In fact, to greatly improve your job search results, the number of conversations with these decision makers is the ultimate metric you should be tracking. Not job leads found. Not new connections on social media. Not applications sent.
So in this social media-don’t-email-me-hide-behind-the-computer era, how do you find these people? The answer, while not simple, is clear: you must use a combination of new school tactics (technology, social media) and old school activities (phone, in-person, snail mail) to start conversations with people.
Because ultimately, people hire people.
Here are 10 ways to connect directly with hiring managers you do not know and start engaging conversations:
Pick Up the Phone!
Pick up the phone and call them. Yes, I said it. Dial a phone number. Not sure what number? If you know their employer, get the main number for their company and call asking to be transferred. Old school is new to you, right?
Perform a search engine search (Bing, Google, etc…) and see what information exists online for this person. This search will often produce other ways to connect: industry associations, clubs, volunteer efforts, etc.
Request an Introduction
Look up the person and see which connections you have in common. Determine if you can ask for an introduction through one of your mutual connections.
Connect thru LinkedIn Groups
Go to the hiring managers LinkedIn profile. Scroll to the bottom and see which groups they belong to. Now, join the group and then reach out to the person as a group member.
Facebook is Your Friend
So is Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and every other social network.
Check out if they have a Facebook personal page, Twitter account or Google+ account using the respective search function within the medium. Then reach out to them privately or openly through a mention in a post. Important: give them a reason to connect other than “I’m in a job search.”
Find Their Online Professional Presence
Do they have an executive bio page on the company website? Do they sit on a board of a local start-up or non-profit? More often than you might expect, an executive bio page is a great way to connect.
Use Contact Us Page
Are they a blogger? Do they guest post on HR blogs? Industry media sites? Do they run a side gig? Reach out using the “Contact Us” page with a question related to their latest post, the mission of the business, etc.
Send a Contact Request on Skype
Do they have a Skype account? If so, be sure to reach out, but only if you can clearly state your compelling reason to connect in the message area. If you can’t do that, your request may be seen as spam.
Go Old School: Email
Email is great, and it is much easier to find their email address than you might expect!
Pop their name, the company name/url and the word “email” into a search engine and see if their email address is published online anywhere. No luck? On LinkedIn or Google, find the email address of someone else who works at that same company. If the colleagues name is Mary Smith and their email is ‘email@example.com’ then the hiring manager’s email address likely follows that same format.
Go Older-School: Snail Mail
Send a letter. People receive 100s of emails per day now, but only 5-10 pieces of snail per day—so this is a highly viable option to get noticed in today’s world. Ff you want to make a ig splash, consider express mailing it with a signature required.
In today’s world, there are so many ways to connect with someone. A lack of persistence, creativity or a compelling message are the only reasons that can prevent a connection from taking place. Never give up and keep moving your job search forward!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes.
About the Author: Lisa Rangel is founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website, has helped hundreds of people land the exact job they wanted – even when they weren’t sure they would get an interview. Lisa is a 7-time certified resume writer and job search consultant, a former recruiter and one of the few executive resume writers performing resume and job search-related contract work for LinkedIn. She has been featured on Forbes.com, LinkedIn, Investors Business Daily, and so many more publications. Follow Lisa on Twitter!