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Should you message a hiring manager directly?

Hiring managers can be the gatekeepers for jobs. In this post, we discuss whether you should contact a hiring manager if you see a position you’re interested in, how to do it, and more.

By Brandi Fowler

Hiring managers find people to fill positions at companies. Consider them gatekeepers for the jobs you would love to land.

It never hurts to network with hiring managers at companies you are interested in, but when you see positions you are passionate about, should you message a hiring manager about them?

“It is extremely important,” said career coach and Corporate Escape Artist founder Caroline Castrillon. “First, it shows that you are proactive and will help you make a lasting impression. In a competitive landscape, any opportunity to make yourself stand out as a candidate is a good thing.

“It also helps to expand your network. Even if you don’t get the job, you gain a valuable connection. Also, they might have another job either now or in the future that you might be a great fit for.”

Direct contact with a hiring manager can help bypass the resume screening process in the future, Castrillon said, which sometimes rejects well-qualified candidates by accident.

In addition, you can learn valuable information from a manager that can help strengthen your cover letter and prepare you for a future interview.

I chatted with Castrillon and Shannon Kampa, human resources business development and client relationship leader, about the best ways to contact a hiring manager and best practices when you do.

How to Reach Out to a Hiring Manager

You first need to identify the hiring manager for the position of interest.

Castrillon recommended starting with LinkedIn to track down the right contact.

“You can type the company name in the search box, then click on ‘people’ and ‘all filters’, which will allow you to narrow the search further by keyword and location,”

Castrillon said.“If that isn’t successful, try finding a connection who works there or used to work there.

“They can help you find the person and might even be able to make an introduction. Another idea is to contact the company directly. Go to their website and visit the about us, leadership, or team page.

“If the hiring manager isn’t listed on the site, see if they have a ‘contact us’ form or email that you can use to reach out. If there is a phone number listed, you can also try calling.”

If you call the company, Kampa recommends using the company’s main number if it is a small business.

“Ask the person who answers the phone for their help [locating the hiring manager], especially if it is a smaller organization where they are most likely able to know what is going on and who is hiring,” Kampa said.

Castrillon suggested using sites like, which helps you track down email addresses of people at a specific company.

When you find the right person, reach out to them on LinkedIn and via email. “I recommend doing both if you can…and sending a very personalized message,” Kampa said.

Castrillon pointed out that if the hiring manager is active on Twitter, it may be worth sending a direct message there too.

Hiring managers sometimes post open positions on Twitter, so it is a good idea to follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter for future opportunities.

What to Write in an Email or Message to a Hiring Manager

Keep your message short and to the point when contacting a hiring manager.

“You have to be very strategic and also empathetic, realizing that they have probably been reached out to by [numerous] individuals,” Kampa said. “So, you really have to stand out. Make [your message] short, precise, and succinct.

“Tailor your message to what you are looking for, a little bit about who you are, and thank them for their time. Also, ask for a 10-15 minute exploratory conversation about the position.”

A worker looks at their laptop.

Castrillon echoed those sentiments about the quick call or “coffee chat” and suggested asking if you can discuss three questions you have.

“Tell them that if they aren’t available for a phone call, you can send your questions to them via email,” Castrillon said. “This approach does two things: it lets them know you are an interested, curious candidate, and it keeps the conversation going.”

It is also important to mention if someone referred you to the hiring manager, Castrillon said, and to keep a few best practices in mind when contacting them:

  • Address the hiring manager by name.
  • Always be brief, professional, polite and direct.
  • Ask insightful, well-thought-out questions.
  • Relate your previous experience to the role.
  • Try to have ideas in your back pocket regarding how you would approach the role.
  • This shows that you are a creative self-starter.
  • Make sure to use a professional-looking email address (preferably and avoid using a personal email that looks like spam (like
  • Convey your enthusiasm for the job.
  • Always include your name and contact details at the end.
  • Try to send the email on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday before 10 a.m.
  • If you don’t hear back after a week or two, send a follow-up email.

When to Contact a Hiring Manager and Best Practices

Contacting a hiring manager before applying to a position (or very soon after) is the best strategy.

“I have found it to be more effective if you [contact hiring managers] before you apply,” Kampa said. “If you reach out to them before you apply, indicate to them that you are going to apply.”

Reaching out after an interview can be a nice touch as well, Castrillon said.

“I think this is something all candidates should do,” Castrillon said. “While it’s typically not a deciding factor, it shows that you are a polished, professional candidate and leaves a favorable impression.

“The same rules apply here in terms of best practices. Although in this case, I would thank them for their time and include something specific about your conversation with them. For example, if you were discussing how AI is transforming digital marketing, you could insert a link to a recent article on the topic.

“Show how you were paying attention in the interview and reiterate what a great fit you’d be for the job. If you really want to blow them away, you can even attach a few PowerPoint slides that include the creative ideas you discussed. Make it easy for them to envision you as part of the team.”

Kampa also recommended researching the hiring manager before you send a message.

“What I’ve done is I will even express to them, ‘Wow. I have seen you have been with this company for 10 years. I’m so impressed with the work culture that I’ve read. I’ve done research on Glassdoor. This is what I saw, I’ve seen the growth,’” Kampa said. “If you speak about the business and show you have done your research, it really does stand out to a hiring manager.”

For what not to do, Kampa said, you “should not just copy and paste your message” to several hiring managers in case they know each other or work together. If an HR contact or an employer explicitly asks that applicants not contact them, you should skip doing so.

Meanwhile, Castrillon suggested not discussing salary from the start and double-checking your statement before sending it to avoid grammatical or spelling errors.
Consider reaching out to a hiring manager for the next position you are interested in. Research them beforehand, and send a concise message that helps you stand out.

Top Takeaways

  • Should you message a hiring manager directly?
  • Locate the hiring manager via LinkedIn, an email-finding tool, or calling the company if it is small.
  • Research the hiring manager and the company before you contact the manager.
  • Keep your message short, precise, and succinct.
  • Contacting a hiring manager can be beneficial, even if it does not land you the job you are applying for.

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