professional background to identify someone you might know who could have influence with your target. Have your intermediary make an advance call.
2. Find out whom this individual has mentored in the past and see if you know any protégés. Call your target and ask if he would be willing to offer fifteen minutes of career counseling because of his remarkable reputation for management wisdom.
3. Find out your target’s favorite charity and pledge to contribute $100 to it if she returns your phone call
4. Learn the individual’s #1 not-for-profit community organization and offer him twenty-five hours of pro-bono work in exchange for a job interview.
5. Investigate if the person Twitters or blogs and initiate some clever input on his or her Internet presence.
6.Discover the person’s foremost hobby and offer up some truly unusual information that he otherwise would not have a chance to learn.
7. Read the individual’s most recently published speech or article and send a letter as to why you found the talk convincing.
8. Diagnose a new product line introduced by a competitor of the person you are trying to reach and send a brief report to your target as to why it creates an opportunity for this person.
9. Talk with your target’s administrative assistant and learn about that person’s hobbies or other interests in the hopes that building a sincere phone relationship with the gatekeeper will help open the gate.
My book “Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door” is filled with more job search tips and advice that no one else will tell you.