Searching for a new job is a tedious and time-consuming process. But searching for the right opportunities, uploading resumes, and completing online applications aren’t actually the activities that will most likely get your foot in the door.
Ideally, online job search activities should be limited to only 10 percent of your total time spent seeking new employment. Networking should account for the biggest chunk of time, and the bulk of networking can happen online by connecting with either key contacts who can help in your search — or with hiring managers at targeted companies where you want to work.
Who is the hiring manager? The hiring manager is the person already employed at the company who requested a new position to be filled or who asks for an employee to fill an open job. The hiring manager is also the employee to whom the new employee will report when hired. There are some common confusions when it comes to hiring managers, however.
- Is the human resources manager the hiring manager? A human resources manager is not the same as the hiring manager, though they're often confused. A hiring manager may work with human resources to onboard new employees, but those new employees will not report to the human resources manager.
- What is the difference between a recruiter and a hiring manager? A recruiter looks for potential candidates for a position a hiring manager requests to be filled.
How Do You Contact a Hiring Manager?
Once you’ve identified a new opportunity, like most job seekers, you submit an application. However, most applications and resumes never make it past the applicant tracking system that rates and ranks data based on keywords and other pre-set qualifications; meaning, a hiring manager may never see them.
Getting a cover letter in front of the hiring decision maker can open doors that an application alone can’t. Yet, finding the name of the hiring manager takes some digging. And once you know that, you may have a bigger challenge: how to find the correct email address. Although rare, some job sites include the recruiter or hiring manager’s name with the email address. The odds are higher that you will have to find it yourself, however.
Your first attempt at finding the proper email address should be through contacts in your network who may know the address or be able to obtain it through their own network. More often than not, you won’t know any such people. You’ll need more super-sleuthing skills to uncover the address instead.
Email addresses are formatted with the local-part (the inbox name it will be delivered to) and the domain name. The domain name is simple. It usually matches the company website URL, as in exampledomain.com. The local-part configuration varies from one company to the next and is sometimes specially constructed to make people’s emails more difficult to guess.
So, what to do now? Visit the company’s website and browse through it, using the built-in search engine if that company or jobs board has one, looking for an employee’s email address that may be listed. Look for the company’s press releases. A media contact’s email address is generally listed, which will give you a clue about how the company structures names in email addresses.
Go with the assumption that the hiring manager’s email is consistent with the standard company format you have found.
What Are Some Resources for Finding Emails?
Type the email address into the Free Email Verifier where you can test to see if an email address is good. With Free Email Verifier, you can also test out the address using the other common local-part email configurations to see if you hit the right one. Another great resource is Email Format where you can search for a company’s email format. This site works best if you are searching for a large company rather than a smaller one.
If you can’t verify the accuracy, try sending your email to the address. You may know soon enough if it works. A bounce back with a non-deliverable error message will let you know without question that you need to keep digging. Keep in mind, though, that a domain may have a “catch-all” box for any email with the proper domain but inaccurate local-part, and the sender may not actually receive an error message.
There are other email finder services you can use to help find an email address, such as ZoomInfo, RocketReach, and Hunter. They all charge the sender a subscription fee, but they also provide a free trial giving you a number of lookups at no cost before you have to register and pay. An alternative scenario: You have a hiring manager’s email address but aren’t sure of their name, or its their phone number that you’re after. In this case, you can use a reverse email lookup service to find that information. Reverse.addresssearch.com has a free search engine for such purposes. This can come in handy because sending personally addressed cover letters and email correspondence will always make the applicant look more attractive! The email search can be tough, but all the clicks will be worth the effort. Sending an email directly to the hiring manager can substantially up your odds of scoring the interview.
Theresa is a writer and the co-founder and Chief Marketing & Customer Officer for a job search technology company. She’s passionate about discovering and sharing life and career hacks for women.