If you're applying for a job, it may seem like all there is to it is making sure your resume reflects the language of the job description, your cover letter explains why you want the position, you've had multiple people read both — and then, finally, you've sent in all of your material.
While those are all crucial steps in the job application process, there is one more step that comes after applying which "everyone fails on," says Nolan Church, former Google and DoorDash recruiter and the current CEO of Continuum, a talent marketplace for executives. That's following up the application with a message on LinkedIn and a personalized email to the company hiring manager and even its CEO.
When Church was at DoorDash, CEO Tony Xu would get such emails and "he would forward them directly to me every time," he says, adding that "probably 90% of the time, we took calls with those people."
Even if the company you're applying to is Amazon and you're sending an email to Andy Jassy, do it, Church says. He might not be the one reading that email, but someone on his team could see it and forward it along to HR or even a VP.
Here's how to go about writing these messages and why he thinks they're critical.
In terms of how to go about writing these messages, start with LinkedIn, says Church. Add the CEO and hiring manager on the site and send them one sentence saying you've just applied to this role. Then look for their emails on social media accounts or the company website.
"For somebody who's a CEO of the company, it's usually first name at company domain name dot com," says Church.
In your emails, introduce yourself and what you do, reiterate that you've applied for this role, explain why you're a perfect fit then explain why you love the company, says Church. Ideally, some of this will be reflected in both your resume and cover letter already. "You could do that in six sentences," he says.
You could also attach your application material to the email.
Why is this communication so critical?
First, "because no one else does it," says Church. And it'll make you stand out. Second and just as important, "it's the thing that every hiring manager cares about," he says. "Why are you a good fit for the role?"
A recruiter's job is to find the person that will perform best in the role they need to fill. If you've gone the extra step of explaining why you are that person, you've done part of their job for them. Plus, it shows that "you're doing research, shows that you actually want the job and are committed to getting it," he says.
"In a perfect recruiting process, both sides are assessing each other," says Church. "And if you have already started that process, you're actually making my life a lot easier."
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