Finding Target Companies

Most career coaches recommend that you identify target companies to help you focus your job search.   In general, I agree with this advice.   Having a list of target companies can help you in a number of ways:

1) Networking:  You can focus your networking efforts on organizations that you think are a good fit.  Networking with current and past employees of your target companies helps you learn more about their challenges and company culture.

2) Research:  Your research time can be aimed at a shorter list of potential employers.  You can set up a schedule to check the company website for job postings, follow the company on LinkedIn, and review the company website.   You can set up news alerts in Google so that when your target companies are mentioned, you will be informed.

3) Advance Interview Preparation:  When you interview with a target company, you will already know what is happening at the company, how you can help them and why you want to work for them.  And, hopefully, you’ll have some inside contacts in place.

4) Hidden Job Market: If you do a proper job of networking, your inside contacts will let you know before positions are posted and recommend you to the hiring manager.   Companies want you to want them, so showing interest BEFORE jobs are posted can never hurt.

Now, there are some drawbacks to having a list of target companies.   Many people I meet have an impossibly long list of “target companies” which makes it difficult to focus.  At that point, the list becomes a “wish list” not a target list.  I suggest having no more than 25 companies on your target list, with ten that you concentrate on at any one time.   Those top ten companies can change as you learn more about each of them, but if you keep the list manageable you’ll be able to spend the time to truly understand their needs and challenges.

So, how do you find these target companies?

I recommend that my clients use Zoominfo as a first step when looking for target companies (www.zoominfo.com).   The site is quite easy to use and enables you to quickly find companies in your area and industry whether or not they have any jobs posted.   Click here for a handout on how to find target companies using Zoominfo.

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 10:55 pm and is filed under Interview Preparation, Job Search, LinkedIn, Networking, On-Line Resources. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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