Many executive job seekers resist targeting select employers, because they don’t want to limit their search. They want to be open to any and all opportunities.
Why job search targeting is so important
Unfortunately, most executives start their job search by updating their resume and heading to the job boards. They blast their resume to every job posting that seems like a possibility.
Many of them unwisely spend ALL their job search time on job boards, neglecting networking.
The most efficient and effective way to tackle job search is to start by selecting a number of companies or organizations to focus on. That is, employers that you feel will be a mutual good fit, based on your must-have criteria.
This keeps you from wasting time pursuing companies and jobs that probably aren’t right for you.
According to job search and career expert Alison Doyle:
The time you spend upfront investigating companies will benefit you in the long run because you won’t be spending energy applying to companies that aren’t a good fit.
By applying for jobs at companies where you know you would like to work, you’ll avoid getting deep into the interview process only to realize the company is a poor fit.
Another advantage of having a list of target companies is that once you know where you want to work, you can try to network with current or former employees who can potentially refer you for a position at the company.
Another problem with NOT targeting is that, when you’re writing content for your executive resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, etc., you won’t know who you’re writing for.
- You won’t know which specific strengths, qualities and qualifications to zero in on.
- You won’t know which contributions of yours to past employers will resonate with your future employer.
- It’s nearly impossible to effectively define and communicate your personal brand. Your brand will be unfocused and won’t clearly resonate with anyone.
Being generic, to cover as many bases (or job opportunities) as possible, will probably lead to a very prolonged job search.
Understand the first rule of marketing.
Job search is a marketing campaign, similar to a company marketing a product.
When you’re job hunting, you’re essentially a solopreneur . . . a company of one.
Your resume, LinkedIn profile and other job search materials – and your professional social media activities – are all personal marketing communications.
One of the main principles of marketing is to know your target audience and understand their “pain points”, so that you can position yourself as their problem solver.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you niche your marketing and job search efforts towards specific employers, the more appealing you’ll be as a candidate.
As much as possible, you want to focus your personal marketing materials, and present yourself, as the best hiring choice for specific employers.
Here’s Your Job Search Targeting Game Plan
You can see side-by-side how much a job search campaign is like running a marketing campaign in business:
|For Business||For Job Search|
|Know your products and/or services intimately||Know yourself and define your personal brand|
|Understand your target audience||Target specific employers you want to work for|
|Know why your target audience needs your products and/or services||Research your target employers for market intelligence and company/industry insight|
|Create marketing communications about your products and/or services that promote what they will do for your target audience.||Write compelling content (for your resume, LinkedIn profile and other materials) that will resonate with your target employers|
|Market your products and/or services across multiple channels||Communicate your good-fit qualities via social media and in person|
|Network your way towards decision makers within your target audience||Network purposefully to get to the “hidden” job market … those coveted jobs that are never advertised|
|Prepare to communicate the good-fit qualities of your products and/or services face-to-face with your target audience||Master the job interview process|
|Track and measure the results of your efforts||Track and measure the results of your efforts|
But what if you don’t have a target list of employers and don’t know how to start?
This is a dilemma some of my clients face.
Choose employers or organizations that will be a mutual good fit, and then deeply research them to uncover their current pressing needs and determine how you will help them overcome these challenges.
Depending upon your target industry(s) and other variables, compiling your list of target companies may be a cinch, or a headache.
3 Tips To Pin Down a Target List of Companies for Executive Job Search
- Narrow your options by location(s) first.
- Brainstorm with friends, family and those in your closest professional network. People you can trust, especially if you need to keep your search under cover.
- Check out Forbes, Fortune and other reputable publishers’ various lists of “best” companies to work for.
Get the Rest of the List in My Full Proprietary Worksheet for Job Search Targeting and Research
The suggestions above represent just a portion of the important job search targeting work you need to do, as the first steps in successful job search.
I’m now offering my full job search targeting and research worksheet. This is the actual proprietary worksheet I use with my clients to help them land jobs they covet and deserve.
The full worksheet covers it all – how to identify target companies or organizations and build your target list. It also includes how and where to research your target companies.
But that’s not all. You’ll also get my Career History Worksheet to help you dig deep for metrics and benefits you’ve brought to past employers. That’s the kind of information that helps employers see what you’ll be able to do for them.
In all, you’ll get more than 15 pages, with dozens of DIY tips and advice to help you identify target employers and determine what makes you unique and valuable to them. The work you do using my worksheets will also help you network and interview better.
Along with the 2 worksheets, here’s some of the other information included:
- How today’s job search is different than before
- Why you must begin your job search with targeting and research
- The problems with job boards, including the resume Applicant Tracking System (ATS) conundrum
- How to use job boards for research and market intelligence
Get my full job search targeting and research worksheet (with all the extras noted above) . . . OR the complete package of my 4 proprietary executive job search worksheets.
Along with the Targeting & Research and Career History Worksheets, the complete worksheet package includes my 2 other proprietary worksheets and so much more:
- Personal Branding Worksheet
- Biography Worksheet
- Numerous resources and DIY tips and strategies to help you land the job you want.