Last month, a reader wanted to know how to connect with a hiring manager who isn’t active on LinkedIn.
I crowdsourced some actionable ideas.
Here’s what I got:
1. Find a Shared Connection
Kolby Goodman, a career coach, suggested asking a shared connection for an introduction.
Your request might look like this:
I have been looking for positions at [Company Name] and saw that you know Ed Rasmussen. I would love to ask Ed a few questions about working there and hope you might introduce me to him.
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 talking with Hannah to learn more about it.
Would you be willing to introduce me? I would appreciate it.
Thanks in advance!
3. Research the Hiring Manager’s Interests
Hank Boyer, an Executive Consultant, suggests researching the hiring manager’s interests:
- Note their LinkedIn Group memberships
- Read their profile for intel
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]. Thus, I thought this article on the new FDA labeling regulations might interest you.
I understand you might not have open positions, but would you be willing to meet me for coffee this week or next?
I would appreciate the opportunity to learn how I can become a top candidate for your next opening.
Go Live to Ask for an Introduction
Rich Grant, a career advisor, suggests various sources for finding common ground.
- 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 recommends you call to get the best sense of the strength of their connection to the hiring manager.
It also sometimes yields a bingo where the person says, “Oh yes, Dorothy was my college roommate! I want to catch up with her anyway.”
Research Says Meetings Beat Emailing or Calling
Harvard Business Review research says in-person requests are the best. They’re 34X more likely to succeed than emails or calls.
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 connecting with hiring managers. Or, you can try some of the 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
I adapted requests for introductions I’ve received for the templates above.
I passed each of them along to the hiring manager. In each case, I included a note explaining that I didn’t know the person and that I was sharing their request as a courtesy.
Many recipients chose to follow up.
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Updated Aprile 2022
© 2014 – 2022, 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 is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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