3 Ways to Get a Hiring Manager’s Attention (That Don’t Involve Applying to the Job)

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There are many ways to get noticed by hiring managers without applying for a job.

In fact, there are many professionals who are on the radar of hiring managers right now, and they don’t even know it.

These professionals are respected in their industry, have a strong reputation, and add value to their company and profession. Don’t think hiring managers or recruiters are looking for that next great hire, even if they haven’t applied for a job? Think again.

“As a retained search firm, we proactively reach out to candidates who are not necessarily looking for their next role,” says David Magy, Principal at Abeln, Magy, Underberg & Associates, a retained search firm.

Below, we provide three ways job seekers are getting the attention of hiring managers, even though they are not applying for a job:

1. Be visible
Are you considered an industry expert? Do you get asked to speak at industry functions or networking events? Do you write engaging LinkedIn posts, or a blog that has a strong social media following? Are you active in networking events?

Do you participate in Meetups, volunteer on a trade association board or event committee, or regularly socialize with influencers in your industry?

Maybe you are that influencer everyone wants to be with.

Put yourself out there to see and be seen. If you aren’t visible, hiring managers and recruiters can’t find you. But they are looking for you. And if a hiring manager is interested and contacts you – get back to them, even if you aren’t looking for a new job.

Magy says less than 33 percent of job seekers they contact get back to them. Why not return the call as a professional courtesy?

“We proactively reach out to candidates we find through our research,” says Magy. “Response rates to our calls depend on the function we are searching for – sales leaders respond at a higher rate than finance leaders. When candidates call us back, even if they are not interested, we are more likely to call them again when we get another similar position.”

2. Network with the company where you would like to work

Do you have a company you would like to work for? Connect with as many people as you can from that company. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Comment on and share their posts.

But don’t just retweet and like.

Show your expertise. Respond with comments and insight to engage and further the discussion with these posts. Provide feedback that shows you are an expert in your field. Be active and help share the employer brand and message. They may start following you – and see the value you could bring to their company.

3. Be likable and return the favor

In your current job, do you work with clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, contractors, and “others” in your day-to-day duties?

Treat those people well. Always be professional. Be likable. Perhaps one day that person will recommend you to their employer, in regards to job openings at their company. Referrals are important to hiring managers.

This happened to me. I had a contact who worked in sales at a company that was hiring a freelance writer. I expressed my interest to that person, who I had never worked with, but had made contact with at industry events, and he was familiar with my work.

My contact talked to the hiring manager and spoke highly of me (thankfully) and before you know it, I had an interview, and I had the job.

In fact, I was actually also offered a full-time position, but only accepted the freelance position.  But I never officially applied for the job. I never even sent a resume. My previous work in the industry, social media presence, and strong recommendation from a colleague that worked at the company got me the interview, and I was able to take it from there.

People like to hire people they know. Be known. Be connected. But be nice and professional to those with whom you are connected. You never know who may be watching.

Those are three ways to get noticed by hiring managers without applying for a job.

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