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Asking for a Friend: Reaching Out Directly to a Hiring Manager

I am the perfect candidate, but the hiring manager directed me to apply on-line
H. Michael Burgett
Contributing Writer

Dear Mike:

I’ve read of few of your articles where you suggest that we as job seekers research and reach out directly to the hiring managers for the role we are pursuing prior to applying online.  Following your advice, I recently reached out to the CIO of a company that has an opportunity that I am interested in.  He responded with a direction to apply via their website and once I did – I immediately received an automated rejection.  Unfortunately, this is a common HR obstacle that I have been facing in my search.

I had reached out with the following introduction on LinkedIn and included my resume:

Hi Bob, I am reaching out to express my interest in the VP of IT role in your organization. Given my extensive industry expertise, I am confident that I am the perfect candidate for this opportunity.  Given the opportunity to connect I would look forward to sharing more details on my alignment to the role.

Any thoughts on how I can improve my approach?

Thanks,

Franklin

_______________________

Hi Franklin,

I can’t surmise to understand his intentions here – but I would say you did well in that you made a connection with the hiring manager, the CIO.  Now I do wish he hadn’t sent you on a “goose chase” of applying online when he can quickly assess if someone is a fit for his org, or at least make a decision if he should have a conversation with a peer in the industry. 

My gut says his quick response was that he didn’t want to directly vet a candidate for that role and by directing you to apply online – he “handled” your reach-out.  Either way – it’s good to know that he doesn’t think you are a fit or he isn’t that into networking, because you can move on, and not waste your time.

On the follow-up note you shared – I wouldn’t recommend trying to “convince” via email or make any strong statements regarding alignment to a specific opportunity.  Rather, here is the type of approach that I would recommend going forward as I shared in the article – Uncovering Hidden Job Opportunities.

Hi Bob,   My name is Franklin and recognize that we have a few mutual connections here on LinkedIn.  I’ve recently reviewed your background and am quite impressed with your career path.  As your calendar will allow, I would appreciate the opportunity to schedule a 10-minute networking call where I would like to share my industry, technology, and leadership background and receive your feedback regarding potential alignment with your organization and any career advice that you may offer.  I am confident that we can quickly ascertain if there is an opportunity here to stay in touch and at a minimum solidify a connection for ongoing and mutual benefit.

As you can see this is only a slight shift from the language you used but focuses rather on a short call to network versus a conversation about a specific role.  Granted a request to “network” may have resulted in the same type of response from this individual, however, if you use this approach going forward, you will increase your hit rate for achieving a conversation.  Hang in there for sure – as this is a much better approach than just applying online, hoping, and waiting.

Hope that helps!

Mike

_______________________

TNCR Community – what advice would you add to this thread?  Do you have a perspective that you can share?  Have a career question for Mike?  Email him directly at mike.burgett@burgateglobal.com.

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