Failing to identify the hiring manager, the next best alternative is address your letter to “Dear Hiring Manager for [name of position].” If you don’t hear anything after 10 days to two weeks, send a follow-up e-mail indicating your continued interest to the same address to which you sent your original response.
Q: I’ve already tried most of the suggestions in this FAQ, and I’m still not getting good results. Are there any untapped promising areas or new trends in online resume submission?
A: A relatively untapped venue is professional organizations.
Not only do they often have job ads for your specific field, but professional organizations were ranked as the No. 1 networking venue in the survey we did for our book, A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market. Access many professional organizations through this section of Quintessential Careers: General Professional Organizations and Associations.
Another technique — which hardly represents a new trend but is not used often enough — is followup. It’s not always easy to obtain contact information for an employer to which you’re submitting your resume online, but it can be done, and your persistence can pay off. For more information, see the article Sleuthing Out Hiring Managers Is Key to Job-Search Follow-up. Even if you receive a rejection letter or e-mail, follow up to indicate continued interest in the employer.
Q: I’ve heard about some techniques for “fooling” the applicant-tracking system software that searches employer databases for resumes. Some of these techniques involve telling “white lies” and don’t seem ethical. Should I use these techniques?
A: Some job-seekers are so incensed by impersonal resume-filtering technology that they believe they are justified in engaging in questionable ethics to “beat the system.”
We retain a neutral stance on the ethical issue and choose not to publicize the techniques on our site, but those interested in these techniques can check out “Short-Circuiting the New Paper Pushers” by Evelyn Nussbaum in the May 2003 issue of Business 2.0.