Last month, a reader wanted to know how to connect with a hiring manager who isn’t active on LinkedIn.
Guessing that he’s not the only person in the world facing that challenge, I crowdsourced some actionable ideas.
Here’s what I got:
1. Find a Shared Connection
Kolby Goodman, a career coach, suggests you find a shared connection and ask that person to introduce you to the hiring manager.
Your request might look like this:
I have been looking at various positions at [Company Name] and saw that you know Ed Rasmussen. I was hoping you could introduce me to him. I would love the opportunity to ask Ed a few questions about working there.
2. Ask Someone Who Has Recommended or Endorsed the Hiring Manager for Help
Sunil Sani, the co-founder of Career Glider, suggests getting a little gutsier. Message one of the hiring manager’s fans and ask them to introduce you.
That request might look like this:
I see that you are connected to Hannah Joyce and have written a LinkedIn recommendation for her. I have been excited to learn about her company and am interested in working there.
I would greatly appreciate it if you would be willing to introduce me to Hannah via email.
Thanks so much!
3. Research the Hiring Manager’s Interests
Hank Boyer, an Executive Consultant, suggests researching the hiring manager’s interests by:
- Noting their LinkedIn Group memberships
- Reading their profile for additional intel
(Pro tip: Be sure your privacy setting allows the hiring manager to see you have viewed their profile, in case they drop by LinkedIn.)
Then, email the hiring manager an article you think might interest them.
That email might look like this:
I’m interested in working for you at [Company Name]. I checked your LinkedIn profile and thought this article on implementing the new FDA regulations on sunscreen labeling might interest you. Yes, I read those things.
I understand you might not have any open positions right now, but would you be willing to let me host you for a brief, masked, outdoor coffee meeting near your home or office this week or next?
I would appreciate the opportunity to learn what I need to do for you to consider me a top pipeline candidate for your next opening.
Go Live to Ask for an Introduction
Rich Grant, a career advisor, suggests considering various sources for common ground when looking for people to introduce you.
- People you know
- Alumni of schools you’ve attended
- Members of your professional associations
- Current employees and alumni of companies where you have worked
Rich says you should call these people because talking with them helps you get a better sense of the strength of their connection to the hiring manager.
It also sometimes yields a major bingo where the person says, “Oh yes, Dorothy was my college roommate! I want to catch up with her anyway.”
Research Says This Beats Emailing or Calling
Research published by the Harvard Business Review found that requests made in person are 34 times more likely to be supported than requests made via email.
Thus, get face-to-face in person or via Zoom with people who can help you every chance you get.
“That’s ALL Outside My Comfort Zone”
You can walk away from this tested advice about how to connect with hiring managers and not get to the person who controls access to your dream job. Or, you can try some of these ideas.
1 of 2 things will happen, you will:
- Fail and feel some level of discomfort that you will get over.
- Succeed—part of the time. Don’t expect to bat a thousand, but you will get some base hits.
The Source of Those Sample Requests
For the templates above, I adapted real requests for introductions I’ve received from LinkedIn connections.
I passed each of them along to the hiring manager with a note explaining that I don’t know the person and that I was sharing their request as a courtesy.
I said they should feel free to act on or ignore it as they wanted. Many of them chose to follow up.
Sometimes, I don’t know the hiring manager either, but I like to do a little karma banking!
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Update February 2021
© 2014 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, and Business News Daily.
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