Contacting potential hiring managers directly through a mailing can be a great way to find a job that has not yet been posted on a website. This explanation will help you decide if this is a good method for you to find a new job.


To make direct mail work, you need to have an excellent mailing list, but you also need to asses whether this is a viable option for your specific profile. In general, it all depends on whether there is a lack of talented people in your professional area or if there are too many ready and willing to switch jobs. If companies are struggling to find talent, you can get great results with a direct mail campaign targeted at the right people. In areas where there are a lot of candidates to choose from, hiring managers will prioritize referrals from people in their network and not risk it with candidates that just reach out through snail mail, email or other electronic communication.

However, make no mistake, you also must have superior written materials that make people react. Using direct mail is another way for attacking the unpublished job market. Whether you choose email, linkedin messaging, old-school postal services or any other form of communication depends on your industry and what is best for the targeted manager.

Here are some suggestions:

(1) Recognize That Timing Is Everything

Let's assume your local lawn mower shop wants you to come in and see a new product. Also, let's say that you and your neighbor are both out cutting lawns on a hot day. However, your lawn mower stops.

Then, the mail carrier arrives at both residences with this long piece of mail that tells you all about a revolutionary new lawn mower, a long explanation of why it's superior to everything else, and, guess what, it's available locally. Now, chances are your neighbor will look at the mailing piece for about two seconds and toss it

Obviously, he isn't in the market for a lawn mower. On the other hand, because the mailing piece has reached you at precisely the right time, it's likely that you will read it quite thoroughly. Perhaps you might be motivated to make a local visit and a purchase!

Now, your position is very similar. You want to reach the right person who might be in the market for someone like you right now. No one else counts.

To make direct mail work, you will also need to understand how to use telemarketing in conjunction with direct mail.

Of course, very few employers will be needing someone like you the day your material arrives. That's why this is a low-percentage response game. The key is to use the right direct mail and follow-up techniques.

Remember, direct mail enables you to project your best image, avoid initial disclosure of any liabilities, and make contact that is free from competition.

(2) Make a List of High Probability Targets Using Our Internet Capability

Your "priority list" needs to take into consideration the industries for which you are best suited and your preferred locations. Organizations to contact can be ordered from our private website.

In the largest organizations, CEOs or senior vice presidents in charge of specific functions are recommended targets. In smaller firms you will need to reach the top executive.

Your next step is to divide your initial list into three parts according to your "best of best," other "prime choices," and those who are really "secondary choices."

This tailored target list of employers should be added to as you go through your search. Your goal is to get an interview with the right person in these organizations, whether you do it by networking, telemarketing, or direct mail.

(3) Plan Your Direct Mail Actions to Go Out in Waves

Do your mailing/emailing in waves, over a period of time. You'll get your best response by selectively calling those you have solicited. Then, each week you need to assess the results and make revisions as you go forward.

Traditional mass mailings rarely work. Quite frankly, if job hunting were that simple, everyone would just put their resumes in the mail.

However, a recent method we have found to be more effective is the employment of electronic mail (email). Broadcasting a short cover letter and a universal resume (see resume section) can be quite effective, especially with used with avenues other than the traditional employment channels.

To help you compile a list with speed and convenience McKenzie Scott's website has everything you need... e.g., you can select organizations by industry and location, and get company names and addresses, phone numbers, names of CEOs, and more.

(4) Follow These Proven Direct Mail Rules

  • Letters and email must be crisp. Keep sentences short. Avoid flowery words. Keep paragraphs to three or four lines.
  • Mention industry experience and educational credentials early!
  • Use the names of both the firm and the individual in the body of your letter. Don't explain why you are looking.
  • Personalize your letters by using "I," or "my". Always be enthusiastic. Everyone prefers people who really want to be associated with him/her.
  • Commit yourself to a phone follow-up on selected high priority companies.
  • Never mention your expected income.
  • Keep good records. Follow-up mailings get 80% of the response of your first mailing.
  • If you have a strong interest in a large firm, consider sending materials to several top executives.
  • Use quality materials that are befitting someone at your level.

Direct mail itself is a low percentage response game. Understand this from the onset. Positive response refers to any favorable inquiry. It may be a request for further information, a phone discussion, or a request for an interview.

How People Have Used Our Advice

Here is an example of how direct mail was used in two campaigns. It involved two people simultaneously the EVP and number-two person in a Fortune 200 pharmaceutical firm and the president of a division of the same firm. Both were terminated because of a merger, and both lived in the New York area

The EVP was moved into a presidency with a division of another pharmaceutical firm in New York inside of twelve weeks. Fewer than 80 three-page custom letters were circulated within the industry each of which was followed up by phone.

The other person campaigned for 18 weeks before relocating as CEO of a smaller west coast firm. Seven different mailings of 200 each were involved. The key was the seven different letters that were customized to each group.

Summarizing How to Use Selective Direct Mail Marketing

  • Direct mail can be your fastest way to get interviews.
  • Larger-scale custom mailings as well as small mailings can both work.
  • Make your priority list and divide it into "best of best," other prime choices and secondary alternatives.
  • Make your large mailing first, and consider more customized mailings later. Launch your mailings in staggered waves.
  • Besides your priority list, the quality of your materials and your follow-up are critical.
  • As a rule, stand-alone letters produce better results than cover letters with resumes but both can work.
  • For executives long copy generally works better than short copy.
  • Direct mail is a low percentage games follow proven direct marketing rules.

Feel free to contact us if you want help with your application.