January 20

Peggy McKee Says, ‘Skip HR In Your Job Search’

Peggy McKee
Peggy McKee

If you are a job seeker who wants to get interviews, your best bet is to skip HR (Human Resources) and their online applications. Most job seekers spend hours filling out those endless forms, and they never hear anything back.  That is not what you want.  You want an interview. How do you get it?  You contact the hiring manager (your future boss, who is also the person who would interview you).

Most job seekers, when they hear this, stop me right there and say, “What if they say, ‘Don’t call the company’? What if I annoy them by not following the rules?”

Here’s what I say to that:

I have been a top recruiter and career coach for over 15 years, working with thousands of job seekers, telling them all to skip HR and contact the hiring manager.  I have never seen anyone not get hired because they contacted the hiring manager first.

The worst thing that ever happens is that the hiring manager says, “You have to fill out HR’s form online.  Go do that.”  So then you think, “Well, why didn’t I just do that first?” Two reasons:  Now, the hiring manager knows your name, and may even be looking for your application; and they may very well say “As a matter of fact, I’d love to talk to you. Let’s set up an interview.”  This happens all the time.

And if you contact these hiring managers even if they don’t have a job opening posted, you may find a job that’s part of the hidden job market.  This is job search gold for you.

This tactic is especially helpful if you are transitioning to a new career area, because HR looks for keywords, not transferable skills.

So if you are spending hours filling out online applications that go to HR and rarely or never get a response, stop doing what doesn’t work.  Boost your odds of getting the interview by skipping HR and contacting the hiring manager directly.  You can also tap your network to find someone who knows someone in the company and get an ‘in’ that way.

So, skip HR.  They are too often an obstacle for you, so go around them and get to your hiring manager.  Use my Hidden Jobs Finder to find those plum jobs and tell you what to say to hiring managers when you contact them.




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