What If You Can't Learn the Hiring Manager's Name?


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: LaShun writes: It seems every piece of advice about cover letters says to call the company you want to work for to get a SPECIFIC NAME of the person who has the authority to call you for an interview. But what if the company refuses to give that information? Most of the companies I call say just send a resume to the HR department at an email address or fax number but won’t give a name. And when I do get a specific name, I’m sure I’m not the only one who called. What else can I do?
The Career Doctor responds: I empathize with all the job-seekers who are finding it harder and harder to get the name of the hiring manager — which is what all job experts recommend you do. Unfortunately, companies seem to be making it harder and harder for job-seekers to identify and follow-up with the hiring manager. You have several options for getting the name (and correct spelling) of the hiring manager. You could call the human resources office, but remember that office’s role is one of screening. So, I would avoid HR altogether and simply call the main switchboard and ask the receptionist for the name of the department manager for the position you are seeking. Receptionists are wonderful sources of information — so cultivate them! You could also default to writing to the division or company president and hope your application trickles down to the hiring manager, but more often than not, if it does trickle down, it goes to HR. The final possibility is another important use of your network; contact all the people in your network and see if anyone works or knows someone who works for the company — and then ask that person to use internal channels to get you the name of the hiring manager. One final comment about the many employers who state in job ads: “no phone calls.” This comment refers to applying by phone — but should not stop any job-seeker who has submitted an application from following-up to check on the status of his/her application.