Who Are You Targeting?Posted: November 16, 2013
I often am asked to network with job seekers. Having been in their shoes six times I usually agree and freely give out advice and contacts as appropriate. Most job seekers are much more adept at the search process than I was when I first went through this it my first time. They have good looking resumes; they know how to network; and they are getting better at being prepared and doing their research. But most still have not prepared one of the most important job search documents.
If you are job seeker you need a target list. This is a list of 20-25 organizations where you think you might want to work. These organizations may not have job openings, but they’re place who might be a fit for you due to their size, industry, location, reputation, what-have-you.
Inevitably, during a networking meeting you ask, “So, do you know anyone that I should talk to?” All too often your host says “No, I can’t think of anyone.” The prepared job seeker then pulls out the Target List and says “Here is a list of organizations that I’d like to know more about. Do you know anyone who works at any of these?” Now the conversation can begin anew.
That list of companies will spark some potential contacts, “Oh, my next door neighbor works for XYZ Company.” You may also hear, “You don’t want to work for that company; they’re a sweat shop.” Whatever the feedback, you’ll have more information that you did at the beginning of the conversation and that’s what networking is all about.
Target Lists should be updated continually, adding new companies and removing those that aren’t the fit you’d hoped they were. Format the list to look like your resume – same headers, fonts, paper, etc. You want this to be a professional looking document that has the same feel as your other search related papers.
So, if your networking is not yielding the success you need, add a Target List into the mix. It is guaranteed to make your networking sessions more productive and speed you on to that next career adventure.