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10 Ways To Find Target Companies In Your Job Search

This is a guest blog post by Kristin S. Johnson on how to find target companies.

find target companies, Kristin Johnson, Profession Direction, target companies, target job, job search tips, career change advice, find the right job for me, best fit job

If you’re thinking, “Take this job and shove it!”, you’ll want to get your job search going in the right direction. But before you jump onto the job boards, consider this:

According to a survey of 700 employees by Right Management, “Eighty-six percent of the employees polled said they plan to actively look for a new position in 2013; another 8% said they may do so and are already networking.”

A lot of folks are making changes in their career! What does that mean for you? With so many other people looking, you’ve got to be the right fit to get hired for your next role. How do you ensure that you’re the perfect solution to an employer’s need? Knowing your skills and talents is important, but targeting specific companies where you could see yourself working is equally so.

You need to find target companies.

Many job seekers ask me what the best way to do this is. It can be tough to know where to start and how to organize your thoughts. This strategy that will help you to not feel so overwhelmed.

To create your list, begin by typing up every possibility you can think of into a document (I like using Evernote for exercises like this). Get as many possibilities out of your brain as you can; you never know where they might lead. Rule things out later after examining your priorities and doing company research. Use the following ten categories as a guide:

Brainstorm top-of-mind companies.

What companies pique your interest? What brands do you get geeked up about when you see their commercials? Where have you always wanted to work? These places are perfect for starting your list.

Check out the competition.

Where do your industry colleagues work? Listen to what your customers, your vendors, and media sources say about your competitors. Consider adding the competition to your list if you think you’d be a good fit there (assuming you haven’t signed a non-compete agreement).

Think of your customers and vendors.

If it’s not going against your contract, list all of the companies yours acquires services from. In addition, keep a running log of customers you could work for. Ask yourself what other business partnerships could use your expertise.

Explore your geographic location.

What employers are in your area? Expand your list with these tips:

  • Use LinkedIn’s Company search function with your zip code to find companies in your city.
  • Look at websites for your local Department of Workforce Development, Chamber of Commerce, “buy local” organizations, universities, or any others that may have employer lists by city or county.
  • Ask yourself which organizations in your community are doing good work that you admire.

Investigate start-ups.

What brand new companies may be looking to hire someone with your experience? Check out sites like venturefizz.com and areastartups.com, or even Google your city with “startups” to get ideas.

Consider associations.

Have you done volunteer work for professional associations that may have a paid position available? There may be associations for other industries that need a professional of your caliber. Weddle’s directory of associations is a comprehensive resource to explore.

Be more social.

Use the power of your network on LinkedIn AND Facebook (yes, Facebook is great for job seekers!). GlassDoor is a powerful app that will help you explore a wealth of information about where your friends work. Twitter (you might consider using Twellow as well) can also produce great ideas for your company list as you follow the brands in your industry.

Review “Best Places to Work” lists.

Fortune is known for its “best of” rankings of companies in a variety of categories, but there are many others. Associations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), publications such as Inc.com and Working Mother, industry trade journals, and local business associations have “best of” lists that can garner companies for you to target.

Harness the power of your Alma Mater.

Contact the career center where you attended college to access the alumni database. Often there are career services available through the college, or on LinkedIn. List where your former classmates are working now.

Get personal.

Which companies support your leisure activities, family, and interests? Perhaps your garden supply needs a new marketing manager and that’s just what you happen to be! Don’t be afraid to list those companies that you’d say, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this!” Think of companies that would be enjoyable and FUN!

Thinking of your job search generally isn’t fun, but hopefully these 10 ideas will help you find target companies a bit less painful. Once you’ve got a nice list of targets, you can move on to the next stage of networking, informational interviewing, and editing your list.

It might seem time-consuming, but this list of how to find target companies will save you tons of time in your search; you’ll narrow down what circles to network in to possibly get a foot in the door. And, you’ll be moving in the direction to find target companies that you’re just the right fit for.

Thanks FreeDigitalPhotos.net for the photo.

Written by: Kristin S. Johnson
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Categories: Finding New Job

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