Many job seekers rely on job boards to get hired, but it is one of the most ineffective ways to land a job. Applying for a job is only half the hurdle. Talk to people and let them know what you’re looking for. The more people you get in front of, the better chances you have to finding a great job opportunity. Use networking, in person and online, to your advantage.

LinkedIn is the best place to start. It’s a network of professionals where you can connect with hiring managers, employers, and others in the industry you’re interested in. You also have the opportunity to display yourself professionally so these people can find you.

Join groups that your target companies have joined or even created, this will enable you to network and contact them directly.

If there is a hiring manager you wish to speak with, see if you have any mutual connections. If so, reach out and see if they’d be willing to do an introduction.

Another way to get in touch with hiring managers it to Google them. See what kind of information you can find on them, maybe a blog, or personal website. In some cases you might be able to find other ways to connect with them.

Once you’ve found out enough info on them, call or email them. Finding these pieces to the puzzle doesn’t need to be difficult. If you know where their employer call and ask to be transferred. If that doesn’t work, research their blog or website, there’s usually a phone number somewhere.

When if comes to email, type their name, their company name, and the word “email” into a search engine and see what comes up. You can also be a real detective and look on the company site to see what the email address format is. Chances are, if you see a certain format on a company site, the person you want to reach out to will have the same format.

Research them on social media. This is another way you might be able to get in front of them.

If the individual has a blog or website, use the contact form to send a message. This is another great way to contact a hiring manager.

If you are really interested in finding a new job or have a career change, network. Don’t rely solely on job boards. There are so many ways to contact people so take advantage and connect with hiring managers with companies you are interested in.