One of the most common questions we receive at Harrison Careers is from candidates who are not yet worried about passing interviews, but who are fed up with receiving online rejections.

How can such candidates increase the number of interviews they get with the companies they care about?

In this article we want to show you solutions to this problem.

All involve more work by you – sorry!

Online job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Handshake, Bright Network etc. make it ever-easier for candidates to apply to vacancies.

This is good for the company – “Applicants per vacancy” go up and the “interview rate” the percentage of applicants invited to interview) decreases.

You get more frustrated when you submit more and more applications and do not receive many invitations to interview.


Here are 5 campaigns you can run to get more interviews:


As soon as you have applied online, use LinkedIn to find a senior professional in that business area and email him/her. Email is better than a LinkedIn message because the professional can forward an email to HR but not a LinkedIn message. 

Your email should mention (a) that you have applied to this vacancy, and include the URL to the application webpage, (b) 3 things you found interesting about the professional’s background, and (c) 3 reasons why you are worth an interview.

Harrison Careers has been advising on this approach for years. Our data show that the “interview rate” for our typical candidate increases from less than 5% to 25-30%.

It’s more work but it’s worth the time investment.



Leverage your university (or high school or any other affiliation) connections!!

Use LinkedIn to find the right people. You might need a premium LinkedIn subscription, such as Sales Navigator Core.

Use filters like School, Location, Industry, Years of Experience (less than 3 years’ experience is better, because junior alumni are more likely to help you).

If the person accepts your LinkedIn connection request, then email and/or message them.

If they do not accept your LinkedIn connection request, then send a LinkedIn “InMail” message.

Your message should mention (a) your mutual connection; (b) something about you and what career you are targeting; (c) a simple question asking if the company is hiring right now for your target business area.



Companies employ internal HR professionals to identify, engage, and encourage their ideal target candidates to apply. These internal recruiters are more likely to select you for interview if they are already in contact with you. If you meet their criteria and seem to be a good candidate, they are likely to engage with you – and of course vice versa.

Find them on LinkedIn, using filters like Company, Location, Industry, and a key word like “Recruiter”. Send the recruiter a LinkedIn connection request.

If they accept, then send them a LinkedIn message. If not, send a LinkedIn InMail.

In your message, mention (a) your background and the career you are pursuing; (b) that you want to impress them enough to earn an interview, and (c) ask for a short phone call.



This only applies to candidate already in a full-time career, or to college students who are about to graduate.

Use LinkedIn to connect to recruitment agents. Use the Industry filter “Staffing and Recruitment”. Use other key words to try to find the right recruitment agents.

Send LinkedIn Connection Requests, and if they accept, send them an email (you will be able to see their email if they accept your connection request).

In your email, (a) explain your background, (b) explain that you are reaching out because you are looking for a new role, (c) ask for a chat by phone if the recruiter thinks there is potential to work together – and if not, for an introduction to a colleague.

Get these recruitment agents working for you!



Directors – and other senior professionals – have much more power and therefore authority to get you selected for interview. I see it all the time and have done for 20+ years.

Nepotism is everywhere: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In elite companies, as much as 75% of the candidates selected for interview are selected because of either a diversity initiative or a connection to a Director who recommended them (= Nepotism).

Running a Director Campaign requires great skill. In 20 years of helping candidates get hired, a Director campaign has NEVER failed. Your goal is simple – but it’s difficult. Email, then call and actually talk to up to 100 senior professionals (at your target companies and business areas) in the right way.

In fact, I recently ran a webinar over on LinkedIn where I advised people how to follow these campaigns to significantly increase their chances of getting interviews with elite companies. Click here to see the video of the event.

At Harrison Careers, we spend all our time helping clients get and pass interviews with elite companies. Get In Touch to let us know how we can help you!