Your target list should contain companies that could hire you. You should be looking for companies that are looking for your skill set. This is step one of Target the Company and Quit Chasing the Job or the Targeted Job Search.
Let’s cover four sources to find these companies.
1. Your friends
This might seem obvious, but you should talk to your friends about where they work and whether they know of companies that hire people like yourself. Remember, we are not looking for companies that are hiring, but those that are capable of hiring you at some point in the future.
2. Business journal
Just about every major metropolitan area has a business journal. Here in Austin, it is the Austin Business Journal. Each week, they have a new list of companies. At the end of the year, they publish the Book of Lists. You can usually get the Book of Lists in most public libraries. Look at the best places to work and fastest growing lists. Beware that, even if a company made the best places to work list last year, that does not mean it is a great place to work. Just like with investments, past performance does not necessarily predict future results!
You may find other resources similar to the Business Journal that lists companies.
3. LinkedIn advanced search
Search using LinkedIn Advanced Search for people with similar titles and certifications. For example, if you are a project manager and have a PMP certification. You would perform a search where you place “PMP” in the last name field and enter your zip code in the Postal Code field. The results would list people in your network who have PMP list in their last name field and are located near you. Make a list of companies where the people in your list work.
Perform searches using the title field. Enter variations of the title you currently have or would like to have in your next job. Add the companies you find to your target list.
4. Public databases
I use a resource provided by the Austin Public Library called The A to Z Databases. This is a great resource for locating small and medium size businesses. Check your library to see if it is available.
Your list is a working list and should contain 15-25 companies. You will never stop working on this list. This list should be updated monthly, even when you are happily employed.
The next step in the Target the Company and Quit Chasing the Job or the Targeted Job Search will be to research the companies on your list. I will be discussing researching these companies next week!
Are you ready to start building your list?
Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers