Learning how to use LinkedIn strategically to get in touch with the hiring manager of the job you want is an extremely valuable skill that can separate you from the average job applicant when applying for that next ideal job.
I will go over a strategy that I personally utilized successfully to land a relatively (based on my age and experience level) high profile position in the early 2000s at a company that I was particularly targeting. I am positive that this strategy will work equally as well today if not more effectively from how I have seen LinkedIn evolve and used.
Though LinkedIn was founded in 2002, and though many professionals capitalized on its features and capabilities early, most I would say did not get on the bandwagon until the recent few years or so. With the increasing number of professionals getting on the platform, learning how to use LinkedIn effectively is a key “skill” that can benefit anyone’s job search endeavors. (I know I have used it heavily for several big business wins).
Most job descriptions (at least the ones I have seen) do not disclose the name of the hiring manager. Rather, the position description reads something like this: “this position reports to the VP of Marketing” or something similar. So what does learning how to use LinkedIn have to do with that?
Professionals on LinkedIn typically list all the “specs” tied to their jobs/positions including their position at the company they work for. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can use the Advanced search function and search for the hiring manager, in this case the “VP of Marketing” at the relevant company.
If you are able to find the person in that position, see whether you are LinkedIn to them and how. If you are already LinkedIn (many don’t have a recollection of how many and who they are Linked to), you can send them a direct mail message for free.
If you are not LinkedIn directly but through colleagues in your network, attempting to request an introduction may take some time and is usually not the best recommended route in my opinion. Go ahead and try this anyway. In addition, browse to see what groups the hiring manager is part of. Apply to join the same groups. Once part of the group, you can send the hiring manager a friend request because of the common group affiliation. This process can also take some time.
If all else fails, scroll through the individual’s profile and see whether their corporate email ID is displayed. Many have this visible. If their email ID is not visible, research the company’s email nomenclature / structure online and email the individual directly. Trust me, they will be IMPRESSED. If you can’t find the company’s email format online, go to the company’s corporate website and navigate to their “Contact” or “About” page. These pages typically display generic email IDs one can use to get in touch with the company.
Take the email extension (the @company.com part) and send a message to the hiring manager using the following twelve formats:
You should have the hiring manager’s full name by scouring LinkedIn. Send the same email message to each format individually. In other words, do not send only one email with four email addresses displaying in the “to” “cc” or “bcc” fields. Make the email look professional and well intended. Use your copy / paste skills.
I am not promising this strategy will work 100%, but there is a very high likelihood that you will hit Bulls Eye utilizing this approach. Learning how to use LinkedIn effectively can pay off huge, and is a must in my opinion for individuals motivated by professional growth.
Readers: What do you think? Have you tried this strategy to get in touch with a hiring Manager on a job you were targeting?Previous: Following Your Dream With a Degree in Entrepreneurship