job search, hiring manager, HR, rules, networking, direct, bypass, referral, resume submittal, website, companyAre you sending out resumes and answering advertisements on company websites? If your job search is less than productive today, maybe it’s time to take a more direct route.

Did someone tell you that you could upset and turn-off the human resources department if you bypass them? After all, so far you’ve been “good” by following the “rules”.

You said to yourself, “I’m perfect for the job.”

Now you wait. It’s weeks later and you’ve received no reply: “How can they miss my great background? If I could just get to the hiring manager…”

Here’s an important fact: most HR professionals have their hands full. The more forward-thinking HR Departments are now concerned about their own return-on-investment as evaluated by their own top management.

So here’s a thought:

You can help yourself, as well as helping HR, by contacting the hiring manager directly. Like most things in life, there are certain conditions:

1. Ask yourself, “Am I authentically interested in this company and position?”

2. Is there anyone in my network who can refer me?

3. Study the target job and the qualifications. Look at the requirements (“must have,” “required,” “will have,” etc.”). Rate yourself honestly on a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (Knowledge experience and achievements) for each requirement. Too many 7’s or below will disqualify you: go on to the next position. Don’t waste your valuable time—or theirs.

4. Do send your resume into the system exactly as requested in the format that they asked for.

5. Attempt to find the hiring manager through research or your network. Failing that, write to the appropriate VP of your targeted company.

6. Write a tailored cover letter and resume that outlines your relevant strengths and experience. It’s up to you to connect the dots when applying for a position.

7. Send it snail mail or overnight letter.

8. Follow up with a call or an unscheduled visit.

This is how you’ll help to ensure your success at being noticed and even landing the position that’s right for you. You’ll be making everyone’s job easier, including your own.

And even HR will thank you for it!

Thanks lownote for the photo via flickr