4 Steps to Building a Relationship with a Hiring Manager Online & 4 Reasons Why You Should

4 Steps to Building a Relationship with a Hiring Manager Online & 4 Reasons Why You Should

If you’ve ready many of my blog posts or LinkedIn articles or perused the Resources section of my website, then you know that online job searching – applying for jobs via company/recruiter sites, job boards, or LinkedIn – is one of the weakest and slowest ways to land a new job with only a 15% to 20% success rate.

How can you boost the odds that you receive an invitation to interview? By building a relationship with the hiring manager online. This is one of the many ways that LinkedIn can improve the effectiveness of your job hunt, if you take the time to learn this easily executed strategy.

Why is this necessary? The answer has to do with why online job searching is the least-likely-to-be-productive strategy:

  • Most employers receive an unmanageable number of applicants (100s to 1000s) for many of their open positions, which necessitates their use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), or databases, to parse and analyze incoming resumes. Before a hiring manager even sees your resume, it must pass muster with the ATS for yours to make it onto a short list of candidates. And for that to happen, you must have first tailored your resume well for the job in question, with the right number and type of industry-specific keywords in the right way in the right locations in your document. Fail this and your application will never see the light of day with any hiring manager.
  • When you apply for jobs online, you’re pursuing opportunities for which you have maximum competition. Only 15% of available jobs are ever advertised outside the company, and these are what you see as job listings on company/recruiter websites, job boards, and LinkedIn. By approaching companies through this traditional means, you guarantee that your resume has to be sifted through their internal HR systems and people and that your resume will land on the hiring manager’s desk with those of several others, assuming you make it through the firm’s screening process (and  out of every 100 resumes received for an open position by a company, 92-96 of them don’t make it through ATS or human screenings).
  • Unless you have an exceptional resume and an exceptional LinkedIn profile, it will be hard for you to position yourself as the candidate of choice once your resume does land on the hiring manager’s desk. Branding, well-written career communications tools, and a distinctive LinkedIn presence will help you to distinguish your candidacy from those of the other folks short-listed for an interview. Without them, you may get an interview, but you’ll start the process well down the list, which means your interview performance will have to be out-of-the-ballpark superlative in order to overcome your mediocre to poor resume and/or LinkedIn profile.

Reaching out to a hiring manager early in your application process can help you to overcome problems #1 and #2. Forging a relationship with the hiring manager can help you to overcome problem #3. Which leads me to problem #4.

  • Without a relationship to the hiring manager, the odds of your getting an interview for a job drop dramatically. If you have a mediocre resume and/or LinkedIn profile, your odds will drop precipitously based on the issues noted above.

When you identify open positions that you wish to apply for, always try to aim first and foremost for those where the company name is advertised. Without that information, it’s nearly impossible for you to follow the relationship-building steps outlined below. Once you do apply for a position with an advertised company name:

Find the hiring manager o​n LinkedIn.

Connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn

Build a relationship with the hiring mana​ger on LinkedIn.

Leverage that relationship to boost the visibility of your candidacy.

This process won’t work if the hiring manager isn’t on LinkedIn or isn’t responsive to your outreach, but if you’re pursuing enough targets on a weekly basis and keep repeating this process with each one, it will work with one or more. Using this approach, I’ve witnessed clients gaining interviews to the jobs they most wanted to pursue AND get offers to the roles they really wanted, all because they took the time to forge a relationship with the hiring manager in advance that they solidified with an exceptional interview performance. Try it, this process works!

Do you need more how-to instructions on building relationships with hiring managers or recruiters? Hire Calling can help. This innovative online job search program offers you comprehensive insight, strategies, and how-to guidance on ways to boost your candidacy, win more interviews, and the get offer(s) you really want. Check it out here.

About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.