No interviews? Stop applying for jobs and speak directly to the hiring manager

With most hires being made internally, sometimes you need to make the effort to get your CV in front of the decision maker

A recent study shows that recruiters prefer to hire people they know with 72 per cent of new jobs being filled by employee referrals and internal hires. Sometimes you need to just go directly to the decision maker to ensure your application is getting into the right hands.

Network, network, network. Ask your friends or LinkedIn connections whether they know anyone within the company you’re targeting or in the industry you want to work in. They may be able to put you directly into contact with the hiring manager.

But what if you have no contacts in the company you want to work for? How can you make yourself known to them?

Start by researching the company’s website. Smaller companies often have an About Me page including employee profiles. If you’re lucky, you’ll get both a name and an email address. Start by searching these people on LinkedIn and sending a connection request.

When making contact, the tone of your email is important, as you don’t want them to feel pestered by you.  Start your message by providing a valid reason for contacting them. Perhaps refer to an article they’ve written, or something admirable about the company they work for.

Next, tell them why you would be useful for them. Perhaps you’ve got a solution to a problem or can offer collaboration. If not, simply express further admiration and that you’d like to work for them. Keep your message professional and concise (under 300 words).

If you can’t send a message directly or you don’t want to be a direct nuisance, still connect with them online by following them, retweeting their posts on twitter or perhaps commenting on their blog posts or Pulse articles.  If the hiring manager is not online, still make every effort to connect with the brand as a whole.

Write a personalised email with your CV

Instead of the bog standard subject line “CV” be creative to catch their attention by writing something such as “I can boost your company’s growth”. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can also pitch yourself, “Award-winning marketing manager”. Ensure you use the hiring manager’s name in the introduction.

The message should demonstrate the value that you could bring to the company and knowledge of the company’s culture, competition and brand. Use a natural, yet formal tone that fits in with the company culture.

Networking used to mean attending brunches and swapping business cards, but most of it now takes place online. It takes courage to contact a stranger on social media, but it can make all the difference.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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