Kelly Donovan, CPRW
Career Communications & Job Search Specialist
  • Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
  • LinkedIn & job search specialist
  • Globally recognized work (TORI nominee)

I help execs leave jobs that aren't fun anymore and land their dream jobs!

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How to Contact a Hiring Manager

Reaching out directly to a hiring manager when a company isn’t advertising an opening is a great way to network.

You can position yourself as the candidate of choice for the company’s next opening.

Also, if the hiring manager likes you, he can possibly create a job for you; this happens more often than you think!

Note: When I say “hiring manager,” I’m talking about the department head or division head or executive who would be responsible for hiring you.

If you’re a marketing director, this could be the marketing VP or CMO.

I’m not talking about human resources professionals. (Unless you’re in HR yourself.) The folks in HR aren’t interested in networking with you!

Now, if it’s a company with an in-house corporate recruiter, by all means reach out to that person. But many companies don’t have in-house recruiters.

Find the hiring manager’s name

So, the first step is finding the hiring manager’s name, perhaps by doing a search on LinkedIn or a Google search. (You’d be surprised how often a Google search for the company name and division head’s job title will pull up a web reference to the person–and there you have your name.)

You could also call the company and ask. Say you’re doing a research project.

Contact the hiring manager via LinkedIn

Once you know his or her name through your research, you can send an InMail on LinkedIn if he/she has a profile on LinkedIn. Yes, you need a paid account to do this. You might be able to get a free upgrade.

Also, if you share a LinkedIn group with the person, you may be able to send a message for free. (Hint: if you don’t share a group, check to see if he belongs to any groups you could join.)

How to find the hiring manager’s email address

If you already know someone at the company (past or current employee) and know the person’s company email address, you’re golden.

Within any given company, all the emails usually follow the same format. So all you need is to find out one person’s email address, and you should be able to find out the hiring manager’s email address.

Here’s a surprisingly easy way. Do a Google search for the company’s domain name with an “@” in front of it.

Let’s say, for example, that the company’s website is www.acme.com. Obviously, the company’s email accounts will all end with @acme.com. So just type the following into Google:

@acme.com

More often than not, you should be able to find someone’s email address in the results that come up. Doesn’t matter whose it is! It will reveal the company’s email scheme.

Based on the results, let’s say you determine that the scheme is jane.doe@acme.com.

If you want to confirm whether the mail box exists, one neat tool is http://verify-email.org. (However, you can easily skip this step.)

Use RocketReach to look up the info

If you can’t find any evidence of a company’s email scheme through your Google searching and don’t have luck with Verify-Email.org, another good tool is RocketMail. This company has a paid service, but also has a free level that allows you to look up 5 contacts per month. https://rocketreach.co/

Emailing the hiring manager: just do it!

At this point, you can just go for it–send the person an email and see what happens. Make sure the email is a carefully worded cold networking letter.

Yes, it might not be a valid address for any number of reasons, or maybe the person has left the company and won’t receive it. Who knows. Who cares? Just go for it. You don’t have anything to lose.

 

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"I had four headhunters find me on LinkedIn and contact me, and my resume did a great job of showing what I can bring to a company. I'm very excited to be starting my new job. I highly recommend Kelly's services and will be referring friends to her." -Phil F., Director of Business Development, Los Angeles area (via LinkedIn)

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  • Recruiter Perspective
    I have an active executive recruiter for Fortune 500 companies who will review your resume before we finalize it!
  • Up-to-the-Minute
    I'm up to date on how to get you noticed on LinkedIn, as well as resume trends.
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    My team and I can equip you with everything you need!
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    You can call or email me at any point in your job search for advice and encouragement.

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