Do you want a cheat sheet to help you get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers?
Some candidate pools may have twenty candidates, while some jobs have hundreds of applicants. If it’s the latter, here are some pointers to get you beyond the typical five-second gloss-over of your resume. I will fully admit with ten years of recruiting experience, five seconds may even be too generous in the life of a busy recruiter.
So, here is how to actually wrangle the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager:
Find a current/former employee who can refer you in
THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO GET A JOB! Do research on Linkedin or a company webpage to see if anyone you know works or has worked for the employer you are targeting. Being referred in is 100% the best way to go, as risk is often reduced when someone can vouch that you are a good egg. “Who you know” should be the absolute first thing you leverage before or shortly after applying!
Pick up the phone and call me
As a busy recruiter, I’m not going to list my phone number on a job posting, because I do not want to be barraged with calls. However, if you take the time to look up my company, call in to my company, and try to talk with me—that will get my attention. I can’t tell you how rarely we get calls anymore.
Direct message me on LinkedIn
Pay the money to invest in InMail on LinkedIn. If you find out I am the job poster of a position you want, send me an InMail on LinkedIn introducing yourself and explaining more about why you are a strong fit for the job. I know you’ve paid money to get my attention, and that is absolutely deserving of a response!
Put a stamp on it
Other things that cost money: an envelope and stamp, for example. If you were to send me a handwritten note or typed letter with your resume in the mail, that will definitely make an impression. Good old snail mail can be very refreshing these days. In the past year and a half, I think I have received three resumes in the mail. Your resume will at least get a 10 second glance over from me, if sent this way.
Come to my office with resume in hand
Crazy/not crazy? I vote not crazy. That is taking some serious initiative and courage to put yourself out there like that. You will definitely win major points, as long as you really aren’t crazy!
Go above/around me
Do some research on LinkedIn or Google about who a hiring manager is for the specific job you want. Rather than messaging the recruiter alone, go directly after that hiring manager. Even better, go after a President/CEO or another company executive who will command us to look at your resume. Your resume will definitely be given special treatment, or we may get in trouble.
In my recruiting career, these are the two best stories I have ever heard regarding ways candidates have gotten the attention of hiring managers: entreQuest’s very own Eliza Graham sent a personalized cake to the President of a company in order to get his attention about a Marketing Director job. Another candidate I met, who was targeting a VP of Marketing role for a hospital system, mailed the board game “Operation” to the CEO of the hospital system. When he opened the box, the game’s patient and organs were tagged with goals and strategy she had in mind to help market the hospital. That CEO most definitely commanded his staff to call her in, and the job was soon after hers.
If you see a job posted and know it is a perfect fit for you, think about taking some of these extra steps above to give your resume and career a fighting chance.