Photo Credit: Kate Hiscock
You can send applications into a black hole known as the “recruiting portal” that most companies use until the stars burn out – never actually moving your job search forward. Are you ready for a smarter, more humanized recruiting process available today? You need to go straight to the source: get the hiring manager’s name.
Trying to get through a company’s talent-squelching recruiting portal can be a total waste of time. Worse than being a waste of time, it can be a waste of energy, and applicants might be better served by throwing their resumes out the window of a moving car in the hopes that one might land on the desk of the hiring manager.
Sending your resume (Read: Putting Together a Civilian Resume) and a cover letter directly to the organization that you are applying to is one way to avoid the recruiting portal. Your letter should be professionally worded and polite, asking that your talents be reviewed. These types of letters are typically forwarded directly to the desks of department heads, and rest assured that if your resume is on target for the position that you are applying for, someone in management will be contacting you.
Searching online can also be a good way to find the hiring manager’s name. Using keywords such as the department name and your manager’s job title may yield your target contact’s name. Corporate websites are also a good way to find out who is in charge. These websites usually list the profile and position of the all the department heads within a company.
Simply calling the front desk may also get you the name of the person you are looking for. If you are unable to get past the receptionist, calling after hours and listening to the company directory can be a good way to find out who manages the department you’re interested in. A simple message or quick question could be all that it takes to get you in touch with the right person.
If you do not have a profile on LinkedIn, you should consider that your first priority. LinkedIn is the top networking site for working professionals, connecting people across the vast spectrum of all job markets. A contact with someone inside the company you are applying to may be able to assist you by walking your resume directly into the office of the hiring manager. Networking and participating in industry forums is a proven way to connect you with people who work at the company you are applying to and may be in a position to help you.
Hiring managers typically are not involved in the early stages of the applicant screening process primarily because there may be hundreds of applications. Hiring managers come into the picture after the field has been narrowed down to the top five or three. If a highly qualified proactive candidate finds a connection to that manager, they can circumvent the HR screening process altogether, helping to eliminate your risk of being eliminated before you ever had a chance to show what you are made of.
Most of all, don’t get discouraged! The right job is out there for you.
Read Next: Networking 101- How to Use LinkedIn