The job market is rough these days. Well, perhaps that is an understatement. And, because of this, all of the traditional bottlenecks of a job search have gotten much harder.

So, today, we are going to walk through two very simple strategies, nearly guaranteed to get you through the most intense job search bottleneck.

What bottleneck is that? Believe it or not, the most intense barrier to entry is getting your resume opened and looked at.

Yep, you heard me right, if your resume gets opened, your chances of getting the job goes up exponentially. Yet, many job seekers put little thought into getting their resume opened.

Hence, our hyper-effective, two-pronged approach.

Step One: Write a Compelling Email Subject Line

If you aren’t optimizing your subject lines, you may as well be throwing away job opportunities.

After all, if your email doesn’t get opened, your chances of getting hired are exactly ZERO.

And, in today’s reality, where companies receive dozens, if not hundreds of applications for open positions, you’re kidding yourself if you think that every submitted application gets opened.

Luckily for you, crafting a compelling and effective subject line nearly guarantees that your email will be opened, and, its easier than it sounds.

Your first move is to craft a Super Hero Story for each opportunity. A Super Hero Story is the intersection between your skills and characteristics and what the company needs. It is, in short, a description of how you can be the company’s Super Hero! (For help crafting a Super Hero Story, click here!)

Then, simply use that as your email subject line. Presto, you’re done.

Step Two: Find The Hiring Manager & Email Them

Once you craft an awesome subject line, its time to get into research mode.

Hyper-motivated overachievers, like yourself, are far more likely to find success if they can get their information directly to their potential boss. And, with a little bit of research, you can do just that!

4 Strategies to Get The Name of a Hiring Manager

  1. On Their Website – Most companies have a list of their executive leadership on their website and some go through their whole team! See if you can find an executive that is matched to your position. Even if they wouldn’t be the direct hiring manager, it certainly won’t hurt to email these people too!
  2. On LinkedIn – This may take some digging, but, with a bit of work, you should be able to find either your hiring manager or someone close to them. And, although you shouldn’t go zapping off a dozen resumes, don’t be shy about sending an email to a couple of people who could be your hiring manager, just make sure you’re clear about why you are emailing them in the first place!
  3. By Calling The Company – It’s time for a cold call! But, don’t worry, it’s not nearly as scary as it seems. Call and ask for the name of your position or department. Chances are, you’ll get someone’s voicemail — and their name.
  4. Use Your Network – This is the best strategy, as it could even result in a referral, which is a HUGE plus on your application. Start out by strategically thinking of people who may have connections to the company or industry, but, don’t forget, many connections are random (neighbors, relatives, etc), so go ahead and talk about your goals whenever its appropriate.

Once you have their name, you just have to email them directly! (if you don’t know how, my boot camp gives you the secret to email anyone!)

If you do these two steps, your likelihood of job search success will skyrocket, literally.

Don’t make the mistake of putting in a ton of work into your resume and then let it go unopened.


Rebecca Rapple has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Keith Ferrazzi’s My Greenlight and more. You can learn more about the fundamentals of a remarkable job search on her site, The Resume Revolution.