Any expert in job searching will tell you that the best offensive move you can make when applying to a job is finding a way to get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager directly via a trusted friend or employee. This beats out any online resume reader, application, email, or LinkedIn message. But finding the hiring manager and other covert strategies to getting your resume in the right hands might require what we’re calling “job search sleuthing.” And we’re giving you a few of the best sleuthing tips we have.
First, if you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, try these tactics to find it:
- Try finding different versions of the job description around the web. When companies post on CareerBuilder or Monster, etc. they often don’t use the hiring managers’ names. But if the hiring manager or a department member posted the same job on an alumni board, they may have used the hiring manager’s full name. Search (in quotes to help accuracy) the job title and company name to find these job postings.
- Find someone in your network who works for the company, and ask away. Search the company name on LinkedIn. You may find you have a 1st or 2nd degree connection within the company. Find them and reach out. Ask if they know who the hiring manager is for the position.
- Check the company’s website. Especially if you’re applying to a small company or nonprofit organization, often all of the staff members’ names will be listed. If the job is in marketing, you might not know who it reports to exactly, but you’ll likely know who the head of the department is and that’s a place to start.
What do you do if you know the name of the hiring manager, but not their email address.
- Hit Google first, and use the power of quotation marks. You already likely know the company’s web URL so try this first “email@example.com.” It may give you an email address right away.
- If that doesn’t work, try finding the company’s email cadence. Some use firstname.middleinitial.lastname. Others use firstnamelastname, and some new companies are using firstname.lastnameinitial. And the list goes on. You can generally find out what the company’s email candence is by typing into Google “@companyname.com.” This will help you to boil down what the hiring manager’s email might be.
But what do you do once you know who they are and you have their email address?
- Like you did when you were looking for their name, use LinkedIn to find connections you might have or that your friends might have within the company. Reach out to those connections directly and ask them if they would be willing to have a conversation with you about the company culture and perhaps deliver your resume and cover letter directly to the hiring manager as an internal recommendation. This can be incredibly powerful.
- Use industry connections outside the company as well. If you have a friend who served on a Board with a hiring manager, etc., ask them to reach out directly.
- Reaching out directly yourself is definitely an option if you don’t have a connection to send your resume along directly. Keep your email short and sweet, and be sure to tell the hiring manager that you’ve applied through the correct channels but also wanted to take the initiative to ensure your resume landed directly in their mailbox as well. Reiterate your interest in the position and highlight a key skill or two, and you’re done. It’s not a cover letter. It’s an introductory email.
Once you’ve sleuthed and snooped, reached out and applied, it’s all in their hands. But you’ve done the best you can and have taken every initiative possible to ensure success.