Applying to job listings online is a routine step for those seeking a new position. But it's not the best strategy for landing a new job, according to Google executive Peter Roper.
"Frankly there's a lot of jobs on LinkedIn, there's a lot of job services," Roper tells CNBC. "Those are jobs people know about."
While job posting websites make it easier for you to apply, it also means that it's a lot easier for hundreds, if not thousands, of others to do the same.
"Those are the jobs that are really the most competitive to get because they're widely publicized," he says in an interview at the Millennial 20/20 conference.
Roper, who leads the company's mobile branding, has a better strategy.
1. Make a list of places you'd love to work
"If you want to focus your energy and narrow your search," he says, "create a list of companies that you're interested in."
This includes companies that don't necessarily have job openings listed on their website, Roper says.
2. Email the right person
"Personally reach out to the hiring manager or person in charge of your department there," he says.
Keep the email short and concise. Taking this extra step shows the hiring manager that you are willing to devote time and energy to contacting them, which helps you stand out from the crowd.
Roper used this strategy in his own career and it helped him get to where he is today. In 2013, he sent a cold email to the CEO of Songza, a music app he loved. He asked if the company was looking for anyone to help run sales.
While Songza did not have any job openings listed online, the CEO responded saying that he was, in fact, looking for a sales executive. Roper landed the job, and a few years later, Google acquired the app.
Though the importance of email etiquette is sometimes overlooked, Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, says how you write emails can actually make or break your career. The CEO of Birchbox, the founder of StyleSeat and countless others say that emailing the right people was crucial to their success.
Don't be afraid of the cold email, Roper says. "It shows that you've done your research."
Video by Zack Guzman