Applicants all have the common problem of not generating enough interviews to their liking. They send out many resumes and applications to many companies but only hear back from a few, if they are very fortunate. It is therefore not that surprising to hear then that the most drastic cut off in the process of cutting down the original applicant pool happens before the initial interview ever happens.
How do applicants then increase their chances of being interviewed? The process of gaining more interviews is actually very trivial and can not be explained in detail, as the process of determining which applicant warrants an interview call changes all the time and varies depending on the company, and even person to person in the said company. To figure out how to better your chances of generating more Product Manager interviews, you’ll have to first figure out what is the challenge that you are trying to overcome. That being said, here’s that challenge and what solutions we believe will help in overcoming that challenge.
The problem is that you are probably applying to Product Manager positions faster than there are new ones turning up. Not all companies will need a Product Manager hire, and not all companies will hire one at the same time as everybody else. The market is not going to have a dramatic uptick in Product Manager positions just for you. There is really no other choice but to get more creative with how you source for positions.
LinkedIn and Indeed
This is the by far the most common approach; it is also the most competitive since they have aggregated all the positions together. You know that there are many others applying for the same role you want too. There is a steady quantity here, but just know this is the realm everybody competes in.
There are positions that are being posted daily that you can get to first by setting up an email alert for these positions. It is very easy to do on LinkedIn and Indeed. By doing so, you can gain an advantage in time over other applicants.
Follow Up After 5 Business Days
If you don’t hear back from anyone or receive a rejection letter, then go ahead and re-apply to the same role after 5 business days.
Other Methods (Requiring Excel or Google Sheets)
Add every Product Manager that works at companies that you want to apply or have applied as a connection on LinkedIn. Then, add every Product Manager that works for that company in the city you are applying. Build 100-200 Product Manager names in a said spreadsheet – find the companies that they were working at previously and put them into a list, separating them into companies that are hiring and not hiring.
Create a spreadsheet for all the companies that they have worked at a Product Manager ever. To give yourself some more possibilities, you can list every company they have worked for.
Create a spreadsheet of companies and visit their websites’ career page to see if they are posting for Product Managers. The reason for this is too many companies do not feel they get a good return posting on Indeed and Linkedin.
If all fails, be the one that initiates the conversation. In some cases, be the one that forces the conversation to happen. Here’s a random email that can be sent to random companies’ HR representatives that you’ve applied to:
Hey, I’ve applied to your position on twice through your site, and never heard back. I’m a big fan of what you guys are doing. I’ve read your job description through and through and I believe I would be a great value-add to the team. Can I grab 15 minutes to talk Monday or Wednesday / Tuesday or Thursday at 11:30 or 4:30p.
What you are showing here first is respect for their hiring process. If anybody applied to the company you are working for right now and reached out to you, what is the first thing you are going to ask? Have you applied to our company yet? The reason for this is if they don’t even have your information in the system, any conversation is pointless. If you have not heard back, it means you have not yet been eliminated for this role.
We all know you are mass-applying and reaching out to as many people as possible. The secret is to not make it seem that way. Always give them an opportunity to give you a call and always attach your resume.
Cold Outreach Email or LinkedIn Inmail
Now that you have acquired this list; you will notice that there are way more companies that have posted their position than not. That’s the advantage because most of your competition will stop there. Reach out to them anyways. Many companies procrastinate on hiring and wait forever to post the role. The truth is they hate this process as much as you do and would love to hire internally or referrals if they could.
Here’s what a sample cold outreach email or LinkedIn Inmail Message would look like:
I am reaching out because I am a big fan of what you guys are doing. I understand that sometimes companies procrastinate on posting a role because once you do the recruiting sharks start rushing to all you for business.
My background is… (going into a hot pitch about yourself in no more than 3 sentences)
You will find my resume in the attachment.
I am very interested to speak with you guys.
Networking at Company Functions
Another way to get to the decision maker you want to speak with easier is to attend meetups or events hosted by the companies you want to work at. For example, Mixpanel and AppNexus hosts events almost monthly in New York and other cities.
Rich is the Founder of Product Gym™, the first professional career coaching service committed to helping aspiring and veteran Product Managers transition into the Product Manager job of their dreams. Previously, Rich worked as a Technical Recruiter for both CyberCoders and Workbridge Associates, where he partnered with countless companies to attract, develop, and retain their top talent. Currently, he specializes in coaching his students to generate more interviews than they can count, perfect their interview pitches, as well as negotiate the biggest offers for themselves with the most exciting companies. Rich graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in History.