In my previous article, I addressed why conducting a targeted job search is critical in today’s job market. Today, I am going to give you 6 easy steps to help you launch a successful targeted job search.
1. Profile your Ideal Company. First, decide what characteristics your ideal company should possess. Consider the following factors when profiling your ideal company: Industry you prefer to work in; products and services; mission and vision; size; number of employees; for-profit, non-profit; annual sales; company culture; geographic location; commute, etc.
2. Identify 5 companies you want to work for. To do this you will need to conduct research. Talk to associates, recruiters, professional association contacts, chambers, friends and anyone else you can think of. Online sites such as Manta and Polson Enterprises are good places to find detailed company information, well beyond financial data. Use the criteria you came up with under step one to develop your target list of 5 companies.
3. Use extreme networking tactics. Next, tap your network to locate individuals who work in your targeted companies. In LinkedIn, go beyond your 1st degree connections and get introductions to your 2nd and 3rd degree contacts who can introduce you to people who work for your targeted companies. When asking for an introduction be specific about your intentions. For example, state that you are interested in finding out more about the company’s products and services or markets they serve.
4. Do your due diligence. If applying online always tap your network first before submitting your resume. If possible, have your resume hand delivered to the hiring manager as well as posting it to the company’s website.
5. Manage your time effectively. The key to a successful targeted job search requires that you network face-to-face by day and post online by night. Getting yourself in front of people who can open doors for you should be your number one priority. Save the computer work for off hours.
6. Develop an online presence. Recruiters expect to find you online and will be searching for your digital footprint. As such, make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete. Participate in LinkedIn Groups and Answers and post status updates often. Consider creating a web portfolio where you can include work samples, audio, video and images. VisualCV is a website that allows you to create a web portfolio. Create a blog to build credibility and position yourself as a thought leader. You can create a blog for free at http://www.blogates.com/.
Conducting a targeted job search using these steps will get you in front of people with hiring decision authority. A targeted job search allows you to uncover opportunities that have yet to be advertised on the open market. So what are you waiting for? Think seriously about what you really want in your next job and company and launch a targeted job search effort. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.