How I should reach out to a CEO who is a mutual connection with my friend?

Hello, I got an employee referral from my friend in a really growing startup. I sent the cold email to a recruiter but still didn’t get any response. Since I know the CEO email address, do you think I can ask for initial interview step? Or should I just ask for him to forward to my application to HR?? I am not sure how I should reach out to a CEO if CEO has a mutual connection with my friend.

(Originally posted on Slack on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:54 PM)

I would first follow up with the recruiter and check in with them. They might have missed your email or meant to reply but it slipped their mind.

If you still aren’t getting a response you can reach out to the CEO. I would first mention your friend and how you heard about the company. Then talk about how excited you are about the business and why you want to work there. Referrals do not always lead to interviews. You can ask the CEO if there are any job openings or if there is someone else you can get in touch with about opportunities at the company.

Don’t forget to thank them for their time.