How to Find and Reach Out to Hiring Managers on LinkedIn

2024-02-13 by Amanda Sterling


60 percent of jobs are found through networking, not through online job boards. In the digitally-driven landscape of 2024, LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool for job seekers aiming to directly connect with hiring managers. With thousands vying for the attention of key decision-makers in companies, standing out requires a blend of strategy, personalization, and digital savvy.

How to use LinkedIn's advanced search to find the hiring manager

Start by navigating to the LinkedIn page of the company you're interested in. For example, here's Microsoft's LinkedIn page.

On the company's LinkedIn page, look for a tab labeled "People" or a link labeled "See all employees on LinkedIn." It shows all LinkedIn members who have listed the company as their current employer.

Linkedin company page, people tab

You can filter by specific departments relevant to your expertise. Under "What they do," you can click on "Sales" if you're looking for sales jobs, or on "Program and Project Management" if you're a project manager.

You can also combine multiple filters. For example, after adding the "Sales" filter, go all the way to the right to find your 1st connections already working for your desired employer. Or you can find your 2nd connections and ask the connection you have in common for an introduction.

If you don't know anyone at your target company, another trick is to type the name of your school in the search box in the "People" tab. Alumni are often more open to cold outreach. Similarly, you can find people who have worked for the same company as you in the past.

By combining LinkedIn's advanced filters, you can narrow down your search to specific employees who are relevant to your job search (for example, "Sales") and willing to talk to you (for example, you both studied at "University of Washington" or you both have worked for "Stripe").

Then scroll down to the results and look for profile pictures with a purple #hiring filter. Alternatively, you can type "hiring" in the search box in the People tab and use it as one of your filters: it'll reveal people who say "We're hiring!" or something similar in their headline.

How to reach out to the hiring manager

Once you've identified potential hiring managers, the next step is to send a personalized connection request on LinkedIn. But here's where many falter: generic requests are easily overlooked. Personalize your message by mentioning any mutual connections, shared professional interests, or specific aspects of the hiring manager's work that resonate with you. For example: "As fellow alumni of [School Name] deeply interested in [common interest], I'd love to connect and exchange ideas."

Engage thoughtfully with their content

Before and after connecting, make an effort to engage with the hiring manager's LinkedIn posts. This helps to build rapport and keeps you on their radar. Be sure to provide meaningful insights or questions, and share their content with your network when relevant. Thoughtful comments not only show your interest but also demonstrate your industry acumen. Remember, engagement should be authentic and add value, not just an attempt to get noticed.

Follow up with a direct message

After establishing a connection, send a follow-up message that introduces yourself more formally and expresses your interest in opportunities within their team or company. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences but avoid making this message feel like a cold job application. Instead, suggest a brief informational interview or ask for advice on how to navigate career opportunities in their field. The goal is to initiate a potentially long-term professional relationship, not to ask for a job outright.

For example, you may write:

Hi [First Name], [Mutual Connection] speaks very highly of your work in [specific area]. I'm a [brief description] currently exploring career paths in [field] and would value the opportunity to hear about your experiences and insights over a brief call. Would you be available for a 20-minute chat in the coming weeks?

An informational interview will give you an opportunity to ask whether they know of any open positions in their company. Even if the position on their own team turns out not to be a good fit, they are more likely to share your resume with other hiring managers if you follow our steps to kickstart this new professional relationship. Don't forget to tailor your resume to the role and company, as you don't want to waste someone's time and ruin your reputation by sharing a weak or irrelevant resume.

There's a fine line between being persistent and being intrusive. If you don't receive a response, it's acceptable to send a polite follow-up message after a week or so. However, respect the hiring manager's time and silence if you don't hear back after that. Behind every LinkedIn profile is a person, and genuine, respectful engagement goes a long way in making meaningful career connections.