Once you’ve found the company you want to work for, you need to know who to talk to. (If you are still looking for your dream company, read the first part of this series here.)
Sometimes, the job description posted by the company will include the name or at least the role of the person your target position reports to. (If the person listed works in Human Resources, unless you’re applying for an HR position, keep looking. They may be compiling the resumes, but they are unlikely to be the person making the hiring decision. The person you want is the decision maker.
Many of the jobs you see on job boards are also listed on LinkedIn’s job listing. Search on the title of the job you want. Notice the “posted by” box to the right of the job description
The “Posted by” box tells you who posted the job and links to their profile. That may be the hiring manager, or it may be someone who works in HR. This is an optional identification, since the job poster can check the remain anonymous box.
LinkedIn also tells you whether any of your contacts are connected to the job poster. That shows up right underneath the “Posted by” box.
Remember that LinkedIn provides the job poster information about people who have viewed the job posting. If your job search is confidential, turn your privacy settings higher before you view job posting.
If the job poster name isn’t available on LinkedIn, you can also visit the company’s Web site to see if the hiring manager is listed there.
Finding an email address
Sometimes, you can find the hiring manager’s name but not their email address. Here’s a work-around.
Find the company Web site. Let’s say it’s TechnicalWonder.com. Even if you can’t find the email address of the hiring manager you are looking for, there may be several employees listed on the Web site. Look at their email addresses. Usually, companies have a specific format they follow, such as FirstNameLastName@Company.com. If the hiring manager’s name is Judith Jones, her email address is likely JudithJones@TechnicalWonder.com. It doesn’t work every time, but it’s worth a shot.
You can also call the company and ask how to spell the name of the manager of the department to which you are applying.
How to address your cover letter / email
If your job search strategy is to find and respond to job postings, address your cover letter/email to the hiring manager. If you can’t find the name of the hiring manager, using the HR person’s name is better than no name at all. If you can’t find ANY names, write “Dear Hiring Manager.”
A more effective search strategy is to get to know people who work at your target company with the ultimate goal of meeting the hiring manager. LinkedIn can be of use in that plan, as well. We’ll take on that process next time. If you’re not having much fun finding the next stop on your career train, contact me. It will be the most fun you’ve ever had job hunting!