Okay, so this is sort of a shameless plug, but it’s a good one: use ZoomInfo’s search tool in your quest for a new job.

Here’s why: when you email a resume (please tell me you never, ever use snail-mail for this) into a company blind, you’re generally sending it into an online inbox that feeds directly to HR. which is bad.

The majority of companies are incredibly inefficient when it comes to hiring – the first mistake most of them make is that generally the first person who sees your resume is the least likely to give it more than 5 seconds (ie a 20something HR staffer who’s never worked in your field). Even if they spent more time than that, they’re unlikely to know how to read between the lines. The more technical the role, the worse it gets. You’re screened by someone who’s been given a list of keywords by a department manager.

If you don’t have _exactly_ what’s on that damned list, you’re up the creek.

Now, here’s what you should do – get your info in front of the person who will actually be your boss (or as near as you can figure). Address the cover letter to them personally. Provide links to your blogs, portfolios, whatever. If the manager is serious about hiring and any good at their job, they’re going to read the resume, they’ll know what they’re really looking for, and understand how your skill-set might benefit them. It may even be (and this happens quite a bit) that they may not have an official opening, but have been keeping their eyes out for someone with your specific skills if they “ever stumble upon that person.”

Make like a rock with legs and get in their path.

Find some companies, you want to work for, pay us $19 bucks for a weeks access to our database of 33 million professionals, and build a list of contacts beyond HR at said companies. You have to dig for gold, and this tool can is your shovel.