Pradeep Aradhya, 48, a Boston business owner and investor, saw himself as an introvert for years, but learned to network after realizing it was essential to his success. He’s now seen by colleagues, business partners and friends as a master.

You may be getting cut during first-round screenings by human-resources staffers checking boxes for a few basic criteria, says Brian Binke, president of Birmingham Group, a Berkley, Mich., affiliate of the Sanford Rose Associates executive-search network. Consider researching the company, preparing a few succinct points to show why you’re a good fit and calling the hiring manager directly. Then ask politely for a chance to make your case.

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