ATS is the nemesis of job applicants if their resume is not compatible with the limitations of ATS.
With the proliferation of resumes submitted for every job opening, it’s no wonder companies need help in handling the work of sorting out candidates. That’s where ATS steps in. It helps them handle application volume and minimizes hiring costs by eliminating some of the staff required to assess resumes.
But it often fails miserably because it is easily tripped up by documentation attributes that are unwittingly built into many resumes, things that have nothing to do with a candidate’s qualifications.
The fact is, talking informally with hiring managers before applying is the highest percentage way of getting hired. It’s possible to find out exactly what their hot buttons are, why they are hiring and what are their key requirements are. It is the starting point for selling skills that match requirements. It establishes rapport with the decision-maker. It provides a competitive advantage over those who don’t do it. And it avoids ATS completely.
Fortunately, there are many ways to identify hiring managers. They don’t always work but the time spent trying them is better that the time spent applying blindly applying online for a job only to face ATS before a human. Not that using job boards and company websites is a bad thing. It’s a good way to gather needed job-hunting information, just not a good way to apply.
One is to do a Google search using search words such as the logical title of the hiring manager, the company name, and perhaps a location. Search for the likely title by trying different ones. Sometimes searching for the hiring manager’s boss enables working downward to the hiring manager. Senior managers are often extremely helpful.
Another way is to do a similar search on LinkedIn. This may take you directly to the hiring manager. Read profiles. Try to learn something about them that you have in common, so it is easier to write an appealing connection request. Do not use the standard impersonal LinkedIn request, and never ask for a job. Those things rarely get positive results.
Check out the Business Chronicle for a specific city if the company location is near one. Very often there’s a wealth of information about things companies are doing, expansion plans, new products, etc., which provides the necessary leads.
Use Annual Reports and 10k’s to find top officials of the company. Reach out to them. If successful, it makes reaching out to the hiring manager by saying “So-and-so suggested I call you”. Nobody risks offending a top manager.
These are four ways to get started. They may not always work, but if you don’t try, they certainly will not!
Try the approach and see for yourself.