Getting your resume to the hiring manager’s desk is a modern day, professional equivalent of the quest for the holy grail to some. However, there are a few ways of improving your chances of getting your credentials past HR and into the hands of those who actually make the decisions.
- Find keywords pertaining to your target role and insert them naturally in your content on your resume, LinkedIn profile and other social media profiles that you use for professional purposes. Hiring managers may find you on social media and then ask for your resume to learn more about you—if you are able to be found and can visually reinforce your qualifications with keywords and achievements.
- Do a company search on LinkedIn and see how you are connected to the target company. Ask for an introduction through your first, second or third degree connections to the company employee (ideally the hiring manager) directly.
- Research corporate and college alumni connections using other social media channels, online college/corporate alumni databases you have access to as an alum and good old fashion internet research (Boolean searches) looking for alumni at target companies and leverage those connections, where possible.
- Connect outside of ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and the formal HR department. Search and find a potential manager for the target position you are seeking and introduce yourself to the manager directly. Indicate that you applied through the standard HR and ATS processes and wanted to take extra steps to convey your interest and promote your credentials.
- Mix online and offline techniques. Once you find someone to connect with at the company using online research, consider the following ways to connect and take it offline: in-person meeting, find a connection in your network, go to meeting/conference/event, set up a phone call, send a snail-mail letter.
While none of these tactics on their own are the magic elixir to getting your resume to the hiring manager each and every time, a combination of these tactics or simply trying the same ones repeatedly can yield the results you want. Resiliency and persistence are the best ways to reach a hiring manager.
Lisa Rangel, the Managing Director of Chameleon Resumes, is a former search firm recruiter, certified professional resume writer and holder of six additional job search certifications. She has been featured on eFinancialCareers.com, Investors Business Daily, About.com, BBC, Forbes.com, LinkedIn, Monster, US News & World Report, Fox Business News and Good Morning America. She has authored six niche resume and job search ebooks, including 99 Free Job Search Tips from An Executive Recruiter.