In every job search, there is a time to be a marketing pro and a time to act like a salesperson. Getting your resume and LinkedIn profile up to snuff is marketing. Unfortunately, all that work could be wasted. Because of the way applicant tracking systems use AI to filter applications delivered to a recruiter, there’s a good chance the gorgeous resume you submitted was never read by anyone, much less the hiring manager. So, now it’s time to put on your sales hat. Every sales executive knows the key to success is to identify and make contact with the decision maker…not the gate keeper. In this situation, the decision maker is the hiring manager and HR is the gate keeper.There’s some detective work involved too. Use LinkedIn’s People Search capability to identify the hiring manager. You may also find this information on the company’s web site, especially if it’s a small organization or a nonprofit, but with LinkedIn, you can see if you have any connections in common with hiring manager. If you do, ask your contact to introduce you. If you can’t find anyone in your network who can introduce you, then introduce yourself directly to the hiring manager. This will be in addition to applying according to the posting’s instructions. This means you’ll be applying at least twice. Do these simultaneously. Don’t wait to hear back from one before proceeding with the next. When you contact a hiring manager directly, do so by using regular email. Don’t send them a message via LinkedIn. Put your introduction (cover letter message) into the body of your email and attach only your resume, in pdf format. Do NOT ask the hiring manager to connect via LinkedIn when you’re first introducing yourself. If you don’t understand why I advise against this, please contact me.