My recommendation to candidates is to treat your job search just like a sale person would treat sales prospecting. Here are a few recommendations:
1. Develop a list of your “target” companies; either local or nationwide. These companies may be competitors to your current or past companies or companies that you feel could use someone with your skills and experience.
2. Once you compile your target list, then search LinkedIn and look at profiles of people who could be potential hiring managers for someone with your skills and experience.
3. Craft a cover letter that is fairly specific for each company and potential hiring manager and send the letter in a LinkedIn Inmail. You should also attach your resume in LinkedIn Inmail.
My thought is that any potential hiring manager who receives such an Inmail would be very flattered and, in more cases than not, reach out to have an initial conversation. Worst case if there is no current opening, this overture will result in a good future contact and potential networking source.
In short, I feel that candidates would be pleasantly surprised to see how much more traction that they get on their searches.