When you come across an open position on a jobs board that’s a good match for your skill set, you’d typically follow the required procedure and complete your application online. You’d then wait—and hope—to be contacted.
But rather than being in reactive mode, you can instead take control of the situation by tracking down the exact name of the person who posted the role. To achieve this goal, LinkedIn can be an excellent solution.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Search for Company Heads
Using your favorite search engine, enter the name of the department head’s job title, the name of the company and “LinkedIn.com.” These three search terms should each be in quotes:
“name of company” “director of sales” “LinkedIn.com”
(This will give you the name of the director of the department where you’d like to work.)
You can also search:
“name of company” “human resources” “LinkedIn.com”
“name of company” “recruiter” “LinkedIn.com”
“came of company” “talent acquisition” “LinkedIn.com”
(This will give you the name of the company’s recruitment executive.)
2. Zero In On a Contact
Find a name among the search results that seems promising. When you click on this name and reach the person’s LinkedIn public profile page, you’re likely to see other people you could also contact at the company in the LinkedIn sidebar. (“Viewers of this profile also viewed…”)
Note: If you have a paid subscription to LinkedIn, login and click to the pages of the people whose info you found in your search. Your page visits will show up in their “people who viewed your profile” stats, and they may then take a look at your LinkedIn page to learn more about you. This is another way to get noticed by the key decision-makers you’re trying to connect with.
3. Uncover Their Email Address
Knowing the name of the person who likely posted the job opening (and/or the name of the person you’d probably be working for if you got the job), you now need to figure out their email address. Calling the company’s main number might not help; operators, receptionists and assistants are usually instructed to not give out their executives’ email information over the phone.
To get around this hurdle, go to the company’s website and visit the “In The News,” “Press Releases” or “Media” section. Look for a recent company press release. At the bottom, you’ll find contact information for the communications executive who’s responsible for receiving inquiries about that news release.
To find the email addresses of the executives whose names you found on LinkedIn, you’ll need to duplicate the format of the communications executive’s email address (e.g., email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
4. Reach Out
Construct a clear and concise email to the company executives you plan to target, using these guidelines:
Subject Line: Your opening for Director of Online Marketing
Hello. I’m an experienced software sales professional who has been among the top three producers at the companies where I’ve worked, including Delta Synergy Industries, TechWire Inc. and Nano Soft Developers.
I applied for the job of Director of Online Marketing on ReallyCoolJobs.com on June 30, and I wanted to personally send you the details of how my skills can deliver the exact solutions you’re looking for. My resume is attached.
Please let me know if you require any additional information.
Note: Clarity and conciseness are key here. If you go on and on about yourself, your email will most likely be deleted. The structure above represents the absolute maximum number of words and ideas you should include in your unsolicited cold call emails.
5. Nail the Reply
If you receive a reply from the person (or persons) you reached out to, reply back with a thank you and say that you’re looking forward to sharing additional details about how your work could benefit their organization.
If you don’t receive a reply, wait until the morning of the next business day, call the person (or persons) and say that you sent them your info and wanted to make sure that it didn’t get caught in spam or bulk mail since you’ve never exchanged emails before (don’t leave a voicemail with this information).
Some crucial don’ts when you call or reply:
DON’T ask when your info will be reviewed. If it’s been received and the receipt has been acknowledged, then it’s in the inbox of the key decision-makers you were trying to reach. This gives you a massive edge over other applicants for the job!
DON’T say that you need to know whether you’re in the running to get the job because you have offers elsewhere. This is an obvious and painfully transparent ploy—and it’s reaaaaally weak.
DON’T follow up again and ask about the status of your application. You’ll come off as irritating and desperate, and you’ll potentially sabotage your chances of getting hired.
If the information that’s presented on your resume supports that idea that you can deliver the precise results the organization is looking for and also be the specific solution it needs, this creative technique of leveraging LinkedIn to track down key contacts can put you at the front of the line of applicants and give you a significant advantage over your fellow job seekers.
Rafe Gomez, a.k.a. The Rehirement Coach, is the author of What’s In It For Me? A Powerful New Interview Strategy To Get You Hired In Today’s Challenging Economy, a top-selling career title on iTunes, Amazon.com and Audible.com. He’s an adjunct faculty member at MediaBistro’s Job Search Boot Camp, and his work has been featured on such top-tier media outlets as Fox News Channel, MSNBC, PBS, ABC Radio Network, WCBS-AM/Newsradio 880, TheVault.com, Gawker and FoxBusiness.com.