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Has anyone come up with good ways to get past the Gatekeeping Gargoyles that are increasingly common at many places.  I have just started my search, and I have been stalled right out of the gate because I don't know who to send an introduction letter to.  I surfed around and noticed that some places will trash can any correspondence addressed to "Gentlemen" or "To whom it may concern".  Come to think of it, those would be about as effective as sending mail to my house addressed to "resident".  I have called every company on my list of the first 20 companies and have gotten 4 actual names.  Everyone else hit me with "All career opportunities are on the website", "We don't have a local HR representative" and even one very forceful "All unsolicited inquiries will be rejected".  I also got a handful of "We aren't hiring right now" followed by a refusal to give me the name of anyone I could direct the letter to.  

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get past the gargoyles?

Thanks in advance.


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"Gargoyles"--I love it!!!  That is just about the right term because those gatekeepers have tight lips.  Reminds me of Gandalf..."You shall not PASS!"

I am experiencing the same thing you are.  You are right that the "To whom it may concern" letter is not going to work.  I have been trying to identify names too.  Let me tell you--and this is something my coach shared with me--AVOID SENDING ANYTHING TO HR.  Go directly to the division manager or VP of the division that most aligns with where your talents are (like if you do sales, contact their VP of sales or if you do graphic design, contact their marketing, IT or communications head.)  So don't even bother with HR--just ask for the name and contact info of the division head.

I have a couple ideas if the companies are smaller.  Have you tried doing a LinkedIn search on a particular company?  Can you network your way online past the gatekeepers?  I know it takes more time but that effort may pay off in the long run.  Also when doing online searches, be ruthless about finding names.  Use quotations marks around direct phrases you want.  Example:  "Vice President of Sales" +"ABC Bank"  OR "Managing Editor" +"Springfield Newspaper"

A lot of the prominent staffers will have something about them online...pictures of them handing out giant checks, giving a speech, blah blah blah.  That way when you get a name, you know who to address a letter to.  Or if you are emailing, familiarize yourself with how the company emails addresses are set up.  That way, if you have a name and a title, you can directly email the division head, past the gargoyle.  If you know the VP you want is John Smith and you know emails are firstname.lastname@company.com, you can email john.smith@company.com.

I hope this was helpful.  A little cyberstalking takes a while but can yield names and contacts!


Congratulations for taking this difficult step!  Finding the names of the people you need to reach can be super hard, but here are some resources:

As Annie said, LinkedIn is a great place to start

Check the website of the company for a list of their officers.  If you go straight to the top and get in front of somebody, you'll probably have a better chance of landing a position and if nothing else they'll put you in front of the "right" person.

Check out BizJournals.com. Many major cities have these franchise Business Journals, and there are abundant resources in every issue.

Last, check out salesforce.com.  They have tons of names submitted mostly by salespeople trying to make the connections to purchasing managers, but the company directories can often be very in-depth.

Best of luck!

Hi Paul

Besides LinkedIn and bizjournals.com check out jigsaw.com. Jigsaw is part of salesforce.com, you can search by company or name. I graduated from the University of Phoenix so I still have access to the online library which has access to Dun and Bradstreet, so if you are or know a college student you may be able to use the college library.

hope this helps


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