Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Target Employer List

Ready to engage in an active job search? One of the first places to start is to create a Target Employer List. Your Target Employer List has two functions:
  • Provides a path to follow as you begin your job search. You can continue adding new employers to your Target Employer List as your job search progresses, and you can also remove employers from the list as you learn more about each organization and about what you want and need in your next job. 
  • Allows you to track your job search progress. You can update your Target Employer List each time you send anything to an employer on your list.
To get started answer each of the questions below based on your current thinking.
  • What kind of work environment do you want?
  • What do you want to spend your time doing at work?
  • What kind of company culture do you prefer?
  • What kind of organization do you want to work for?
Once you have answered these questions consider the following activities to help create your Target Employer List.
  • Dream big – What comes to mind when you think of your dream companies? After you have come up with dream organizations, research related firms and add them to your list. 
  • Browse LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a fantastic resource for job seekers. To build your Target Employer List, on your LinkedIn homepage find the Search bar at the top. Click on the word Advanced next to the search bar. On the Advanced Search page, type in your zip code (at the bottom of the list of search options) and type in some keywords that appeal to you at the top of the search options. After you hit search, you will see LinkedIn profiles of people who are within your commuting range and who work at employers you may not have known about until now. 
  • Explore Alumni – Leverage the Find Alumni tool on LinkedIn to filter through more than 66,000 WGU students and alumni by Where they live, Where they work and What they do.  Find a title you want? What companies do they work for? Write them down on your list.  
  • Browse Job Postings – Search postings in your area to see who’s hiring. Write down companies with postings that are appealing to you. Read the employers’ own websites to decide whether they would make good additions to your Target Employer List. 
  • Ask Friends – Your friends know you and they may know of employers to consider. Ask your friends which employers to add to your list and where their other friends work. Use your informal network to gather information!
  • Read – Read the business section of your local newspaper to learn about new and up-and-coming organizations in addition to expansions or growth of established local businesses. In addition, read about topics related to your career field. Gather articles on topics you are interested in and add companies that are mentioned in the articles to your list.
  • Research – Conduct additional research on the employers on your list to confirm that the company may be a good fit for you. A company’s website is a great place to start your research – but don’t stop there. Leverage the Employer Research resources of the WGU Career & Professional Development website to gain additional insights into the organization. 
Organize the list by employer name, address, a short phrase to remind you of what the employer does, and URL for the employer’s website. Gather a list of 30 - 40 companies so you will have a large amount of people to target.  Once you have completed your list, conduct research to find out more about the companies listed and their culture. After research is conducted you can rank the companies in order of interest. Use a spread sheet to track changes.

For individual assistance in creating a Target Employer List or answers to additional career questions, please contact WGU Career & Professional Development.