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I recently inquired about a job posting at another company by sending a message via LinkedIn to a former acquaintance that now works for the company. From the job posting's description and individual's title on LinkedIn, it appears that he would be the supervisor for this new job. Because this position is somewhat outside of my current field, I wasn't sure if someone with my experience would even be considered; instead of formally applying for the job I attached my resume to a LinkedIn message and essentially asked "would someone with this resume be considered?".

I never heard back from him, but I'm quite certain he saw the message due to the LinkedIn messaging app stating that the message was read and a few days later the job posting disappeared.

This complete lack of even a cursory response surprised me and makes me wonder if I made some faux pas. Is it acceptable etiquette to inquire about a job posting and send your resume to a prospective supervisor outside of the normal applicant submission channels?

  • You really should be able to judge whether your experience matches the job requirements based on the job specification. Asking someone else the same will just frustrate them, even if they might've been willing to refer you to the company if you'd have just asked for that instead. – Dukeling Nov 19 '17 at 10:38
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You either apply for the role or you don't. Don't waste the hiring manager's time by trying to test the waters before applying.

You might as well apply and find out if you would be considered. Waiting for a hiring manager's "confirmation" before actually applying is pointless and (to put it bluntly) silly. It also shows a lack of confidence and could be annoying.

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Receiving resumes/CVs outside of the normal process is annoying.. companies don't set up these processes for fun of it - they do it because it because it keeps the admin overhead of hiring manageable and candidates trying to circumvent that just creates hassle.

Asking "if I applied would I be considered" is, at first glance a reasonable question - but really it's a pointless meta question. Imagine if you had a friend round and instead of asking if they can have a drink they instead asked if they can ask if they can have a drink!

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That is perfectly acceptable, and is basically the regular advice of Liz Ryan, an author and advice columnist for job seekers.

Normally, you would send what she calls a pain letter, describing how you have faced problems similar to those they are facing, and human-voiced resume directly to the hiring manager via snail mail.

  • I had to downvote this purely for the "snail mail" advice alone, sorry but that's awful advice – motosubatsu Nov 19 '17 at 7:23
  • Is it really awful if it works? And what would you recommend instead of "snail mail"? – Herb Wolfe Nov 19 '17 at 12:18
  • It might sound crazy but how about applying through the channels the company has specified? As for whether it works, other than Liz Ryan (whose advice I find to be a very mixed bag) the only people who I've seen recommend it were from pre-email generations. I've never seen it work and I've never spoken with any hiring manager who liked the idea, I have spoken with several who have been irritated by it and it's irritated me when candidates have done it. YMMV of course but in my experience it has 0% success rate. – motosubatsu Nov 19 '17 at 15:46

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