Targeting companies of special interest to you is the most effective strategy for job search. This is particularly true when you are looking for a senior level position. This strategy begins with research into your target industry, and leads to the identification of employers that interest you based on size, growth potential, location and other factors important to you.
You will need to regularly update your target list based on research and your contacts with these companies. This process will also yield information about the names and titles of persons you need to approach in each company. You can develop a list of companies for targeting your job search by going to the online directories or the business directories available in public libraries.
Once you have a list of potential employers, you can research them by going to the employer websites, reading company annual reports, and searching for profiles of employers such as those available at www.corporateinformation.com and www.forbes.com. Some of the online business directories also include links to company websites.
Another element in this research is to go to a search engine such as www.google.com and find additional information about the company’s products, customers, and senior officers, which will enable you to network your way into those companies, or make direct contact with hiring managers.
Also, you may want to research your target companies on www.glassdoor.com. This website collects company reviews and salary information from employees of large companies and displays that information anonymously. It also posts employee reviews of the management and culture of the companies they worked for. This can give you an inside look at how a company operates, how it treats employees, and how it approaches compensation.
Targeting companies is the best job search strategy, but it requires a clear understanding of your own skills and interests, and the ability to conduct research of possible employers. It requires deciding what kind of companies to research, what to look for, and how to prioritize the companies you have picked.
When you have researched your target companies, you will know their operations, and the type of opportunities available with them that match your skills and experiences. You should send a personalized letter to the hiring manager at each company explaining how your background and experiences match the company’s requirements, and attach a copy of your resume. You should state in your letter when you will call the hiring manager to set up an appointment for interview.
In addition to approaching target companies by mail, you could call the hiring manager on the phone, and try to get an appointment for a face-to-face interview. Remember to prepare a written outline of what you are going to say before you make that phone call. You should be able to set up some job interviews using this approach.
While large companies remain excellent places to work, many small to medium size companies are offering wonderful career opportunities.
Small companies give you the opportunity to be a big fish in a small pond. You can have broader responsibility and more impact on the company’s operation in a short time. When preparing a list of your target companies, do not limit yourself to just large corporations. There is often big opportunity in small companies.
Narinder Mehta (@NarinderM) was President of an executive search firm for ten years. He is the author of three books. His recent book Ace Your Job Search in 5 Steps: Powerful Techniques for Building a Successful Career reveals a step-by-step pathway for finding a dream job. Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/NarinderMehta.