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.

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.

LinkedIn Connection box
“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.

LinkedIn Ask To Join

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

“The beauty of LinkedIn is that it eliminates the power of gatekeepers.”

Which of the 13,223 job-hunting books on is going to help you land your next job? When I look at my bookshelf next to my desk, I wonder if I haven’t bought them all, plus a few more.

“In just one week, 26 new books were added to the ‘job hunting’ category on Amazon!

How can you keep up?”

 The job hunting books that rise to the top of my list provide valuable insights, different perspectives, or an unconventional tactic that I have used to help land a job opportunity. In the early days of my book collection, I remember glancing through a $7 negotiation book for tactics moments before negotiating my salary at a fast growing IT company. When the HR Director presented the offer over the phone, I used one of the tactics and added another $9832 to my salary.

The Best Job Hunting Books

To make in on my list below, the job hunting books had to have that kind of impact on my career. With so many good books on how to uncover your talents, write a resume, prepare for an interview and negotiate salary, I’ve limited this list to my favorites that can help you find a job.

Job hunting books

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 by Jay Conrad Levinson & David Perry

job hunting booksIt’s easy for us job hunters to get stuck in a rut. Usually it’s because we’re betting on a single job hunting strategy that isn’t producing results. This book opened my mind to new strategies (999 to be exact) that cover both online and offline job hunting. Have you ever considered running a Facebook ad of yourself to target your exposure to employees of specific companies? Or harvested the full value of LinkedIn within your network?

If you need to get re-energized, then keep this book handy to kickstart your job hunt. There are pages and pages of useful ideas. I found it easy to get overwhelmed. Look at it as a menu and not a manual and you’ll find plenty of value between the covers.

Business Model You (BMY) by Tim Clark & Alexander Osterwalder

Job hunting booksIf you’re mid-career and want to stand-out from the crowd in an interview or want a company to create a job for you, then you’ll want to consider this book. The BMY approach will help map your value for your target company’s business model. Imagine walking in to an interview, storyboarding a company’s strategy on one-page, and then showing how your value will turbocharge their business model. This is eye-candy for an executive!

The model is a simple and easy to use. It consists of a 1-page canvas with 9 blocks that can even be drawn on the back of a napkin on on a whiteboard in an interview. The author has a reasonably-priced course on Udemy that complements the book.

Ask the Headhunter: Reinventing the Interview to Win the Job by Nick Corcodilos

job hunting books

Nick’s weekly blog posts are the ‘Dear Abby’ column for job hunters.  His posts are respond to reader submitted scenarios. Wow – do people get themselves in awkward situations! My favorite posts involve predicaments involving botched offers, crazy negotiations, and working with shady recruiters. Although his website  ( is difficult to navigate, his e-books (for purchase) hold valuable insights on specific topics.

What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles 

job hunting booksThe Library of Congress puts this book on its shortlist of ‘The Most Influential Books Ever Written.’ It certainly lived up to its reputation with the impact it has had on my life.  Richard is a former clergyman who has written what many refer to as “The Job Hunter’s Bible.” The introspective exercises and the introduction to informational interviewing were breakthroughs for me in my job hunts.

What this book does better than the others is it covers not just the tactics of job hunting, but the emotional side as well. In the middle of a major economic downturn, this book exposed me to an approach that turned my 100% rejection rate (after 63 applications) to a 100% success rate in getting meetings with hiring managers. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Headhunters Hiring Secrets: The Rules of The Hiring Game Have Changed…Forever by Skip Freeman

job hunting booksSkip’s approach comes across like a drill sergeant. It’s hard-hitting and to-the-point. His book covers the ‘how to position yourself’ through every step of the job-hunt. The bite-size chapters, help you craft your marketing plan, direct your sales approach and assist you in closing the deal. Coming from the recruiters point-of-view his insights often feel like industry insider knowledge. If job hunting isn’t one of your passions, then you’ll appreciate the level of detail Skip provides from what to say to how to label the file name of your resume before sending it.

  •  Do you have a favorite job hunting book or blog?
  • Which job hunting book made a difference in your career?

Leave a note in the comments field and ‘pay it forward’ to other job hunters. In the meantime, I’ll be following your recommendations and looking to add to my collection of job hunting books.

Thanks for reading.

– Ian Jenkins

Most people think rejection from employers is the most emotionally painful part of job hunting. It’s not. After graduation, I was unemployed for several months in the midst of an economic downturn. During that tough time, I learned many painful lessons. Rejections from companies was hugely disappointing, however there was something even more painful, which I felt on a daily basis.

Job rejection | Ian Jenkins

When I graduated from college, I looked to the future with a twinkle in my eye. My optimism was shattered when Microsoft announced it’s first profit warning in a decade.This started the fast decline in the tech sector in what we now call the ‘ bubble’. Although it happened many years ago, the financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the oil industries trouble in 2015 all share the same characteristics – lay-offs, slashed hiring budgets, and extraordinarily difficult job-hunting conditions.

Free buffets aren’t for everyone

job rejection | Ian JenkinsOne of the advantages of being a graduate is that companies come to the university with job openings. Given my Masters degree in Strategy many of my peers were aiming for consulting gigs. Despite their delicious buffets at recruiting events, the consulting life wasn’t for me.

After the ‘dead-ends’ at the job fairs, I focused my search on the popular online job bulletins. I found very few jobs in the tech sector, which is where I had stubbornly decided to focus my job hunt. (Remember this sector was firing people by the thousands. One might say I was naive.) As the number of rejections piled up, two things happened.

