More Easy Ways to Build Your Target Companies List

More Easy Ways to Build Your Target Companies ListIn last week’s post I shared two easy ways to build your target companies list – a powerful tool for a proactive job search – by using LinkedIn.

In this post I’ll share two more methods from The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton. These methods use (1) and (2) news sources related to your occupation or industry.

With your target companies list you can go after opportunity in a proactive, strategic way that gets better and faster results than applying to online job postings.

Time Management Alert: Avoid getting overwhelmed or wasting time. Commit to spending only 10 minutes on each method. You may be surprised what you can accomplish in a few minutes if you stay on task. (You may want to set a timer!)

Do a quick Indeed search to find employers of interest.

Using Indeed’s advanced search feature, type a few keywords into the box labeled “With all of these words.” Include the location where you want to work.

Example: MBA marketing “san francisco”

Now, instead of getting sidetracked into reading and applying to the postings (along with the hundreds of other job seekers who are applying to them today), just skim the list for companies that are not yet on your companies list and find 5-10 companies of interest that aren’t already on your list. Add them. Stop, and move on to the next method.

Time Management Alert: If you see an opening you want to apply to, do it later. First, stay on task with the more proactive, strategic approach we’re talking about here. (If you’re not sure why applying to these online jobs shouldn’t be your top priority right now, read my article “How People Get Jobs.”)

Next method: Look for companies while reading news and trends about your field.

What websites or trade publications do you read for news about your profession and/or industry? Spend 10 minutes looking through this material with an eye open for companies that are doing interesting things. Add those companies to your list.

This method may yield fewer companies than the other methods, but the companies may be especially interesting, trend-setting ones – so don’t skip this step!

Have you got at least 40-50 companies yet? If not, no worries, simply repeat one of the steps in this article or the previous one – whichever method worked best for you – until you reach that target.

A word about information management:

What you’re developing here is a personalized database of your target job market and contacts within it. You’re going to need to organize all this to use it effectively. So do use some kind of contact management software. There is actually a product that is designed specifically for job seekers, called JibberJobber. It’s all web-based, so there’s nothing to purchase or download, and you can use it for free unless you want the premier features. I’m quite familiar with it and I recommend it to my clients.

What’s next?

Dalton’s book goes on to describe his techniques for filtering and using your companies list, and I may share that in a future post. Prioritize your list and use it to network your way towards your new job. If you haven’t already read my post “Networking With a Marketing Plan” this would be a good time to check it out.

Ultimately, what you’re accomplishing with these methods is to become known to insiders in companies where your next job is waiting to open up. That way you’re positioned to get that wonderful phone call saying “We thought you might be interested in an opportunity…”

How to Build Your Target Companies List Using LinkedIn

How to Build Your Target Companies List Using LinkedInA proven way to get a great job sooner is to proactively market yourself to a handpicked list of suitable employers, as I’ve described in my earlier post Networking with a Marketing Plan.

Great opportunities will be hiding and germinating in that list, waiting to be discovered.

You’ll need a long enough list of companies to ensure there will be good jobs opening up in the near future, but not so long a list that it’s impossible to work with. For many job seekers, a list of 50 may be about right.

How can you compile that list? Here’s are two easy methods described by Steve Dalton, Senior Career Consultant at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and author of The 2-Hour Job Search.

Both of these methods involve LinkedIn. If you aren’t already on LinkedIn, read my post LinkedIn: Who Needs It?

First, do a quick search for companies similar to your dream employer.

  1. Type the company name into the main search field that appears at the top of every LinkedIn page and click the search button.
  2. In the list that appears, click the “similar” link under the company’s listing. You now see a list of companies that may be likely employers for you. Voila!

Add these companies to your target list. Over time, through internet research and networking conversations, you’ll prioritize the companies and probably delete some. Don’t worry about that yet. First things first: you’re brainstorming and gathering possibilities.

Side benefit: This “similar companies” research is also a great way to prepare an answer to the common interview question, “Who are our competitors?”

Did you go to college (even if you didn’t graduate)? Great, use the Alumni Method as well.

  1. Go into LinkedIn, change the dropdown to “people” at the main search field and click the “advanced” link to the right.
  2. Under “relationship,” add “third and everyone else” in addition to the options already checked.
  3. In the “title” field, type in a job title you’d like.
  4. In “education” add your college.
  5. Click “search.” This shows you career paths people like you have followed and what companies they’ve worked for – companies you can add to your list.

Side benefit: You’ve  just discovered some good people to network with, since you have things in common with them – including an alma mater – and they have connections at companies of interest. Invite them to connect on LinkedIn, for a start.

See also, “More Easy Ways to Build Your Target Companies List.”

Now, use your list!

Start following, researching, prioritizing and networking your way into the companies on your list. You’ll be gathering valuable business intelligence and becoming known to people who can help you land your next job.

This approach can lead to a phone call like this:

“Hey, we talked a while back about that company you want to work for, XYZ Inc. Well, my friend there says there’s a position opening up. It isn’t posted yet, but I mentioned you and they’re interested in talking to you.”