Cover Letter Problem #1: Mystery Hiring Manager
Here’s the situation: the job posting has only the title of the hiring manager or simple just “Hiring Manager”. Frustrating, isn’t it? Many times job seekers don’t do much, if any, digging around to see if they can up with that ever-important name. Are you one of them?
For job seekers who really want to impress and get noticed when they submit their resume packages, there are some ‘secret’ ways to find out the name of the elusive hiring manager so you can address your cover letter to the correct person in charge.
Tip #1: Search Online
This may seem pretty obvious but some people forget to check the company website for personnel information. If you have the title, many times you can find out their name, phone number and email. Wouldn’t that be great? Definitely utilize the Internet for this search.
Also on the company website, check out to see if they have open positions posted. They may have more contact information available on their website than on general job boards where you originally found the job opening.
Check out the Media page for their latest happenings (this will also help you get more familiar with the company as a whole and give you an edge during interviews). See who is quoted in the press releases as they usually give the person’s name and title.
Tip #2: Call the Company
There are some sneaky ways you can try to find out the name of the hiring manager in charge of the open position for which you are applying. Pick up the phone and call the company. Ask the receptionist the name of ‘X Position’ (for example: Marketing Manager for Soft Goods). This can obviously work if you know the title of the hiring manager.
There’s also a trick that I used to use when working in the corporate world. You can call and ask the receptionist for the spelling of the person’s name in the position you are trying to contact. So you might say something like, “Hi, I am sending the Public Relations Manager a piece of important information and need to confirm the spelling of her/his name. Could you please spell it for me?” While you have them on the phone, you can even try to get their email address so you can follow-up. If there is no phone number listed, you might want to hold off on calling them directly. You don’t want to get on their bad side.
In most instances, where there’s a will there’s a way. That’s not to say there won’t be situations that, despite your best effort, you absolutely cannot find out the name you so desperately need. That’s when you just have to applaud yourself for giving it your best effort…then let it go. And maybe that phone will ring anyway with the mystery hiring manager on the other end wanting to interview you.