man passing woman paperSo you’ve got a great resume, but once you hit the send button on that application, you really have no idea where it has gone, or if it will find its way to the right department.  Most job seekers figure that the resume goes right to the hiring manager, but this isn’t always the case.

For most large corporations, applying online means that the questions you have answered, as well as your resume, are going to be screened by a third party software that will either allow your application to move on to the next level, or stop you dead in your job hunting tracks.

Smaller companies might have you email a resume to a catchall email address that might not be regularly monitored. If you want to get your resume to the right person, you’ll need to do a little bit of research first.

Visit the company website to figure out who exactly is posting the vacancy. For a big company, this is normally the HR Manager or Generalist, but chances are that they are the people who screen and forward the resumes to the appropriate department head.

You could forget about the runaround and simply call the company up and ask to speak to the manager of the hiring department. Three things can happen, all of which you should be prepared for.

First, reception could refuse and redirect you back to applying online, in which case you should scour the web for a name, or simply start calling the company directory and listening to voicemails.

Second, they could send you through and you will get the voicemail message, which should prompt you to grab a pen and pencil and write down all of the details including their full name and position. Leave a message explaining that you’ve read over the job posting and have a few questions before you apply.

Of course, you will want to make sure that you actually have some questions prepared in the event that they call back. Once you’ve made that first contact, simply send over your application via email directly to the contact or fax, but specifically to his or her attention. This subverts the bureaucracy of the HR department.

Third, and the most desirable scenario, you get patched through and they pick up! Explain who you are and ask if they have a moment to answer questions you have about the posting. Thank them for their time and let them know you appreciate it and that you will be forwarding your resume to them.

Another great way to get this information, especially if reception is being difficult, is to check out social networks for the company like Twitter and Facebook. Look at the company connections on LinkedIn to determine exactly who you are looking for. Once you’ve got a name, getting through reception will be that much easier.

It’s more challenging than ever to get your foot in the front door, but with a bit of investigative work, you can be sure to direct your resume to the appropriate party. And getting your resume into the right hands can bring you one step closer to landing a job.



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