"Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get past the HR firewall. Bring your best cyberstalking skills and your sense of adventure. Buckle up, this is going to be a rough ride.
- First thing you need are names of individuals in the company. Search LinkedIn for employees of the company. Find recent patent applications from the company, and look at the inventors names. Google the company's name for news articles, PR releases,...all of which may have more names.
- Be on a constant lookout for what style the company's email address are, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you know the style, combine that with the names you have and you can mail anybody you want in the company. Sometimes they use initials, such as one place I worked it was jaspevacek@..., (john is my first name, a is the middle initial, spevacek is a tongue twister). Don't know the persons middle initial? I bet you can find out in 26 or less guesses. Sometimes there will also be a number after the name for common names, such as jasmith1@...
- Back on LinkedIn, ask to make a connection (it's like asking someone on Facebook to be their friend). If they ignore you, so what?
- Use your phone for that one app that it's never used for: making phone calls. Call the central switchboard for the company and ask to be transferred to the people who's names you have. Tell them your story. If you knowingly call someone in the wrong department, tell them (lie) that the switchboard operator sent you there by mistake and ask if they could they tell you who you should talk to or transfer you to them.
- When you find the ideal person to talk to or even someone close, tell them that you are just trying to get past the HR firewall (they all understand that as all of them have had to deal with that themselves) and that you are taking a creative approach that you think will reflect on the creativity that you will bring to the job (unless it is a QA department for life-critical medical devices, in which case creativity is the last thing they want from an employee).
Now go out there, start knocking heads and taking names. Be loaded for bear and always leave a round in the chamber. And let us know how you did."
I'm sure those are not the limits on creative approaches to avoiding a firewall. Anybody else with good suggestions?