I am a recent graduate of George Mason University and I have been spending the past several months struggling in my job search. I recently found your article entitled Sleuthing Out Hiring Managers Is Key to Job-Search Follow-up and found it very helpful in follow ups. However I did have some questions I am hoping you could answer. A couple of weeks ago I applied for a job that I am very excited about and I would like to do everything I can to set myself apart from other applicants. I am planning on writing a follow-up e-mail but I am not able to find the hiring manager for the specific position. What would be the recommended next step? Should I go ahead and write the follow-up without it being directed to a specific person?
Also I was curious as to what your thoughts are in calling an organization of interest and inquiring for a position that may not even be posted. I have heard storied of people sending in resumes to organizations without it being in reference to an existing position. How helpful would that be in receiving a job opportunity and how would I go about that? I would greatly appreciate your advice in these matters.
The Career Doctor responds:
If you’ve exhausted all possibilities mentioned in the article for identifying the hiring manager yes send a follow up not directed to a specific person.
The technique you describe in your second paragraph is called “cold calling” and is surprisingly effective. Most people don’t like to do it because of the fear of rejection but it can work well. Read more about it in our article Cold Calling: A Time-Tested Method of Job-Hunting.