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Three Strategies To Get Your Résumé In Front Of The Hiring Manager

by Lorraine Rise M.S., CPRW

Perhaps one of the most challenging—and mystifying—aspects of the modern job search is how to bypass the applicant tracking system and get your résumé in front of a real person. Many applicants rely on online job boards because they are so convenient to use. Despite their convenience, online applications do nothing to actually lead the employer to the right candidate. There are other lesser known strategies available that are far more effective for both the job seeker and the employer. These strategies may require a little bit more time and legwork, but they will dramatically improve the chances of your résumé being read by a recruiter, or even better—the hiring manager.

1. Use LinkedIn to identify and contact the hiring manager. Oftentimes, job descriptions will state the title of the person that the position reports to. This information is VERY valuable. If the description lists it, do an advanced search on LinkedIn for the person at the company with that job title. If you don’t know the exact title, do the search anyway and you may have to make an educated guess. Once you determine who the manager is, check their profile for their phone number or email address. If those aren’t available, send them an InMail through LinkedIn. The priority for contacting someone is phone, then email, then InMail. Attach your résumé in your message and include a brief (one paragraph) message that focuses on your value and why you are a good fit for the role.
2. Contact the recruiter who posted the job. If you’re unable to determine who the hiring manager is, your next option is to contact a recruiter or whomever posted the job. If the job is posted on LinkedIn, you can often see the profile of the person who posted it. Take advantage of this! It’s optional for employers to publish the information of the job poster, so if they publish it then you can assume that they are open to communications.
3. Get referred by someone at the company. Referrals are the #1 most preferred method for hiring across all industries. Referrals are so trusted and valued that companies often pay employees lucrative bonuses to bring them qualified candidates. Make it a part of your job search strategy to always cross-reference EVERY job you apply to on LinkedIn to see if you have first or second degree connections. You will be surprised by how many people that you know, and how many people that they know.

Getting your résumé in the hands of the employer is going to take a more comprehensive strategy than just applying online and waiting for a callback. In addition to applying online, spend an equal (or greater) amount of time reaching out to recruiters, hiring managers and others in your network to get conversations started. Not everyone that you contact will reply or be able to help you, but all you need is one good one, right?