A reader recently asked how to best use LinkedIn to reach a hiring manager he wants to pursue. The trouble: that hiring manager is basically inactive on the world’s largest professional network.
Guessing that he’s not the only job seeker facing that challenge, I reached out for some actionable ideas:
Find a Common Connection; Ask for an Email Introduction
Career Coach Kolby Goodman suggests you first find a common connection and ask that person to introduce you to the hiring manager via email That request might look like this:
I have been looking at various positions at [Company Name] and saw you know Ed Rasmussen. I was hoping that you could introduce me to him via email. I would love the opportunity to ask him a few questions about working there.
Thank you in advance,
Ask Someone Who Has Endorsed the Hiring Manager for Help
Sunil Sani, co-founder of CareerGlider.com, suggests getting a little gutsier. His idea: message one of the hiring manager’s endorsers and ask them to introduce you, like this:
I see that you are connected to Hannah Joyce and have endorsed her for her leadership skills. 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!
Research the Hiring Manager’s Interests
Hank Boyer, Executive Consultant, suggests researching the hiring manager’s interests by:
- Checking the Interests section of his/her LinkedIn profile
- Noting LinkedIn Group memberships
- Reading the entire profile for additional intel
Then email the hiring manager an article you think might interest him/her:
I’m interested in working for [Company Name]. As I was doing my research, I found this excellent article on implementing the new FDA regulations on sunscreen labeling that I thought might interest you.
I understand you might not have any open positions right now, but would you be willing to let me host you for a brief coffee meeting near your office this week or next? I would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about [Company Name], your role and how I might someday become a top pipeline candidate for your next opening.
Pro Tip! Be sure that your privacy setting allows the hiring manager to see that you have viewed his/her profile, just in case they drop by LinkedIn!
Go Live to Ask for an Introduction
Rich Grant, Career Development Expert, suggests considering a variety of sources for common ground when looking for people to introduce you:
- People you know right now
- Alumni of schools you’ve attended
- Members of your professional associations
- LinkedIn Groups you and the hiring manager have in common
- Current employees and alumni of companies where you have worked
Rich says you should call these people – and not email – because actually talking with them helps you get a better sense for 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…”
In other words: pick up the phone!
I know most of these suggestions are bold, and are likely outside your comfort zone. You can walk away from this tested advice and fail to make contact with the hiring manager who controls access to your dream job. Or, you can try some of these ideas. One of two things will happen:
- You will FAIL (aaaaack, not that!!!) and feel some level of personal, private discomfort you will soon get over
- At least part of the time, you will SUCCEED; don’t expect to bat 1.000, but do expect to make some solid progress
Take a chance. Be different. Step outside your self-imposed comfort zones. And make something good happen!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Avid Careerist!
About the Author: Donna Svei is a retained executive search consultant and executive resume and LinkedIn profile writer. She blogs at AvidCareerist.com. Follow Donna on Twitter!