Ultimately, if your CV doesn't reach the hiring manager, you can apply to as many jobs as you want and nothing is ever going to happen. You're never going to get an interview and you're never going to be in the running for a new job.
Over the last few years, I have developed the Hiring Manager Outreach Job Search Strategy with the idea that you email your CV directly to the hiring manager.
The outreach job search strategy falls very firmly into the 1% category in my job search strategies section of this blog, however this is a very powerful method that does get results.
Your CV skips the applicant tracking system, the internal recruiter and lands directly in the hiring managers email box ready to be viewed. If you've written an impressive CV that outlines your knowledge, experience and achievements, you will skip the queue and head directly into the interview room.
Your CV Needs To Impress
Whilst I can guarantee that your CV reaches the hiring managers email box, I cannot guarantee they will not instantly delete it. If your opening email does not follow a strict set of guidelines and your CV does not explain clearly what value you can add to their business, it's likely your CV is going to be deleted quickly.
Firstly, it's very important that you write a short cover letter that you will include in your email to the hiring manager. It needs to briefly outline your experience, achievements and if at all possible, include referrals to relevant hiring managers who could provide you a reference.
The idea is to send this cover email to the hiring manager directly. As a result, you don't need to focus on keywords, but you do need to get your achievements in place and make sure the hiring manager wants to know more about you.
The second part is your CV. It needs to impress and clearly state your knowledge, experience, achievements and most importantly, where you can add value to their business. If you need help writing your CV, check out this how to write a CV section for a step-by-step guide to writing CV's.
If you're anything like me, you probably get somewhere between 300 and 5oo emails each and every day. If you're smart, you create rules within your email box to sort through those emails into manageable chunks.
Personally my email box works in the following way. If I am the only recipient of an email it heads into my main email box, if I am cc'ed into an email, it automatically heads into another part of my email box and if you're email comes from a free email client such as Gmail, Outlook or Hotmail, it's a CV and can head directly to my CV folder.
What's your point? If I am the hiring manager that you're trying to get your CV in front of and you send me your CV from your gmail account. It will automatically head into a sub-folder of my email box and I will not be reading it today.
The Importance Of A Personal Domain
Luckily there is a way to get around this. You need to send your CV from a personal email address where you own the domain name.
If you own the domain name and send me your CV. My email box will not recognise that you're sending me your CV and as a result it will head directly into the main section of my email box to be read.
Most hiring managers I know have this as a minimum set up on their computers to filter through emails that are not important. If you want to get around this and make sure your CV reaches the hiring managers email box, it's very important that you set up and personal domain for your emails.
I also think it looks more professional and could be the difference. If you need help setting up a personal domain name and email address, click to here to see step-by-step directions. One point, make sure that you set your email up using Google's gmail as the free software needed to send 150 emails only works with gmail.
Whilst this will probably take you slightly longer to set up for the first time. Once you understand the process, sending fifty emails directly to fifty different hiring managers is very easy.
The plan is to use LinkedIn to find hiring managers, Skrapp to find their email address and GMass to connect to your personal email address and send emails in bulk.
NOTE - You will need a Gmail Account with your personal domain set up to send emails, a copy of Skrapp Chrome Extension installed in your browser and a LinkedIn account with ideally a few thousand connections to your network.
It's possible to use this process with less connections on LinkedIn, however we need to be able to search for hiring managers and view their profile. If you have less than 500 connections, it's likely you'll only be able to view partial profiles that do not have the information we need available.
How To Find Potential Hiring Managers
We're going to use LinkedIn to find the 150 hiring managers. As with all our recent job searches, we're looking for a "Sales Manager Position", in a "Technology Company" in "New York". First up, lets head over to LinkedIn and search for the hiring managers.
We're going to run searches for four different possible hiring managers. Note, we have used "inverted commas" for each title in order to search the exact title, and "OR" between each job title.
- Head of Sales
- Sales Director
- Global Head of Sales
- Regional Sales
Once you entered your search criteria into LinkedIn, you need to sort the potential hiring manager's into both "Location" and "Potential Industries" using the "Filter People By" tab on the right side of LinkedIn.
In my example, I have sorted this list by location (New York) and Industry (Technology).
Next we're going to export the page results using Skrapp. With the paid version of Skrapp you can choose each individual person within the search page, however with the free version you're limited to exporting the page results into Skrapp and sorting them out from within the app.
Exporting the page results to your chosen folder is very simple. One point, make sure that you don't leave the "search for email addresses" box ticked otherwise you could end up finding email addresses for people that you're not planning to send your CV to and wasting your free credits.
After you have scrolled through every page on LinkedIn and saved all your potential hiring managers to your folder in Skrapp, the next stage is sort through that list and remove any contacts that you do not want.
Log into Skrapp's online application through your browser to view your list of potential hiring managers.
The first step is to remove any connections that you don't think would make a potential hiring manager, either because they're in the wrong location, wrong specialism or wrong seniority.
