If you want an interview, you should never get online, find the job listing, and apply for it online. Instead, you should find the hiring manager of that company and email them directly.
Related: Top 10 Ways To Get A Job Interview
Does that sound shocking? It does to a lot of job seekers I work with. I am a recruiter and career coach, and I’ve spent a lot of time as a hiring manager, too. From everything I’ve learned over the last 15+ years, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I give is: contact hiring managers directly to get the interview.
Let me tell you why contacting hiring managers works better than online applications…
When a company posts a job on Monster, CareerBuilder, or even their own website, thousands of job seekers see it. Like you, many of them want an interview, and so you all fill out the application.
Where do those applications go? They go to HR. HR scans through them looking for perfect matches for their search (which may or may not match the job description). So, if you’re older, if your resume doesn’t look exactly right, if your experience isn’t exactly what they say they want, you get screened out right then—even if you’d be great at the job.
Your chances of getting in front of the hiring manager by going through HR and their online applications are slim to none. If 300 people apply, your odds are 1 in 300.
However, if you find the name of the hiring manager and email them your resume, what are your chances of getting in front of them? 100%. And, this is the person who can see how your skills would be great in that role.
I worked with a guy who applied twice for the same job (that he was extremely qualified for)—but no luck. He came to me and took my advice. He contacted the hiring manager, and within weeks, had the job offer. He asked the hiring manager if he’d seen those applications, and the hiring manager said, “No.”
That’s why you need to contact them directly.
But wait, you say…what if it makes them mad? The ad clearly says, “Do not call” or “Do not contact us.”
First, you need to be contacting them whether or not they have a job posted. That’s how you find hidden jobs, which make up around 70% of all available jobs at any given moment. So we’re not going to care what their listing says, because we’re not even looking at that.
Second, you don’t care if they get mad or not. That’s not for you to worry about. What you need to worry about right now is getting a job. If they don’t want to hear from you, that’s their problem. If they do want to hear from you, you’re more likely to get the interview.
And always remember…when you’re working for someone, aren’t they lucky to have you on their payroll? You’re doing them a favor by letting them know you’re available.
What if they tell me to go through HR?
It’s always possible (especially with larger companies) that you’ll contact the hiring manager and they tell you that they can’t talk to you. You need to go fill out the online application. Does that defeat your purpose? No.
Go fill out the application and then contact them again: “Hi! I filled out the application. When can we set up a time to talk about it?”
At least now they know your name, which is more than they know about the other 300 applicants, and they know that you are someone who’s smart, driven, and successful.
This is why you should never be afraid to go around HR to get the interview. You should be excited. Contact the hiring manager and get the interview.
If you don’t know how to find the right hiring managers to contact, read this: How to Find Unadvertised Jobs and Get the Interview
Best of luck!
About the author
Career Coach – Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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