If you're looking for a job, creating a list of companies you're aiming for is a great place to start.
Landing a new job often requires you to pursue multiple job opportunities at the same time. To streamline this process, it is helpful to build a list of companies that meet your location, industry, size, and corporate culture needs.
Below are seven tips to help you identify the right employers for your personal target company list and how to leverage them during your job search.
Document your goals.
You may have a clear idea as to the type of role you want to pursue next, but have you thought about the kind of company you'd like to work for? If you haven't already, write down the things that matter most to you when it comes to your next employer. Include details like the company's size, distance from your home, industry, corporate culture, and the values the organization believes in. This information will help you keep your job search on track and make smart decisions about the roles you apply for.
Run a Google search.
Don't overlook the value of a good ol' Google search. In just a few keystrokes you can find lists of companies that share the same ideals as you, such as a focus on innovation, work-life balance, or customer service.
Glassdoor, CareerBliss, and The Muse all offer company profiles and employee reviews to help you get a better sense of the organization and what it's really like to work there.
Related: Why You Need to Google Yourself to Monitor Your Online Brand
Follow in your colleagues' footsteps.
If you're unsure of what type of company is best for you, consider where your former colleagues have found their next gigs. Run a search on LinkedIn to see where those you've previously worked with found employment. This is a good way to find companies in different industries that may value your background; it works especially well if you both worked in the same department or business unit. As an added bonus, you now have a contact at the company who can put in a good word for you.
Search for face-to-face events.
As you're building your dream company list, take a look at sites like 10times, Meetup, and Eventbrite for upcoming events you can attend that are relevant to your industry. Use these face-to-face opportunities to find new organizations to add to your list and increase the connections in your professional network.
In addition, check out your target companies' social media pages and websites, paying close attention to the Careers and Press sections, to find out if any of them are hosting or speaking at events in your area. This is a great chance to meet people from the company and demonstrate your genuine interest in working at their organization.
Monitor your targets with Google News Alerts.
Set up Google News Alerts for your target employers and their competitors to keep an eye on the market. If you closely follow the news in your industry, you may be able to predict when new job openings will become available within the companies that interest you most. For example, if the company of your dreams announces its plans to expand its operations, then the organization may go on a hiring streak to prepare for the extra business.
Evaluate your network.
Run an advanced search on your LinkedIn professional network to find out if you know anyone who currently works or previously worked for one of the companies on your list. If a friend of a friend, i.e. a second connection, works for one of your dream companies, then ask for an introduction from your mutual connection.
You can also learn more about the company culture and its hiring practices by requesting an informational interview with someone who currently works at the organization. In addition to gaining valuable information, this is also a great way to secure an employee referral for when the right opportunity appears, and to get the inside track on job opportunities that you won't find published online.
Leverage social media.
If you haven't already, start following the social media accounts of your dream companies, their recruiters, and their senior leadership. These profiles will often provide insight into the organization, like its company culture and when new job opportunities become available.
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Is This Company Right for You? Run a Social Media Check to Find Out