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  1. Blog
  2. Applying
  3. September 28, 2021

What to Write to a Hiring Manager: Example Messages & Tips to Help You Get a Response

We wrote the email for you!

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Photo courtesy of Brett Jordan

You spent weeks preparing your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to apply for a great job—but with an average of 250 candidates applying for each corporate job opening, you wonder whether there’s a bit more you can do to get on the hiring manager’s radar.  

By crafting a compelling message to the hiring manager of a job you really want, you can transform an inherently awkward process into a chance to stand out from other candidates. Even if you’re not actively job searching, you can reach out to a hiring manager via email or LinkedIn to:

  • Find out more about a company you like

  • Connect with someone who has an interesting career path

  • Get advice about breaking into a specific industry

  • Grow your professional network

Read more: The Right Subject Line for a Networking Email Makes All the Difference

What email message should you write to a hiring manager?

The first thing you might think of when it comes to this is, What do I write? 

Before diving into that, consider who you’re going to write. Whether you plan to reach out on LinkedIn or via email, you can use LinkedIn to find the right person to contact. You can also do some research on the company website or double-check the job posting for hiring manager information. Hiring managers rarely include their name and/or contact information on the job posting anymore, but some smaller organizations, such as startups and nonprofits, still do from time to time. 

If you can’t find the hiring manager, try to find someone else on the search committee for your desired job or another decision-maker who’s close to the position, such as a supervisor for the role. From there, draft a targeted message. 

To maximize the chance that the hiring manager will read your message, make sure it meets these guidelines:

1. Be brief

Like everyone else, hiring managers are busy, and often have just a few moments to read messages from prospective candidates. Get to the point quickly; the hiring manager should be able to read your entire message in about 30 seconds to one minute, so compose a message that is three to five lines or about 95 words. 

2. Include a clear call to action

Make your request clear from the start. Are you asking to schedule a call with the hiring manager? Perhaps you want them to consider your resume for a position they have posted. Decide what your call to action is and make it plain in your message. 

3. Be specific

A vague message is the easiest one to overlook. Tell the hiring manager exactly what your goal is. For example, instead of asking them to consider you for any open position on their team, ask that they consider you for the Software Developer I position posted on September 1. 

4. Tailor your message to the hiring manager

You may be tempted to send a generic message to hiring managers, but you will find greater success in tailoring your message to each person. This approach takes more time but yields stronger results. Include the specific job title you’re interested in. You can also include the company name (when appropriate) and/or the team name. Whenever possible, include the hiring manager’s first and last name when addressing the message. If you don’t have a name, go with a general address, such as “Greetings” or “Hello.  

Read more: ​​Miss, Mrs., Ms.: When to Use These Terms & How to Be More Inclusive

Email message - example 1

Hello [hiring manager’s name],

I’ve been a fan of ABC Company ever since I interned there as a senior at Bainbridge University, so when I came across the Caseworker I position, I couldn’t wait to apply! As an intern, I had the chance to really take in the culture of ABC, so while I meet the requirements listed in the Caseworker I job description, I’m confident I’d also be a great culture fit. Next, I want to learn more about your goals for this role. Can we connect over Zoom during the week of October 18th? 

Thank you,

Parker Avery

[Phone Number]

[LinkedIn URL]

[Link to website or portfolio]

In this example—written in the traditional email format with a greeting, body, and closing—the candidate shares their personal history with the company, which is central to setting them apart from other candidates. The message also includes a specific position and a clear call to action.  

Read more: To Whom It May Concern: Should You Be Using This Greeting?

Email message - example 2

Dear [hiring manager’s name],

I recently applied for the HR Generalist position that XYZ Company posted earlier this month and am confident I am the best candidate. I have an excellent record of improving employee relations in fast-paced startups and am ready to use this experience to enhance team-building and increase employee retention at XYZ. 

I have attached my resume for your review. Do you have time for a 15 to 20-minute call next week to tell me more about the position? 

Thank you,

Parker Avery

[Phone Number]

[LinkedIn URL]

[Link to website or portfolio]

This example email is targeted toward a specific job. Although brief, the message includes skills the candidate possesses and positions them as a problem-solver who can help the company overcome at least two specific issues (team-building and employee retention). The sender’s contact information is in the closing, which helps make it that much easier for the hiring manager to contact them about the next steps in the process.

