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Asked by Emilie on November 2, 2013

Is it appropriate to contact a hiring manager directly through LinkedIn? If so, what is the best way to approach that discussion? I applied at a large company for a position that gets tens of thousands of applicants, so while I am very qualified for the position and have worked keywords into my resume, the chances of my application being reviewed by human eyes are slight compared to those who have interned with or worked for the company previously. I don't want to swamp the hiring manager or come across as pushy, but I want to show initiative and reiterate my strong interest in the position. I've seen mixed reviews about this online. Any thoughts, keeping in mind that direct contact is likely the only way for me to get my resume seen? Would it be better to contact a recruiter instead? Thanks!

Answered by Ellen, Hiring Expert at Hospira, on November 5, 2013

This is a great questions.  Networking inot a compary can be scary.  Doing something creative can set you apart from your competition.  I see no reason why connecting this the hriing manager over LinkedIn would be an issue.  I would suggest that you are to the point in your communication so you grab the HMs attention.  This way the manager can get back with you quickly and let you know if there will be next steps.

Good luck with your job search! 

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Answered by Jillian, Hiring Expert at DuPont, on November 5, 2013

This is a great question and I’m sure lots of us have thought or asked the same thing.  As a recruiter I get inundated with resumes from potential candidates asking for me to consider them for a particular position.  And I do.  If you’re going to take the time to search me out and email me your resume, I will look at it.  That being said, I do think it’s very important to find the right person in the right role before sending your resume. You do not want to blindly pick a name from the Talent Acquisition department and send them your personal and employment history.  You want to be sure you are sending the right recruiter or hiring manager your info for which you are a qualified candidate.
If you have the specific name of the individual collecting resumes then I would send them your information.  It may just give you the edge on some of your competition who may not have that direct info.

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Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on November 15, 2013

I believe that it is perfectly fine to network with a hiring manager through LinkedIn, however, be cautious in how you construct your communication to them.  The best way to do it is for your initial e-mail to say something along the lines of "I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself...I recently applied for a position at your company...I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you, etc.".  I would not recommend using LinkedIn simply as a way to follow-up with them or to find out about your status.  You can do this subtly through the type of communication I described above.  In addition, connecting with a hiring manager on LinkedIn can help you build your network for the future.

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Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on December 20, 2013

I see no problem with contacting a hiring manager directly through LinkedIn if done so appropriately. I would make sure you are knowledgeable about the company and the specific position you are interested in. Contacting a hiring manager is a good way to create a relationship and start networking with a company of interest. Being direct with the hiring manager and letting them know your interest in the position and why you would be a good fit is important as well. If they are getting a lot of applicants, sending a correspondence might set you apart from the rest of the applicants and reaffirm your interest in the position. Good luck!

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