Actually, there may be several people who have the job you want.
My advice is to contact them.
As the person in the chair they can offer you advice on how they got the role, skills did they emphasized during their search and what they are using today. The difference between the skills emphasized and what they see now is very important; as it firsthand knowledge of what’s truly important to the people that will hire you.
They are great insight into the differences in the companies within the industry (what role does each company play, who is strong, who is weak, etc.). Since their company has the role filled, you want their insight into those other firms. They also can offer key contacts within the industry.
More importantly, they can be a good source of job leads. As they sit in the chair today, people are likely to contact them about similar roles (networking contacts, recruiters, etc.), assuming they are happy, then most are likely to pass the role along to others. This is why you always want to practice the “80% Rule of Networking” to establish a good start of your relationship.
I used this technique and it produced several good leads. When I reached out to people, I told them that I was interested in the industry and wanted to get their opinion. Never once did I ever ask for a job – though they knew I was looking for one.
I also found out much more about the role that I did not know before, there were items that were particular to both an industry and the firm. These included key areas of focus, trends effecting the role, etc. In a few cases, I realized that my skills were not as strong as a fit with the role as I had anticipated.
Give it a whirl – Talk to someone who has the job you want! May be one of the better ways to find the job you want!
Good luck today!