It was crucial to set your GPS at the start of your search by defining a clear path and identifying the types of companies you want to work for. That’s because most jobs are never advertised and to have any chance of success, you must uncover all those hidden opportunities.
We’ve talked about how to make yourself visible online and how to attract the attention of the gatekeepers who control many of the unadvertised positions, but now we’re going to talk about another approach – going directly to hiring managers within companies who hire people like you.
With this strategy, you’re not going to worry about whether a company has vacancies currently. You are only concerned with making yourself known to as many hiring managers as possible.
Hiring managers are the target, not HR
Reaching the hiring manager rather than HR is crucial. The HR department is paid to filter and screen resumes and to fill existing positions. If your resume doesn’t fit an existing vacancy, they will probably never call you.
But the hiring manager knows things the HR person doesn’t. For example, a Marketing VP may have just lost his marketing manager to a competitor that morning. Or a Payroll Supervisor may have decided to replace her assistant but not told anyone about it. These are opportunities ripe for the taking -– don’t wait until they are advertised!
The 3 Steps to Direct Mail Success for Job Seekers
The secrets to success are exactly the same as running a direct mail campaign for a product or service. You must know your audience, find contact information, and then make a compelling pitch. For you that means the following 3 steps:
1. Carefully target companies who may need someone like you.
Think about the ideal position description you developed earlier and make a list of companies who fit the description. If you need help with this, LinkedIn has an excellent company search function that allows you to filter by factors such as industry, location and company size.
2. Find the names of people in a position to make hiring decisions.
Again, LinkedIn is an excellent tool for this, but you can also run Google searches – for example, if you are targeting an art position at Pixar, try running a search for ‘Art Director + Pixar’ and you will find the names of several people with this title.