#60Day Challenge, Day 13: Build Your Employer Target List

#60Day 13a of 60So far, every day of the #60Day Challenge has focused on getting you ready to talk to a potential employer. But which employers? Who would you love to work for, and why? How well do you fit into their culture? What value do you bring? Today, Day 12 of the challenge, you are going to begin working on the list of employers you’ll deliberately target as this quest continues…

Today’s challenge isn’t an easy one; it will take time and, like yesterday’s challenge, a bit of reflection to do well. However, completing this task will enable you to maintain your focus on those companies right for your career goals. Along the way, we hope this process will also help you realize that the shotgun approach to job search – where you apply for any job at any company – is a terrible waste of you job search time.

First step in the process: build your base target list starting with companies, non-profits and agencies identified as good places to work (as you are compiling this portion of your list, keep an open mind; resist the temptation to filter out any organizations quite yet):

  • National top companies to work for lists by Glassdoor and Forbes
  • Local versions (Chambers of Commerce, newspapers, etc.) of best companies to work for
  • Recommendations from those in your personal network
  • LinkedIn updates and groups
  • University career centers
  • Industry associations
  • Alumni networks

Once you’ve built your base list, begin narrowing it down by answering these questions:

  • Which companies within your career choice or industry appeal to you most?
  • Which brands do you admire most? Where might you already serve as a brand ambassador?
  • Which of those companies are hiring… or will be… in the geographic areas you’d like to work?
  • From yesterday’s challenge, which companies appear to have a culture that fits your working style and career goals?
  • Where are influential members of your personal network employed?

As you proceed through all the possibilities, a trend will most likely develop: well-known companies will make up the majority of your list. This is where the real work starts. Why? Because not everyone can work for – or wants to work for – Google, Facebook and Ford. We need to dig deeper.

Expand your list to include:

  • Who do those organizations compete against?
  • Who are their strategic partners?
  • Who are the up-and-coming organizations in the same space?

When you’re all done with this process, your goal is to have 10 to  20 companies worthy of targeting in your job search. They may not meet all your criteria; for instance, you may not yet know someone already employed there. (That is okay; we’ll fix that later.)

And, of course, as you focus on the best fit for you, remove organizations who no longer make the cut and, by all means, add to the list those companies that catch your eye.

Hang on to this list. Keep it at the forefront of your job search. Not only is this guide going to come in very handy as the #60Day Challenge continues, it just may stop you from resorting to the shotgun approach to job search as days go by.

When your target list is complete, feel free to jump straight to Day 14 of the #60Day Challenge






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