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Create A Target Profile For Career or Social Networking

This post is about how to create a target profile of who to network with during job search.

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Successful job search requires many things. But primary to that these days is having a strong career and social networking plan.

It includes throwing a wide net to make sure those around you know that you are out of work. Sounds simple, I know. But so few of you that I meet are doing this. Still need help?

How To Build Out Your Network During Job Search. Introducing PlateWorks™

They also need to know what you are looking for in your next great role.  This is another place where many job seekers struggle.  Need help here?

The One Question Job Seekers Struggle To Answer

So this is about career or social networking with a purpose.  Because, as you’ve heard me say before, career or social networking without a purpose is just socializing.  And while we like to socialize, it’s not something we should be willing to do three nights a week when we need to be creating momentum in job search.

It is hard to explain to your family when you come home with a bunch of business cards.  And no real clue as to why you have them or what you’ll be doing with them.

So lets start with a very clean, specific and straight-forward set of job search objectives.  To answer the very common question: What are you looking for?”

I am looking for a director level position in apparel sales based on the West Coast. My target companies include Nike, Under Armour, Adidas.

Great! You’ve now given your network tangible information to help you. To begin forwarding you leads.

But that is only half the battle.  Now you need to identify a target network profile.  To identify who are your ideal career or social networking contacts.  Because while throwing a wide net is smart, throwing smaller ones is even smarter.

So based on the job search objectives above, how do you create a target profile that’s actionable?

Here are the sections on the profile:


List your core industry (apparel) and a few others that are adjacent or complementary.  Your goal is to meet people in/around your industry who may know of jobs available today or being considered for the future.


Center of target is one level above you.  So in this case we’re looking for VP level contacts.  This way you can focus important time and attention on those who would hire you or perhaps be a peer of someone who might.


Our objectives say West Coast so the profile should identify the states or cities within your geography.  In this case, that would be CA, NV, OR, WA, AZ


Sales is a top priority of course, but think also about other functions that work closely with or rely heavily on the function you are targeting.  In this case I would include marketing and operations.  Both are tied closely to the sales function and have an interest in the company bringing on smart new people around them.


You know the companies.  They are your target companies.  And you have to have a nice long list of them.  Need help creating a list of target companies?


Your effort should include a plan to identify fellow job seekers who fit your target profile.  But, more important, focus a big chunk of time on the tougher and more valuable targets.  Your career and social networking effort should include targeting employed people.

And here’s what the target profile looks like when you are done:

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So now you have a plan.  And a purpose to your career and social networking activity.  If you choose to create a target profile, that is.  And decide to focus your efforts on these people.  Not just those who walk in front of you at a networking event.

But how do I do this? You might ask.

Well you are in luck.  Come back in two days for part two of this post called Take Action On A Target Network Profile.  Or even better? Sign up to receive the new content every day I post.

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Networking

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