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You know you should make a list of prospective employers in your area.  But is it worth your time and effort?  Yes. Building your list will help you focus your efforts.  Focusing your efforts is what a good job search is all about. 

Additionally, this is a job search task where the journey is  as productive as the end result. 




How building your list can help you find a job faster
Build your list through research and by asking others for additions.


1.   You'll learn what's happening in your industry in your area.

2.   You'll build and deepen relationships in the process of doing your research when you ask
       for additions in your LinkedIn groups, on Twitter and Facebook, and in Google +, Beyond.com,
       and other communities.

3.   You'll gain credibility through the discussions you'll have as you research companies within
       your professional and industry organizations


4.   You'll have a great topic of conversation for networking events, one that slyly alerts others
       that you are in transition, while giving the other person a way to help.

5.   You'll engage your Board of Advisors. 

6.    Researching new companies to add to your list is a
task
that is minimally challenging, but    
        keeps you moving forward in your job search when you are waiting to hear back after an
        interview or expecting an offer.

7.    It's a productive
way to start or end the day or to continue to move forward while
        you're waiting to hear back on an interview or a job offer.


How "working" your list can
help you find a job faster
Now "
work" your list by completing a variety of tasks for each
prospective employer. 

8.    Set up search agents on major job posting sites (like Indeed.com).

9.    Set up search agents on each prospective employer's career site.

10.
  Connect on LinkedIn and build a relationship with the internal or external recruiter.

11.  Connect on LinkedIn and build a relationship with at least one current employee and review
        others' profiles to learn about the background of people hired for your role.

12.  Follow the company on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on happenings.

13.  Add the company to your "watch list" on Glassdoor to learn about employee perceptions,
        salaries and interview practices. 

14.  Set up Google alerts for each company. 

15.  
Solicit information interviews using "working on your Target Company List" or "getting to
        know local employers" as a rationale for meeting.



How this works in real life
Recently I worked with a client, Sam, who was seeking a job in a particular niche in IT.  He arrived at the place in his How to Get a Job in 90 Days Plan where he was to find local employers who did the type of work in which he was an expert.  He was not excited about this task.  Sam saw these types of activities as a distraction from his main activity, which was to cruise online job postings and send in resumes.  He was a "no frills, no distractions" kind of guy.  He was also unemployed a lot longer than he expected. So he dug in. 

Sam was surprised at the number of prospective employers he had never considered.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that most of these prospective employers had abandoned the type of work that was his expertise.  [How did you know this? He used LinkedIn groups to ask questions.] It seemed that while Sam had been working on a long-term overseas assignment, IT departments had moved on to other technologies. 

Sam re-grouped quickly.  He took an online course, finishing in half the estimated completion time, crammed for and passed a very difficult test, and within a month was certified in the new technology.  Then he started working his Target Company List one by one.  He had 80 companies on his list.  He had only set up search agents at 26 of the companies when he found the ideal job for his new skills. The company agreed and he was hired shortly after getting his new certification. 

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Additional resource: 
This article lays out a great plan for working with your Target Company List.


Please share this post with someone you know who is in a job search!

 


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