First, my search went wider. I started to apply for jobs that had less to do with my skills and interests and more to do with simply getting a paycheck. My bank account was thinning faster than my hairline. I was getting desperate.“Just get a job and then keep looking for a job”, is what I told myself.

Second, I became a recluse. I searched for jobs online, day and night. I wrote and rewrote every resume umpteen times. My cover letters had more effort behind them than my thesis. Every word was carefully written and checked again. I was stretching each task to fill the available time. Sound familiar?

Rejection: Dark times get darker

Since I was an American living in Norway, my poor Norwegian language skills significantly limited my job opportunities. I had also decided to work in the most depressed industry at the time. I was aiming for the near impossible. (Did I mention I was naive?)

Job rejection | Ian JenkinsAs Fall rolled in, the daylight hours got noticeably shorter in Oslo. With only a few hours of grayness in the afternoons, it was hard to get excited about anything. By this time I had faced 52 rejections. As if to punish myself further, I limited my exposure to light to the glow from my computer screen.

Emotionally I was nearing an all time low. I had been rejected every time I extended my hand and had isolated myself to “focus more on the job hunt”. What I was really doing, is avoiding the most painful part of job-hunting – especially when you’re an unemployed job-hunter.

If you’ve been in a similar situation, you know what it is. It’s that moment when close friends and family ask, “How’s the job searching going?” That question hurt more than anything else.

What little confidence I had left was being chipped away each day that simple question. Admitting defeat and failure to those close to me was painful.

I knew they meant well, but they were emotionally closer to me than any company or organization I had applied to. Having to answer that question everyday from caring friends and family was truly the most difficult part of my job hunt.

Desperate times, desperate measures

Job rejection | Ian JenkinsRejection #63 changed everything for me. When I couldn’t even land an interview to be a paperboy in the neighborhood, I knew the problem wasn’t me. It was my job-hunting approach that needed an ‘extreme makeover’.

I got so desperate, that I listened to the career advice of a college professor. Now that’s desperate! He introduced me to an unconventional job-hunting approach, one that changed my life. Within a week, my 100% rejection rate changed to a 100% acceptance rate. I was getting each and every meeting I requested with a hiring manager. I filled my calendar with meetings for the coming weeks and found my dream job without any competition.

I went on to re-use this amazing job-hunting approach during three major job shifts in my career. As a result of my success, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to share my experiences for with other job-hunters for the past 13 years. It’s provided tremendous satisfaction helping job-hunters from around the world create their own career breakthroughs using the same simple strategies I used. It’s my way of ‘paying it forward.

Thank you for reading.

– Ian Jenkins

Are you struggling to find a job or switch careers? Most job seekers don’t realize that their job-hunting method, not their profile, determines their success.

Richard Bolles, author of the book What Color Is Your Parachute, has researched job-hunting methods for over 40 years. He’s collected comparative statistics on the top 10 different methods job-hunters use. The results will surprise you!

What you’ll discover is that not all job-hunting methods are created equally. Knowing which ones perform the best, will help you avoid wasting your time and energy.

Watch the brief video below to discover the top 1o best job-hunting strategies and which one has a 86% success rate! (Click the video to watch).

The Top 10 Most Successful Ways To Find A Job

Here are the highlights, starting off with the least effective approaches to find a job.

#10: Online Job sites And Employer Websites have a measly 4% success rate! Yet, amazingly this is one of the most popular options for job hunters. At best if you have a technical background in IT, healthcare or within the sciences, the chances of finding your job using this approach can go as high 10%.

#9: Mail Your Resume To Employers has 7% success rate. Sending unsolicited resumes to employers is quite popular yet not as effective as one might think when it’s time to find a job.

#8 Answering Local Newspaper Ads has a wide range of success – between 5-24%. The reason for the range is the entry-level, lower paying jobs often find their placement this way. The higher the professional level you’re looking for, the lower the match rate is for this type of job search strategy.

#7 Search firms have a 5-28% placement rate. The reason for the wide range is that there are many different types of search firms (part-time jobs – full-time / entry-level – executive level). The level of competence in each firm varies as well.

#6 Ads In Professional Journal land a 7% success rate. he advantage to this approach is that is targeted, but the downside is that it’s very competitive.

#5 State & Federal Employment Offices have a 14% success rate. There can be lots of opportunities in your local government, just be sure to be patience as the hiring process can take time.

#4 Asking For Job Leads raises your success to 33%. This works particularly well if you have a large circle of contacts that have worked with you in the industry you want to work in.

#3 Knocking On The Door Of An Employer lands you a 47% chance of getting a placement. Keep in mind this approach works particularly well at companies that are smaller which often means their hiring managers are more accessible.

#2 Yellow Pages / Company Directories if you love selling you’ll love this approach. It has a 65% success rate. It requires that you call into your desired companies, identify the hiring managers and then describe the value you create for them. It’s not for everyone, but it does have a good success rate!

#1 Face-to-face Advice Meetings is the best approach because of it’s whopping 86% success rate!   Simply asking for career advice from contacts (instead of a job!) will open the doors to job opportunities that are designed around your skills strengths and knowledge.

I’ve tried all the approaches listed here and found that face-to-face advice meetings lived up to their success rate. Mastering how to do them radically transformed my job hunt and my career trajectory.

What’s your favorite method to find a job? Leave comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

– Ian Jenkins