Read more: Required Skills Aren’t Necessarily Required. Here’s What It Means to Be ‘Qualified’ for a Job

What message should you send on LinkedIn?

In some ways, sending a message via LinkedIn is easier; you almost certainly have the hiring manager’s name since it is linked to their profile and a confirmed character count, which guides the length of your message (299 characters for an invitation to connect and 2,000 characters for InMail messaging). 

Much like email messages, LinkedIn messages should be brief, clear, specific, and tailored, just like in these examples:

LinkedIn message - example 1 

Hi, [hiring manager’s name]. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, particularly those on global diversity and the multigenerational workforce. XYZ Company is making great strides in examining the multigenerational workforce, which is what drew me to the DEI Program Manager position. Can we schedule an interview at your convenience so that I can learn more about your team’s needs?

Sincerely,

Parker Avery

[Phone Number]

[LinkedIn URL]

[Link to website or portfolio]

LinkedIn message - example 2

Hi, [hiring manager's name]. I’m a product designer with a background in health care technology. I just applied for the Product Designer II position and am reaching out to you directly because your focus on user needs aligns with my people-centered approach to product design. Do you have 30 minutes this week or next week to tell me more about what you’re looking for? 

Respectfully, 

Parker Avery

[Phone Number]

[LinkedIn URL]

[Link to website or portfolio]

LinkedIn message - example 3

Hi, [hiring manager’s name]. My former colleague, Alex, is a mutual contact of ours and encouraged me to apply for the Program Manager position your company is currently hiring for. I submitted my resume and would love to speak with you about what your ideal candidate looks like. Are you available for a brief 15- to 20-minute call within the next two weeks?

Sincerely,

Parker Avery

[Phone Number]

[LinkedIn URL]

[Link to website or portfolio]

Note several high points from these LinkedIn messages. In example 1, the candidate cites relevant posts the hiring manager has published, which helps to foster a common interest. In example 2, the candidate shares an observation from the job description and aligns that with their approach to work. In the final example, the candidate mentions a mutual contact, which is a great way to establish a connection with the hiring manager. By including just one or two high points, you can increase the chance that the hiring manager will respond to you.  

Read more: How to Name Drop in a Cover Letter

What not to do when messaging a hiring manager

Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. Avoid these missteps when reaching out to the hiring manager.

Asking too many questions or making too many requests

How long will the position be posted? Are you free to tell me more about it? When are you looking to hire somebody?Can you look at my resume? 

Bombarding the hiring manager with too many questions or requests in one message may result in a non-response. Instead, keep it simple. Decide what you want to know most, then ask directly. 

Send an invitation to connect without a note

If you’re reaching out via LinkedIn, be sure to personalize your invitation. A word of caution: if you send a connection request in the LinkedIn app using the ‘People You May Know’ feature, you cannot personalize your request. As an alternative, send your request using the browser instead of the app. 

Repeat your resume

Resist the urge to tell the hiring manager about all the great things you’ve done in your career. Instead, pick two to three qualifications that relate to the role.  

Start with “my name is”

You’ve got limited space (and time) to get your point across. Instead of starting by telling them your name, introduce your skills or background (‘I’m an instructional designer with expertise in accessibility’), then sign your name at the end of your message. 

Ask for too much of their time

Carving out an hour to speak with prospective job candidates just isn’t feasible for most hiring managers. Make it more convenient for them by asking for no more than 15 to 20 minutes of their time. In some cases—like if the position is really technical, for example—you can ask for 20 to 25 minutes, tops.

Crafting the right message to hiring managers takes time. After you apply, consider what you want to say and use these examples as a template for your message. 

Worst case scenario? You don’t hear back, but you’ve already applied, which may be enough to get your foot in the door for an interview. 

Best case scenario? The hiring manager responds to your message by scheduling a chat with you or by providing useful information about the next steps in the process. Either way, you can get yourself a step closer to securing the job you want just by shooting the hiring manager a brief, clear, specific message written just for them. 

Read more: Should You Use LinkedIn’s #OpenToWork Feature? A Recruiter Weighs In

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Photo of Kaila Kea-Lewis

Kaila Kea-Lewis

Contributor

Kaila Kea-Lewis is a career coach and freelance writer, mainly covering career changes, job searching, and self-development. As a long-time advocate for remote work, she also enjoys writing about remaining productive while working from home. Her bylines include InHerSight, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, and ZipRecruiter.

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