When you’re applying for a job at a large organization, the application process can seem quite impersonal. With online applications that just go into the HR system, it often seems like your application has vanished into thin air. Who are you supposed to follow up with? Have they seen your application? Applying for jobs in this manner can seem daunting, but there’s a way you can reach out to people at the organization and make yourself more visible – use LinkedIn!
In previous job searches, when I applied for positions in this manner, I wasn’t hearing anything back. I was frustrated and had no idea how to follow up. But I realized people who work for these organizations were probably on LinkedIn. Once I began searching LinkedIn for employees at these companies, they led me to hiring managers and, ultimately, more interviewing opportunities. LinkedIn is a huge resource, especially if you know how to get the most out of it. Here are the strategies that worked for me.
Connecting With Employees
When looking for employees to connect with, I tried to connect with people at the organization in the same department as the job I applied for. I sent them a quick message stating my interest in the position and asked them if they could direct me to the hiring manager. This has worked for me numerous times, and, once I get the hiring manager’s information, I contact them directly to let them know I have applied for the position. Many of them messaged back, asking me to send them a copy of my resume directly.
There are a couple of ways to find recruiters for a company using LinkedIn. One is a good old-fashioned search. Sometimes recruiters go by the job title “talent acquisition,” while others go by “human resources manager.” Type in the name of the organization followed by one of these terms and someone is bound to come up. However, they are unlikely to respond unless they are recruiting for the actual department the job is in. Some will direct you to the recruiter in charge of that position, but many will ignore you if your request doesn’t specifically pertain to their department.
Another way to find recruiters is to see if the specific job you applied for is listed on LinkedIn. Oftentimes, jobs are listed in multiple places, so if you found your job listing elsewhere, it may also be posted on LinkedIn. If you find the job listed there, see if the recruiter is named on the listing.
Once you find a recruiter, there are multiple ways you can reach out. The more specific you can be, the better. Recruiters are busy people and won’t respond to a message saying “I’m interested in working for X Company. Can you help me get a job there?” However, I’ve received good responses from recruiters by letting them know I had applied to a specific job and asking them to please make sure my resume got to the person in charge of hiring for that job. Or, I’ve asked them to check the status of my application for me (if you do this, don’t do it right after you’ve applied – wait at least a few days). Another thing you can do is say that you’re interested in a specific position at a company and ask them if they think you would be a good fit.
Crafting an Impressive LinkedIn Profile
Before you contact anyone, make sure that you have your LinkedIn profile filled out as much as you can. It doesn’t hurt to have a few skill endorsements and recommendations, either. Anyone you contact will be able to see all or part of your profile, and you’ll want to make sure they’re impressed by what they see. Be sure to keep your profile up-to-date and present yourself as best you can. When they see your message and click on your profile, they may find that you’re a great fit for their organization.
By reaching out on LinkedIn, I was able to be proactive about my application process and get myself noticed by hiring managers. Sometimes, it was required that I fill out an application on the company website, but I knew that if I could also reach out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn, my resume would more likely be noticed. I found that LinkedIn was a great tool for me to get my resume directly into the hands of recruiters and hiring managers of specific positions, which often resulted in an invitation to interview. Try out these tips, and you may find that they help you as much as they helped me.
Alison Rollins is Vice President of Marketing at Petite2Queen. She earned her master’s degree in Global Entertainment & Music Business from Berklee College of Music. An experienced marketer, Alison is an expert leader in social and digital media. She’s a talented videographer, with an extensive portfolio of thought-provoking work. At Petite2Queen, Alison focuses on meeting the diverse needs of women at all stages of their lives.