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
I have never used this, but I have been on the receiving end. I don’t mind a candidate reaching out to me through LinkedIn but quite honestly I found it pretty creepy when I got an email directly. If I haven’t made my email public on LinkedIn it is for a reason, and I’m not going to look kindly on anyone that sends me an unsolicited email anyway.
Also, make sure you are reaching out to the right person. I had a candidate send me a message through LinkedIn for a position outside of my department when it was pretty clear from my profile what area I worked in. The only thing I can imagine is they saw I once worked in that area at another company.
of course there is a flip side to it as well Hal and thanks for bringing that up. as a candidate that is a risk I personally would be willing to take. you never know who is on the other end. while you make take objection, others may find it ____________ ? it’s worked well for me in the past.
I haven’t used this method to get in touch with a hiring manager but I can tell you that this method works for find email addresses. Some companies are wising up to this type email mining and adding in a middle initial or a number to prevent the efficiency of this technique.
welcome Joseph – very true that companies are getting more creative in their email structures. hmm, how about a website that keeps up with this type of stuff? a big database sort off. the next business idea? the next iPhone app? would you use it?
That’s a great idea Sunil.
I’m not sure I, personally, would use it as I’ve found quite a few techniques to discover email addresses and have been fairly successful in contacting people. But others would most likely be interested.
I also know of a couple of websites that help narrow down the possibilities. If you’re interested in collaborating in creating a product around this, let me know.
it’s always been something I’ve wondered about in the back of my head. email me when you get a chance – would love to ponder some more
I have a question and am not sure whether or not to ask as it’s a bit off-topic from what’s being discussed in this page.
It’s about the mass de-indexing of the blog networks like BMR, etc. So it seems like relying blog networks for backlinks is no more a good idea for webmasters. so what do you suggest instead of blog networks for continuos backlinking? OR explain about your current link building pattern. It would be greatly helpful for us if you could share those info.
Thoufeeq – I never used blog networks exactly for that reason, just never sounded kosher. link building is not unethical and the tools I use simply expedite the process. I have written quite a bit about backlinking on this blog. while you go through those I highly recommend reading the article on building an appropriate website structure as well. let me know if you have any questions as you read them.
I will surely use this method to land a job in Dubai. I have planned to go and get a job there in OCT 2012. I think Linkedin will help me in this cause!
welcome to the blog Owais. do you know that I own a Dubai niche site (see below)? may want to have a look…I have a few sections on jobs in Dubai, as well as a book that may be of interest. hope to see you here more often.
I listened to your podcast interview through SPI and I’m now following along, sounds like you have some great personal experience to back up what you are sharing with us. Thank you.
I’ve never had the new to explore/oit LinkedIn like this but will be landing in the UK (from Aus) later this year and desperate for a job so this will definitely come in handy for me!
I agree that it is a risk worth taking, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and if it’s received unfavorably then c’est la vie.
welcome to the blog Jarratt. talk about bold moves – what takes you all the way to the UK from AU? I have my hands in quite a few buckets and I do my best to blog from my personal experiences. please let me know if you have any questions as you go through the material. hope to see you more often
Well I am off on the trip of a lifetime, years in the planning on a working holiday to the UK with my girlfriend and spending all our spare money on the way. Also looking to start up a travel blog, in the process at the moment of planning and building the site. Will be a steep learning curve no doubt, but we love travel and are keen to have a go. Just need to work out our unique selling point…. I’m brainstorming the idea at the moment!
I will be in touch with any more questions, etc. Thanks for the advice 🙂
do keep me in the loop Jarratt. always intrigued by start ups of your sort. my wife and I are also heading to the UK and then France for a 14 day trip. got any last minute travel tips for us?
I will keep you in the loop, no problems there 🙂
Well if you plan enough in advance you can get tickets each way from Paris to London for 2 Euro all in, on Megabus!
but how long does Megabus take? I don’t want to spend half my vacay on the road. we just booked Eurostar for approx $130 USD per ticket. 2 hr-ish journey
Ah yes, always the tradeoff 🙂 It would take 10 hours I think, unbelievably!
When I get towards France, I will have to weigh that up as well – time vs money 🙂