No interviews? Stop applying for jobs and speak to the hiring manager
With the majority of hires made internally, sometimes the best tactic is simply to get your CV in front of the right person
There are times when a job hunt calls for unconventional measures. If you’re not getting interviews, it could be because your CV isn’t reaching the hiring manager.
Recruiters prefer to hire people they know: a recent study shows that employee referrals and internal hires make up 72% of new jobs. So sometimes the best approach is to circumvent the general inbox and speak directly to the decision maker.
Get in touch with the hiring manager
As most roles are filled internally, start your job hunt by referring to your network instead of visiting a job board. Do you know anyone who works in the industry or the company you’re targeting? Can they put you in touch with a hiring manager? Some companies even offer referral bonuses, which makes it a win-win situation.
But what if you have no contacts in the company you want to work for? How can you make yourself known?
To identify the hiring manager, start with the company’s website. Smaller companies often have employee profiles. If you’re lucky, you’ll get both a name and an email address.
What to say when you get in touch
The next step is to contact the hiring manager. The tone of your email is important, as you don’t want them to feel pestered. Start your message by providing a valid reason for contacting them. Perhaps refer to an article they’ve written, or something admirable about the company.
Next, consider why you would be useful for them. Perhaps you’ve got a solution to a problem or can offer collaboration. If not, you can simply express further admiration and that you’d like to work for them. Keep your message professional and concise (under 300 words).
Not all hiring managers want to receive unsolicited CVs, but it’s still worth connecting with them online. Does the manager have a professional Twitter profile or publish content? Engage by following them, re-tweeting posts, and leaving comments. If the manager doesn’t publish any work-related content, you can engage with the brand’s online content.
You may end up still having to follow their standard recruitment process, but you’ll already be familiar with them so they’ll remember you.
Write a personalised email with your CV
Let’s say you make a good impression and are asked to send over your CV. Emailing your CV is about personalisation. Instead of writing “CV”, try opening with a solution, such as “I can boost your company’s growth”. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can also pitch yourself, “Award-winning marketing manager”. Use the hiring manager’s name in the introduction.
The message should demonstrate the value that you could bring to the company and knowledge of the company’s culture, brand and competition. Use a natural, yet formal tone that fits with the company culture.
Finding a job is often about who you know. That’s why making a personal connection with a hiring manager works. Networking used to entail swapping business cards, but most of it now takes place online. It takes guts to contact a stranger on social media, but it can make all the difference.
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