Do I Need To Create A Target List Of Companies? | How To Create A Target List Of Companies For Your Job Search
The greater your focus, the more likely your success in finding your dream job rather than settling for the first job offer you receive. When you create a target list of companies, you will become more focused and increase the efficiency of your job search by eliminating the time you would otherwise spend applying to random job postings. In this article, I’ve included tips on how to create your list of target employers and how to use your list to find opportunities.
How to create a target list of employers
Where do you want to work? Create a small list in 30 minutes or less. You can go back and expand your list later. The key is to build a list of target companies to begin your job search. Here are some ideas to help you build your list:
- Competitors or industry peers of current or past employees
- Vendors of current/past employers
- Related industries
- “Best Places To Work” lists – utilize local, regional and national lists
- What companies offer products/services that fit with your interests and passions?
- Professional organizations
- Related Industries
How To Use Your Target List Of Companies
Eighty-five percent of jobs are found through networking. Use your target list as a networking plan. Start by doing some research to find networking contacts at each company on your list. LinkedIn is a great source for this kind of research because you will find current first level contacts and how you are connected to second and third level contacts. In addition to LinkedIn research, ask for introductions or recommendations and follow each company on Facebook. You’ll find several contacts in your network.
Search Job Postings
The next thing you’ll want to do is search the existing job postings on the website of each company on your target list of employers. Do the same on LinkedIn and you can usually find the contact information of the person that created the posting. This is a great opportunity to network with the owner of the posting. The contact is often someone from the HR department and can be a helpful resource. Introduce yourself and ask for an informational interview about the company and any posted positions as well as future positions that might be available. This is where you can uncover job opportunities before they are posted to the public. Be sure to leverage your networking list before applying for any job.
Use Your Target List Of Companies To Guide Your Research
Building a target list of companies provides many useful tools for your job search tool box. Take the time to answer a few questions about each company. Create a spreadsheet or a report format for each one that you can review later for interview preparation. When you are researching the companies on your list, start with these basics:
- What products and services does the company offer?
- Where are they located and which markets do they serve?
- Who are the biggest competitors? (Are these competitors on your target list?)
- How long has the company been in business?
- What are the biggest opportunities and challenges the company currently faces?
- Read the press releases for each company over the last 12-24 months?
- Is the company growing?
If you are still asking the question “Do I need target list of companies?” the answer should be clear. Click here for more information about creating your target list of employers. Here is a great article about researching the companies on your target list.