I know this sounds like heresy but there’s method in my madness. Call the personnel department of the companies on your target list. Ask their manager or recruiter what outside agency or third party recruiting firm they use. Why? For two strategic reasons, First, any personnel person will immediately ask why you want to know. To which you answer, “I’ve been to your web site and I understand that you’re not looking for someone with my skill set right now but the agency you use may be dealing with other firms who could use my skill set --- so I guess I’m looking for a recommendation from you.” After they get over the compliment they will likely ask you about your skill set etc., in which case you should tell them that, “I didn’t call you looking for a back door into your company but if you want to have a cup of coffee sometime I’d be happy to share my accomplishments with you.” If they push you be prepared to sell yourself shamelessly. Second, if they don’t press you for an interview, insist on knowing whom they use and why.
♦ Personnel Managers love saving money on fees, so they may try to hire you directly.
♦ Personnel Managers tend to group together by industry and make referrals to each other.
♦ Getting a referral from one of their customers will insure the agency treats you with kid gloves.
♦ Always ask for the name of a specific person and their direct dial number.
♦ Get permission to use the Personnel Manager’s name as a reference.
♦ Ask if they personally know of any other companies that could make appropriate use of your skills.
♦ Send them a thank you note with a copy of your resume to keep on file for their future requirements.