As a job seeker it isn’t easy to stand-out against the competition. One way to flip the odds in your favor is to use LinkedIn to connect with a hiring manager.
“The beauty of LinkedIn is that it eliminates the power of gatekeepers.”
Have you ever gathered the nerve to call a hiring manager out of the blue? Chances are you were stopped by their assistant who promised to “pass on the message”. Did you ever hear back?
I remember applying for a job and calling the hiring manager 8 times over two weeks. Nothing would get her to pick up the phone. That’s when I turned to LinkedIn for help.
One of the benefits to using LinkedIn is that most people use their primary email address with LinkedIn. This means the message you send will end up in their inbox.
Here are three quick ways you can use LinkedIn to get around gatekeepers and connect with hiring managers so you stand-out from the other job applicants.
1. Connect Directly on LinkedIn
The first option is to connect directly with a hiring manager using a personalized message. When connecting as a job seeker, select ‘I’ve done business together’ and use your most impactful job title that’s relevant for the job you’re applying for.
Before you click ‘Send Invitation’, take a moment to personalize the message. Give them a reason to want to connect with you. Build intrigue and interest.
Here’s an example of what you might write.
“Hi Tammy! I came across your profile while researching your job post for a senior marketing manager. The job description looks like a perfect match with my talents and experience. I would love to connect if you’re open to it. Thanks, Ian”
Now Tammy is curious about my profile. The easiest way for her to view it is to simply click ‘Accept’. After she accepts, there’s the added benefit of being able to send messages directly to her inbox.
2. Connect via LinkedIn Groups
Another approach to connect with a hiring manager is to review their profile and join a LinkedIn group that they’re currently in. LinkedIn allows members of the same group to send messages to each other without having a premium account, even if you’re not directly connected.
I’ve recently used this approach to connect with several executives in order to avoid using the InMail function of the premium account in LinkedIn. Keep in
mind that many groups are closed and require an admin to gain access. For this reason, consider joining multiple groups in common with the hiring manager so you get in at least one.
3. Upgrade To LinkedIn Premium
If none of the methods above work, you can always pay for LinkedIn’s premium service which allows you to send InMail’s directly to a person without having to be connected with them.
The premium subscription can be very valuable as a job seeker because not only does it provide the ability to message anyone, it also provides enhanced search capabilities which is useful when you want to create a target list of hiring mangers or companies you’d like to connect with.
With these three approaches to connect with a hiring manager on LinkedIn, you’ll be able be able to eliminate gatekeepers, stand out from other applicants, and create a valuable relationship inside a company.
Thanks for reading.
– Ian Jenkins