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  • Writer's pictureLori A. Jazvac, MRW

Tips on Connecting With the Hiring Manager

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

A great résumé will only highlight your value if you leverage it in the right way possible. Remember, the résumé cannot do all the legwork for you if you don't get out there and take action!

From experience, the biggest mistake that many jobseekers make is thinking that the résumé is an immediate gateway to landing an interview or connecting with the hiring manager. Jobseekers also tend to assume that a job search is linear, when in reality it does not work like clockwork. This kind of reactive thinking lends to the job search process being either delayed or prolonged by several weeks or months.

Jobseekers, if you are relying on only online platforms to apply without engaging in the networking process, then you may likely be shortchanging yourself in the job search.

It is important to be proactive and take the initiative in connecting with the hiring manager. After all, the hiring manager is the ultimate decision-maker that will decide whether to invite you for an interview or to consider your candidacy when applying for a role.

At the end of the day, humans hire humans even if the résumé initially goes through the ATS!

Networking and connecting with key decision-makers is essential for accelerating your job search results. The hidden job market is the core strategy in stepping up your job search, provided that you do more than just "tap" or scratch the surface of the coveted hidden job market. You must be actively and consistently networking to reap the benefits of career growth and success.

Tips for Connecting with a Hiring Manager

¨ To increase your chances of securing an interview, you need to bypass the company’s Human Resources department and secure your résumé in the hands of the hiring manager — the person in the company with the ultimate authority to offer you the job.

¨ Put on your detective hat to find the hiring manager’s name and contact information. Use your network, Google, LinkedIn, or check the company’s website — or even call the company and ask! Be bold and take the initiative rather than playing the waiting game.

¨ Look for opportunities to connect with a hiring manager before you send your résumé and cover letter. Who do you know in common? Did you both graduate from the same university? Do your children perhaps attend the same grade school?

¨ LinkedIn is an effective professional platform for connecting with the hiring manager or other people at that company and build trusted relationships even before you apply. LinkedIn reflects a viable and safe platform for finding common ground with other professionals. According to the Undercover Recruiter, the average employee has 150 contacts on social media networks, and 100 employees translates to 15,000 contacts (and possible candidates).

¨ Check out your first-level connections, second-level connections, and others. You might be only a connection away from the hiring manager. Network and ask for introductions whenever possible. Your first-level or second-level connections might know the hiring manager! Remember the six degrees of separation principle.

¨ Don't underestimate the value of Facebook and Twitter for finding out more about the company or the hiring manager. Check out article or blog posts and stay updated. Understand how you can solve the employer's pain points and deliver value.

¨ Double your chances of reaching the hiring manager by sending your résumé and a customized cover letter by email and snail mail. Don’t skip the step of actually mailing a hard copy. It will help you stand out!

¨ Another great way to connect with the hiring manager is to leverage referrals, which can significantly increase your chances of getting to the next stage in the job search process.

Applicants hired through a referral start their position quicker than through job boards and career sites. (29 days vs. 39 days via job boards and 55 through career sites). Also referral hires have higher job satisfaction and retention--46% remain with the company for over 1 year, 45% for more than 2 years, and 47% for more than 3 years.

¨ If you have the hiring manager’s name, but not an email address, see if the company has a standard format for email addresses. For example, you may notice the format is:

¨ Follow up with the key hiring manager, reiterate your interest, show that you have done your research on the company, and highlight your unique value. Indicate why you are interested in working at that particular company. Employers appreciate jobseekers who are committed, demonstrate a sense of purpose, and have a clear focus.

If you want to find out more about how to maximize your job search success, just ask about my latest course on job search or email

My award-winning A-B-C-D Method will help you increase your job search success and get the results that you want.

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