When a company asks that you submit your resume through their online HR application system, you should follow their instructions, of course. But then what? After you hit “send” you can hope that an actual human being is going to lay eyes on your wonderful resume. Or, you can put in a little extra effort to get your resume into the hands of the person who will want to see it and actually read it: the hiring manager for that open position.
Once you’ve submitted your resume through the online portal, it’s time to do some research to find out who is the likely hiring manager. If you don’t already know the department in which the position falls, study the company’s organization chart and determine the most likely department. “Hiring Manager” is unlikely to appear as a job title, the Director or Vice President of that group is your likely target.
Send a copy of your resume to the likely hiring manager. (If you miss the mark and don’t reach out to the proper person, it’s highly likely that he or she will forward your correspondence to the appropriate person.) Make sure you make clear that you have already submitted your resume online, but you felt it important to reach out to him or her directly. Include a to-the-point, well-crafted cover letter (article link).
Then put your network to use. Research who you may know — or who someone in your network might know — at that particular company. Reach out, let people know you’ve applied, and include a copy of your resume. Ask those you know to speak up on your behalf or verify that your resume has made it to the appropriate person.
After a little time, get back in touch. Follow up with anyone to whom you’ve sent your resume: the recruiter, the HR department, the hiring manager, and relevant network contacts.
Don’t try to bypass the company’s candidate tracking system, but be aware of it’s limitations. Follow the company’s instructions. Then don’t hesitate to go that extra mile to get your resume into the right hands.