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Candidate Help & Advice

Target the Company and Quit Chasing the Job

Chasing Job photo from ShutterstockTarget the company?

Yes, you heard me correctly… target the company and quit chasing the job.

This is the philosophy of the Targeted Job Search which I will be writing about over the next month.

As a baby boomer, I was raised to be loyal to my employer. When the right opportunity came about, it would typically be offered to me. If I wanted to change jobs, I would go to the newspaper, trade publications and, later , job websites for job ads.

Sound familiar?

I would apply for the job and hope to get an interview.

Job listings

When you go to, or any company website with positions listed, how many of those positions are real?

In my opinion, some are, but most are not. A lot of public companies are required by law to list positions. They likely already have their candidate when they post the position, or they may never actually fill the position.

Quite chasing the job!

Now, 85% of positions are filled through referrals. Therefore, build a target list of companies that you want to work for and build a referral network.

The targeted job search

I teach my clients to target the company they want to work for and then network their way in. When a position opens up or is created, you want the hiring manager to think of you! You want them to already know who you are, your skills and values.

There are 4 steps to the process:

1. Build the target list

You need to build a target list of companies that can hire you. Who hires people like yourself in your geography?

In a later post, I will write about how to build this list, but it can be as simple as asking your friends where they work and are they happy.

2 – Research your target list

Once you have a list of 15-25 companies, investigate each company to see if you want to work there. You will do this by contacting employees who currently work there and former employees. Yes, you will contact former employees and ask them why you left!!

3. Connect on LinkedIn with recruiters and other HR professionals

In the world of recruiting, hiring recruiters and other HR professionals are the mesh that hold things together. They are usually connected to everyone in their company. When you are connected to an internal recruiter all of their connections become 2nd degree connections for you. Also, recruiters move from company to company, and carry their connections with them.

4. Build your referral network

Reach out and connect with employees in your target companies. Specifically, reach out to employees in the functional area where you want to work. Connect with them on LinkedIn and then approach them to meet in person. Ask for AIR—Advise, Insights, and Recommendations.

In building your referral network, you will want to meet as many people who have either direct hiring responsibilities or are key influencers in the hiring process.

If you methodically target the company and not the job, you will have a steady stream of employment leads.

Marc MillerCareer Pivot

Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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