Contacting the hiring manager increases a job seeker’s visibility and success rate, but it’s hard to connect when you don’t know his or her name. Control your destiny—and your ability to score interviews—by using these techniques to unearth the hiring manager’s name.
Pick up the phone
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so call the company and ask to speak with the appropriate manager, for instance, the manager of tech support or engineering. Your goal is to make a positive impression and to verify whether he or she is the right contact. So when he answers, politely explain that you’re a veteran engineer who is interested in the senior development opening and offer to send him your resume.
You may not get the right contact, but it’s a start, so ask for the name of the appropriate hiring manager or someone who may know. Drop the name of your last contact each time you call, and with perseverance, you’ll eventually uncover the name of the hiring manager.
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with ferreting out the name of the hiring manager; in fact, employers expect it. If someone tells you to contact HR or apply online, agree to do so, but explain that you would still like the name and title of the hiring manager for your cover letter.
Tap your network
Do you know someone who works at your target company? Do any of your friends, relatives or colleagues know someone who works there? Search social media, alumni directories, chat rooms and forums, meet-up and user groups and professional networking sites by company name to identify former co-workers or friends of friends who might know the hiring manager’s name. Better still, ask for an introduction, and be sure to mention the name of your friend when calling or crafting an introductory email.
Just remember to return the favor.
Start at the top
It’s easy to find the name of the CIO or head of IT on the “About Us” page of the company’s website or by searching the Internet. Depending on the size of the company, you may be transferred to the CIO or an assistant, so be ready to introduce yourself before asking for the name and title of the hiring manager. If the CIO’s assistant won’t divulge the hiring manager’s name, ask for his job title so you can look him up on line. CIOs are responsible for sourcing and hiring top-notch talent, so she may ask to see your resume or even volunteer to send it to the hiring manager if she’s impressed with your technical experience and chutzpah.
Executives are great networkers, and they have no reason to deny your request. In fact, you’ll probably encounter more resistance from receptionists and junior professionals.
Search the Internet
Search the Internet and your local business news using the company’s name and the manager’s job title (IT director + ABC Company) to see who comes up. Also, search social media, blogs, professional networking sites and directories like ZoomInfo and Spoke that list key managers by company and location, as well as trade publications and IT associations that may yield names of managers or their colleagues. You still need to verify your find, but it’s easy to navigate dial-by-name phone directories and ask for referrals once you have a name.
- Avoid voicemail and gatekeepers by calling before the office opens or after 5 p.m.
- Don’t worry about having the right name you; may uncover unadvertised or future opportunities during your quest for the appropriate hiring manager.
- Send a thank-you note to everyone who helps you, and always attach a copy of your resume if you speak to an executive or an IT manager.
- It takes time and persistence to uncover the names of hiring managers, but it’s better than leaving your chances to fate.