Once you have cleaned your list of potential hiring managers, the next step is find their email address using the software. Skrapp is good, but it's not perfect.
Realistically you're going to get 70% of email addresses though the software, whilst the remain 30% will take some further work using other methods which we have discussed here.
Exporting your list to excel is very easy. Taking your hiring managers offline allows you to review and keep track of all your potential hiring managers records. We will talk more about this later, however its a good idea to make sure you record who you've sent your CV to and whether they have opened your email.
I would highly recommend that you don't send your CV to more than two people within the same company at anyone time otherwise your application could be confused with spam emails.
Sending Your CV To The Hiring Manager
Once you've exported the list of potential hiring managers out of Skrapp and into excel, it's time to send your CV to each hiring manager. Sending 150 emails whilst personalising each email will take a lot of time.
For this reason we're going to use software for this process which will make sure each email is personalised to the specific hiring manager and send all emails at the same time making sure this process only take a few minutes.
The program we're going to use is called GMass. Basically its a free mass email and auto follow-up software kit for Gmail that will help us to set up and manage this process quickly and easily.
Like Skrapp above, there is a free version and a paid version. The key difference between the two, the free version has a GMass footer on each email, whereas the paid version which cost's $8.95 doesn't.
Setting Up GMass
Setting up Gmass is very easy and simply requires to you head over to Gmass.co and add Gmass to your Gmail account and follow the basic instructions below.
- Head over to Google Sheets and create a new sheet. Personally I have saved mine as "Sales Manager, New York.
- Build out four columns using the information that we gained from Skrapp. You want to have the columns titled First Name, Last Name, Company Name and Email Address. We're going to personalise this email with their name and company and thus it's a great idea to add as much information as possible.
To start writing an email to the hiring manager, click Gmass spreadsheet tab as shown above, choose your spreadsheet name (Note - Mine is called Sales Manager, New York) and click the "Connect to Spreadsheet Tab" as shown above.
Gmass automatically opens a new email with all your potential hiring managers email address ready to be sent. Note - You can only send 500 emails per day out of your standard free gmail, however this can be increased to 2000 emails per day if you're using you're own personalised email.
Yes you're sending 150 emails in one go, but the software allows you personalise your email to the hiring manager. Next to the red "GMass" sending button at the bottom of your email is a red arrow pointing upwards.
Press this and the option tabs opens giving you the possibility to personalise your email. The two sections we're going to focus on are the "Google Sheets Personalize" and "Tracking Section".
Clicking the "Google Sheets Personalize" opens a new box showing the titles within your Google Sheets. Remember we split the list of potential hiring managers into first name, last name, company name and email address? Now's the time we can use these columns to our advantage.
We can customise the subject line to the company name and include the company name the email. All to often I receive emails that say, "I am looking for a job at your company". This just shows that you're using a standard spam email that everyone receives. Now you can actually insert the company name quickly and easily.
You can also address it to the hiring managers name. Again receiving an email that says, "Dear Sir, I am looking for a job" and one that uses the hiring managers first name, and company name will show that you've spent time actually writing an email.
The hiring manager doesn't need to know that your simply using email software to achieve this.
GMass provides the facility to track emails that have been "Opened" and "Clicked". "Opened" means that your email has been opened and read, whilst "Clicked" means that any Links within the text have been opened.
Unless you're applying to a creative design role, I would not use a Creative CV, however brand recognition is very important and you're own personal blog showing your passion for the industry could be the difference between a interview and not.
This type of approach works especially well in graduate job search where you're lack of experience can be overcome by an personal website showing your passion for the industry as a whole.
Tracking can also be used for follow up emails. If you know the potential hiring managers that have opened your email, but not replied, there is a good opportunity to follow up with them in a few months.
On the same token, if your email is not opened, it could mean that email does not work or it's not getting through their email blockers. It could be worth having another go in a few days time or trying another potential hiring manager within the company.
The last step it to actually write your email and send it to the hiring manager. My advice is to write this email in the same way as you would write a cover letter, however remembering the fact that we don't need to focus on keywords given that it's going directly the hiring manager.
I would also highly recommend that you keep it short and to the point. Three short lines would surfice as show in my email below.
Follow Up Points
This method to send your CV directly the hiring manager is a very powerful job search strategy that is not being used across the market.
You could take this approach further and send your CV directly to the hiring manager where you know they are recruiting for a specific position. In this example, you could create another column in the Google Sheet with the specific role and add this to your email.
It's also a great idea to add referrals into your email. As an example, you could send your CV directly to every relevant connection to your old manager with an email that says something along the lines of, "I noticed that you're connected to "The My Old Manager", we worked together at ABC corporation. This could be a great way to use the referral method connection with this outreach method.
Whilst this is very powerful, it's also very easy to "SPAM" thousands of useless potential hiring managers within the same company. I would highly recommend that you focus on one specific potential hiring manager at a time rather than firing your CV off to every hiring manager and recruiter that works in a company as this could work against you.